Rent a Trash Bin | Guide for Beginners

Rent a trash bin - a guide for beginner's

It’s not a difficult or complicated process to rent a trash bin for any type of bulk waste disposal project, but we’ll cover all the bases here to ensure your rental experience is smooth and seamless. There are several things first-time dumpster renters should know before they hand over several hundred dollars for the rental.

Start by knowing the details of your project

It seems obvious that you must know the project before getting started, but it’s the details that really matter. It’s important to know the type of waste or debris, approximate quantity of it (ideally in cubic yards), and duration of the project. With this information, an experienced dumpster rental company can help you choose the ideal trash bin size to accommodate the project.

For reference, 1 cubic yard is equal to a 3 ft. x 3 ft. x 3 ft. area of space. This is approximately equivalent to the size of a standard kitchen range. The image below may be helpful in determining volume of waste or debris.

What does 10 cubic yards look like?

10 cubic yards

Certain types of debris shouldn’t be mixed in with other types. For example, concrete debris from a patio demolition should not be mixed with general household trash. The reason is that concrete debris is recycled and reused instead of it being dropped off at a municipal landfill as general household trash would be.

This is why it’s important to know every type of waste or debris you plan to dispose of with the rented trash bin. In some cases, the cleanup may require two or more dumpsters to complete the job (i.e., one for concrete and one for a home cleanout project).

Key Takeaway: Knowing the details of your disposal project and communicating this to the rental company can make the trash bin rental process much smoother, as well as ensure you get the properly sized container(s) for the job.

Brief primer on dumpster rental sizes

Trash bins range in size from 3 cubic yards up to 50 cubic yards. The style of dumpster also varies: Roll-off, commercial front-load dumpster, bag-style dumpster (e.g., Bagster), trailer dumpster, and ‘lowboy’ (short-sided roll-off dumpster ideal for heavy loads).

Types of dumpster rentals

This list isn’t meant to confuse you; it’s just to show that there are quite a bit of options out there. A reputable dumpster rental company will help you choose the perfect trash bin size for your particular project.

The most common type of rentable trash bin is a roll-off dumpster. They are called “roll-off” dumpsters because they literally roll off the back of the truck and onto the driveway or other flat location. They feature steel wheels and feet, and most have doors that swing open for easier loading.

Widely available roll-off dumpster sizes include:

  • 10 cubic yard – 12 ft. x 8 ft. x 3.5 ft.
  • 20 cubic yard – 22 ft. x 8 ft. x 4 ft.
  • 30 cubic yard – 22 ft. x 8 ft. x 6 ft.
  • 40 cubic yard – 22 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 ft.

Sizes may vary. To learn more, visit our Ultimate Guide to Dumpster Rental Sizes.

Key Takeaway: There are various types and sizes of dumpsters available for just about any type of cleanup. Roll-off containers are the most commonly available type. The right size dumpster ensures a cost-efficient and fast dumpster rental experience.

Call multiple dumpster rental providers

This can make a big difference in the overall cost of the trash bin rental. For example, the cost of a 10 yard trash bin could be $250 for a 7-day rental at one local dumpster rental provider, while right down the road there’s one available for $220 from a different rental provider.


RELATED: Examples of dumpster rental pricing across the country


By calling at least two or three dumpster providers, you can get a better idea of market prices for roll-off container rentals in your local area. When calling, ask these questions at minimum:

  • What size dumpsters are available? Which is best for my project?
  • What is the standard rental period included in the price (e.g., 7 days, 10 days, etc.)?
  • How much weight is allowed? What is the cost per-ton for going over? *Important for jobs involving heavy debris, such as concrete, dirt, or roofing shingles.
  • Are there any prohibited items?
  • Can you drop off my chosen dumpster on [this date]?
  • What payment types do you accept? When is payment due?

"Lowest price" doesn’t always mean "best option." Choose a dumpster rental company based on their price, but also consider container availability, whether or not they can accommodate your schedule, customer reviews (check your area), and if they can meet the needs of your cleanup project.

Key Takeaway: Call several dumpster providers to get the best deal. However, don’t choose based on price alone. When renting a trash bin, the quality of service is worth paying a few extra bucks for.

Abide by the loading height limit and weight restriction

Every container rental has a weight limit and height loading limit. It’s pretty universal that the load height should not exceed the top of the container. Regarding weight limits (a.k.a. weight allowance), this varies by dumpster rental company.

Overfilled dumpster

Common Weight Allowances:

  • 10 yard: 2 tons (4,000 lbs.)
  • 20 yard: 4 tons (8,000 lbs.)
  • 30 yard: 4 tons (8,000 lbs.)
  • 40 yard: 6 tons (12,000 lbs.)

Generally speaking: The bigger the container, the greater the weight allowance. Some dumpster companies allow for an unlimited amount of weight (excluding heavy debris), although most follow along the guidelines of the limits mentioned above.

Key Takeaway: Avoid additional fees by loading the dumpster according to the weight and height limits set by the rental provider.

Finish loading the dumpster on time

Every trash bin rental is given a rental period that may range from one day to 14 days or more. The most common rental period is seven days long. However, this varies by dumpster rental provider, and most are flexible in meeting the needs of your project timeline.

It’s important to complete the disposal within the agreed upon rental period. The dumpster may be subject to a daily fee for keeping the dumpster longer. This fee generally ranges from $10 to $20 per day.

Even keeping the dumpster for three extra days can cost as much as $60 in addition to the base rate of the rental. These costs can really add up quickly.

One final note is to call the dumpster company when nearing completion of loading the container. You can then be assured the dumpster will be picked up on time and no additional fees will apply.

Key Takeaway: Plan ahead to ensure your disposal will be completed within the dumpster rental provider’s stated rental period. A daily “late” fee may be assessed for keeping the dumpster past the due date.

Share your experience with others

After the trash bin is picked up and the transaction is complete, consider sharing your experience with others. It’s immensely helpful for other first-time renters to read about the experience others had with a particular dumpster rental provider.

We publish reviews here at HometownDumpsterRental.com in an effort to make the dumpster rental company vetting process quick and easy for customers. The quickest way to share your opinion of a particular dumpster rental company you’ve used is to navigate to their company profile page and click the “Leave a Review” button. (See image below.)

dumpster rental company reviews

Conclusion: Educate yourself before calling and booking a dumpster. It will save you time and money in the end. Lastly, share your experience with others by posting a review here at HometownDumpsterRental.com.

Find a local dumpster rental company near you