How the Dumpster Drop-off and Pick-up Process Works

truck driving large dumpster off of residential work site

Updated January 19, 2023

The dumpster rental process is not complicated and is pretty much the same from one company to the next.

The dumpster drop-off and pick-up process is simple, but knowing what to expect can make it that much simpler.

In this guide, we'll break down the entire dumpster rental procedure for you start to finish.

Jump to:

  1. Find Local Dumpster Rental Companies to Rent From
  2. Ensure Your Drop-Off Site Is Ready for Delivery
  3. Load Up Your Dumpster
  4. Get Your Dumpster Picked Up

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dumpster drop off and pick up procedures infographic

Step 1: Find Dumpster Rental Companies Near You

The first step is contacting local dumpster rental companies and getting free quotes from them to compare dumpster pricing as well as weight allowances for each dumpster size.

Once you are able to make a knowledgable choice of who to rent from, book the dumpster with your preferred dumpster rental company and schedule your delivery date. (This is typically done over the phone using a credit or debit card.)

When booking your dumpster, make sure you clarify where you would like them to place the dumpster. If the dumpster will be going on your driveway, ask what steps—if any—they take to protect driveways from dumpster damage, whether by placing wood planks under the dumpster's feet or another method.

Payment is accepted over the phone or online when booking your dumpster.

Remember: If you go over your dumpster's included weight limit or put a prohibited item in your dumpster, those overage fees won't be charged until after the dumpster is weighed and emptied at the landfill.

Step 2: Make Sure Your Site Is Ready for Drop-Off

Once your dumpster is booked and scheduled, it's time to prepare your drop-off site for the dumpster

Move any vehicles into the garage or down the street where they are out of the way for the dumpster truck.

Put away any bikes, trash cans, or other items that could get in the way of your dumpster delivery.

Whenever possible, we recommend being present for the dumpster drop-off, especially when it's taking place at your home, to ensure everything goes smoothly and there's no miscommunication on where to place the dumpster.

Drop-off is also a great time to finalize the pick-up procedure.

For example, should you call them when you're done and ready for pick-up or will they show up on a pre-determined date?

Step 3: Load Up Your Dumpster

Next, the dumpster is delivered on your agreed upon date.

When loading your temporary dumpster, be sure you follow the rules of your dumpster agreement.

Only load accepted items into your dumpster, avoid overfilling it, and ensure it is ready for pick-up before your rental period expires.

Step 4: Have Your Dumpster Picked Up

The final step is following your dumpster pick-up procedure.

Be sure you have a thorough understanding of the pick-up process when booking your dumpster rental so you're not caught off guard.

Your dumpster rental agreement may state one of two pick-up procedures:

Pick-Up Procedure 1: No Contact Necessary

One of the main ways a dumpster pick-up is scheduled is at the start of your dumpster rental.

Dumpster rental agreements include a certain amount of time (typically 5-7 days), so when you schedule your dumpster rental, the drop-off and pick-up are both scheduled for pre-determined days.

At some point on your pre-determined pick-up day, the dumpster rental company will come pick up the dumpster.

The only reason they wouldn't come on that day is if you contact them to extend your dumpster rental.

So, if you need your dumpster for more time, give the dumpster rental company a call to let them know before your pick-up date.

Otherwise, they will assume your dumpster is ready for pick-up and come get it during that day's business hours.

Pick-Up Procedure 2: Contact Necessary

The other main way a dumpster pick-up is scheduled is simply when you call to let them know it's ready to be picked up.

However, it is the dumpster renter's responsibility to ensure they call the company for pick-up before their dumpster rental period is over.

With this type of procedure, if you forget to call to let the company know your dumpster can be picked up, you will likely be charged a daily overage fee for going over your rental period.

Hometown makes it easy for customers to find dumpster rental companies in their area.

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 services.

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