Is a 30 yard dumpster the right size for my project?

what fits in a 30 yard dumpster?

30 yard dumpsters have the capacity to hold 30 cubic yards of material or debris. That’s equal to between roughly 9 and 15 pickup truck loads of waste. It’s a versatile container choice that works well for medium-to-large sized cleanups.

A 30 yard dumpster can hold up to the equivalent of 15 pickup truckloads worth of waste, junk and debris.

When renting a 30 cubic yard dumpster…

It’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Understand the weight allowance and overage fees: You’ll incur weight overage charges for going over the specified weight limit. For a 30 yard dumpster, this can range from 2 to 8 tons (4,000-16,000 lbs) depending upon the dumpster rental provider. Overage fees average $50 to $100 per ton depending upon where you live.
  2. 7 days is the standard rental period (can vary by company): A $5 to $10 per day late fee is typically charged for keeping the container longer.
  3. Type of waste makes a difference: Some rental companies have guidelines in place based on the type of debris. For instance, some may not allow you to mix dirt or concrete loads with general household trash.
  4. Prohibited items: This includes, but is not limited to, hazardous wastes, tires, automotive fluids, and batteries. It largely depends upon the rules at your local landfills and transfer stations. Learn more.
  5. Recycling is more popular than ever: More and more dumpster rental companies recycle the debris they haul. It’s greener and oftentimes cheaper than the tipping fees at landfills. Some dumpster rental providers will pass these savings on to you if you help them by keeping recyclables separated from non-recyclable wastes.

Find Local Rental Companies Offering 30 Cubic Yard Dumpsters

Types of 30 yard dumpsters

Open-top dumpsters (roll-off dumpsters)

This is the most common type of 30 yard dumpster you’ll come across. These bins usually feature a door at one end that hinges open for easier loading. This makes it particularly convenient for loading bulky or heavy items, like furniture, home appliances, dirt, and demolition debris.

30 yard roll off containers

Features / Benefits:

  • Door allows for easier loading
  • Some older containers may not have a door—be sure to ask
  • Ideal for home cleanouts, roofing, and new construction
  • At least 4 ft. clearance is necessary between the container and other large objects to swing open the door
  • Plywood or boards are placed between the container and your driveway for added protection against damage. Always request this!

Typical dimensions: 22 ft L x 8 ft W x 6 ft H

Dumpster trailers

Occasionally, a dumpster rental company will utilize a 30 yard dumpster trailer instead of a container. It holds the same amount of material as a standard roll-off. Because it’s on wheels, it’s a suitable option when the ground is soft or uneven and a dumpster truck cannot safely drive on it.

30 yard dumpster trailers

Features / Benefits:

  • Comes in various shapes and sizes but holds as much debris as a 30 yard roll-off container
  • Good alternative option when a roll-off dumpster simply won’t work (i.e. uneven ground)
  • Risk of damage to property is low because it’s on wheels

Typical dimensions: Varies by company

When a 30 yard container is the right option

30 yard debris boxes are ideal for a wide variety of cleanups. Here are some examples of when a 30 yarder makes sense:

when a 30 yard dumpster is the right size for the job

It’s important to remember that every project is different, so a larger (or smaller) container may be ideal in your case. Your dumpster rental provider can help you choose the right container and container size for your project.

More helpful information on dumpster sizes:

30 yard dumpster cost

The average upfront cost of renting a 30 yard roll-off container is $400-$500.

Other charges for overages, tonnage, fuel surcharges, late fees, and type of debris may also apply. Always ask about possible extra charges when renting a dumpster so it’s not a surprise when you get the final bill.

NOTE: Dumpster prices vary significantly between locations and rental companies. Check out our ultimate pricing guide to learn more about what else affects dumpster costs and how to make sure you get the best deal possible.

30 yard construction dumpsters are big enough for most cleanups but are not always the most economical choice. Remember to factor in the estimated weight of the waste and debris you plan to dispose of in the dumpster. It can get expensive if you go over the weight limit.

Overage fees vary by company but can range from $40 to $100 per ton

Sometimes downsizing to a smaller dumpster makes more sense. This is true in cases where the volume and/or weight of the debris you plan to offload falls closer to the capacities of a smaller container. You can save $100+ in some cases.

It’s a bit tricky to pick the right dumpster size, but here a few useful tips:

  1. Be detailed about the type and amount of debris you plan to dispose of when on the phone with the dumpster rental company. They are remarkably good at estimating weight and volume.
  2. If you’re on the fence, go with the bigger size. More times than not, you’ll save money by avoiding overage fees.
  3. Keep the dumpster covered with a tarp when not in use. This will help stop other people from throwing garbage into it, and it also helps keep rain from soaking the debris. Both situations will increase the total weight of the load. ***This is very important if you decide to go with a smaller container – overage charges can really rack up on overweight loads.

READ MORE: 3 Easy Ways to Get a Lower Price for a Single-Day Dumpster Rental

Final tips to reduce 30 yard dumpster rental prices and make the rental process run smoothly:

  • Prepare to have enough room in your driveway or other location you plan to set the dumpster. A 30 yard dumpster needs at least 22 ft. x 8 ft. (LxW) plus room to open the rear-entry door.
  • A dumpster rental permit may be necessary to place the container in the public right-of-way (e.g., sidewalk or side of a city street). Discuss this with your dumpster rental provider.
  • For heavier debris, like dirt removal or concrete debris disposal, you may be better off going with a 10 yard dumpster. Some companies will waive overages for this type of debris and allow you to fill the container to a specified level instead.
  • Read the customer reviews here at These reviews are verified by Hometown, so they give you an honest and true depiction of other customer’s experiences with a particular dumpster rental provider.

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