Do Dumpsters Placed on the Driveway Require a Permit?

Red dumpster placed on a residential driveway

Updated January 25, 2024

It can be intimidating for homeowners, especially first-time renters, to rent a dumpster for a home project. However, the truth is that it’s not a complicated process.

One common question asked by homeowners is whether or not a permit is required when the dumpster is placed in the driveway.

First thing’s first, it’s important to understand that the dumpster rental rules and regulations vary by city or town. For the most accurate information, check with your local city department to ensure you abide by local laws.

Your local dumpster rental company can also help answer questions related to dumpster permits and other questions you may have.

In most cases, a dumpster permit is not required when the roll-off container or trailer dumpster is placed in the driveway of a private residence.

In this guide, we'll discuss the most common dumpster permit rules, how to get a dumpster permit, and whether or not certain dumpsters 

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Dumpster Permit Rules

dumpster partially blocking sidewalk

Never place a dumpster in such a way that would block a public sidewalk or street without first inquiring about a dumpster permit.

Even if only part of the dumpster is blocking, impeding, or otherwise placed in the public right-of-way, a permit is needed per your city’s regulations.

The dumpster permit will spell out the exact procedures to follow, as well as the length of time you can have the dumpster placed in the public right-of-way (e.g., blocking a sidewalk). An example of procedural steps include placing orange cones around the dumpster.

Some cities or counties may require a dumpster permit (a.k.a. encroachment permit) with every dumpster, even if the container will not be placed in the public right-of-way. Los Angeles County is one example of such a rule.

Learn more:

Is Any Type of Dumpster Exempt from Dumpster Permit Requirements?

Trailer dumpster placed on a driveway

Dumpster permit rules and regulations apply to all bulk waste containers, such as roll-off containers and rubber-wheeled trailer dumpsters. However, there may be size guidelines that define exactly what is considered a trailer dumpster vs a smaller utility trailer, for example.

Rented dumpsters—whether roll-offs or trailer dumpsters—typically range in capacity between 10 cubic yards and 40 cubic yards.

The exterior dimensions of these dumpsters oftentimes range from 12 ft x 8 ft x 4 ft up to larger 40 yard dumpsters measuring 22 ft x 8 ft x 8 ft. Any rented container or bulk waste disposal solution within these sizes will require a dumpster permit when one is required.

A small utility trailer may not require a dumpster permit, although rules will generally still apply when blocking the public right-of-way, such as the sidewalk. If the trailer is positioned in a private driveway and does not block the sidewalk or encroach on any public property, It’s not necessary to obtain a dumpster permit.

Although mentioned throughout this guide, it’s important to stress that rules vary by location. Your best sources of information specifically tailored to your location is your government website or local dumpster rental companies.

A reputable dumpster rental provider will fully understand the local rules and regulations and help you every step of the way to ensure compliance.

When calling dumpster rental companies for information, we suggest contacting a minimum of 2-3 dumpster providers to ensure you get the best price, service, and container availability for your project.

Hometown makes it incredibly easy and fast for customers to find local dumpster rental companies in their area and request free quotes all at once. Browse dumpster rental companies based on your zip code, read customer reviews for each company, and request quotes from multiple dumpster rental providers to ensure you pay a fair price for great dumpster rental services.

How to Obtain a Dumpster Permit

The dumpster permit process is typically simple and straightforward. In fact, your dumpster rental provider will typically secure the permit for your rental on your behalf.

In cases where you need to obtain a dumpster permit on your own, the quickest route is to navigate your city’s government website and do a search for "dumpster permits". You can simply call the city’s front desk and request information about obtaining a dumpster permit if you need additional help.

The permit itself is typically a one- or two-page document you fill out and include any pertinent information, such as the duration of the rental, location, dumpster company, and contact information.

You will file the document with the proper department either online or in person at your local government office.

Fees may apply when obtaining a dumpster permit. This varies by location and can range from free to $50 or more depending on factors, such as location, rental period, and other circumstances. If the dumpster rental company is obtaining the permit for your rental, they may role this fee into the total dumpster rental price.

Don’t delay in obtaining a dumpster permit. Some dumpster permits may take several days to be approved, depending on the process in your city. This can delay your project if you wait until the last minute.

Below, you'll see an example of a dumpster permit application from Carteret, NJ. This permit app is very straight-forward and requires the details of both the property owner of the location the dumpster will be placed as well as the details of the dumpster owner/company.

You'll notice in the application that, in this particular city, approval from the police department is required in addition to a permit when the dumpster will placed in a public right-of-way. This is a great example of why it's important to check the rules and regulations in your specific area to ensure you have a clear understanding of what is required before you rent a dumpster and risk getting hit with penalties and fees for not following protocol. 

Example of dumpster permit application from New Jersey

You can read more about the process of renting a dumpster on Hometown's blog. We answer all of the most common questions that homeowners and business owners have when they need a large disposal solution.

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