Guide to Renting a Dumpster for Roofing Shingles

roofing project in progress

Updated September 13, 2023

If you need to get rid of old roofing shingles, you've come to the right place.

Our guide to roofing shingles disposal will make it easy for you to manage your roof debris and choose the right size dumpster for your project.

Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or a contractor working on a roofing project, we're here to help take the guesswork out of renting a roll-off dumpster for shingle roof removals and replacements.

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dumpster for roofing shingles infographic

Understanding Roofing Shingle Basics

There's more than one type of asphalt shingle, and understanding the difference between the two is important.

different types of asphalt shingles

3-Tab Shingles

These shingles are the most traditional style, and is the type you’d find on the average home.

It’s a very budget-friendly option while being relatively lightweight shingle.

Because of this, it's easier to stay within the dumpster rental company’s weight limit than it is with architectural shingles.

Architectural Shingles

This is a more modern type of roofing shingle that provides a more dimensional look.

If this is the type of shingle you’re disposing of, be aware that these shingles are heavier than basic 3-tab shingles.

Be careful not to underestimate the weight of these shingles, as overage costs can rack up pretty quickly.

Keep reading: How to Estimate Shingle Weight and Save on the Cost of Roof Disposal

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Average Weight of Roofing Shingles

Roofing shingles are generally sold in bundles.

Each bundle typically contains 21 pieces, and three bundles equals one square.

In the roofing industry, “square” is the standard unit of measurement and is equal to 100 square feet.

Each bundle weighs 60-100 lbs depending on the type and overall quality of the shingle.

3-tab shingles tend to weigh less than architectural shingles because they are thinner and less layered.

Knowing that each 3-tab shingle bundle weighs roughly 60-80 lbs, you can estimate that a 2,000 sq ft (20 square, 60 bundles) roof would weigh 3,600-4,800 lbs. 

Similarly, knowing that each architectural shingle bundle weighs roughly 70-100 lbs, you can estimate that a 2,000 sq ft (20 square, 60 bundles) roof would weigh 4,200-6,000 lbs.

Reminder: Many roofs have multiple layers of shingles, so you will need to factor that in when determining your roof's weight and choosing the right dumpster size.

Choosing the Right Dumpster Size

When it comes to choosing the right dumpster for your roofing project, you need to take more than just dumpster size into consideration; you also need to consider that dumpster's weight limit.

For example, a 10 yard dumpster may have enough physical space to hold 20 square of architectural shingles, but it may not have a high enough weight limit to accommodate 20 square.

In the tables below, you can see the average weight limits for the most popular dumpster sizes, and the amount of roofing shingles those dumpsters and weight limits can typically accommodate, so you can make the right choice for your project.

Best Dumpster Sizes for 3-Tab Shingle Removal

Dumpster Size Average Weight Limit # of 3-Tab Shingle Square Average Size of Roof Removal
10 yard 4,000-6,000 lbs 20-30 2,000-3,000 sq ft
20 yard 5,000-7,000 lbs 25-35 2,500-3,500 sq ft
30 yard 7,000-10,000 lbs 35-50 3,500-5,000 sq ft
40 yard 12,000-16,000 lbs 60-80 6,000-8,000 sq ft


Best Dumpster Sizes for Architectural Shingle Removal

Dumpster Size Average Weight Limit # of Architectural Shingle Square Average Size of Roof Removal
10 yard 4,000-6,000 lbs 15-25 1,500-2,500 sq ft
20 yard 5,000-7,000 lbs 20-25 2,000-2,500 sq ft
30 yard 7,000-10,000 lbs 25-40 2,500-4,000 sq ft
40 yard 12,000-16,000 lbs 45-65 4,500-6,500 sq ft


As you can see, weight limits vary from one dumpster size to the next, but they can also vary between contractors.

For example, Contractor A may include 4,000 lbs in the cost of their 10 yard dumpster rental, while Contractor B includes 6,000 lbs for only $50 more.

Paying only slightly more for double the weight limit could end up saving you money in the longrun, as going over your weight limit can quicky rack up fees.

To avoid potential overage charges and to ensure you get the right dumpster for the right price, always discuss your roof's square footage and the type of shingles you'll be disposing of with the rental providers you speak to.

They'll be able to help you choose the right dumpster size with the right weight limit for your specific roof removal project.

We recommend reaching out to atleast three different dumpster rental providers whenever possible so you can compare quotes and ensure you get the best service for the best price.

Save Money by Recycling

Did you know that, in most cities, it costs more to dispose of asphalt shingles at a local landfill than it does to recycle those shingles at a local recycling facility?

Asphalt shingles are becoming a valuable commodity in the recycling industry. Scrap roofing shingles are melted down and used in asphalt road mixes, new shingle production, and more.

For example, in Chicago, it's free to recycle clean-loaded asphalt at a Clean Construction and Demolition Debris (CCDD) facility, like Gallagher Materials.

Similarly, the Scholl Canyon Landfill in Glendale, CA accepts general municipal waste at about $54 per ton, but it charges just $30 per ton of clean asphalt shingles (as of 2021).

Making the effort to clean-load your asphalt shingles in your dumpster can save you quite a bit of money, so always ask the dumpster rental providers you reach out to about recycling your scrap roofing shingles.

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