Renting a Dumpster for Interior Demolition Debris: Keys to Success

keys to success when renting a dumpster for demo debris

So you’re planning on doing some interior demolition, and you’re curious how to get rid of all the debris that will inevitably pile up. If you plan on doing a medium to large interior demolition project -- like remodeling a bathroom, kitchen, or other area of your home -- one of the best ways to get rid of the debris is by renting a roll-off container.

Read on to learn the tips and tricks to having a successful, stress-free dumpster rental experience.

Don't use a small trailer unless it's a very small project.

8 or 10 yard trailers are common among small, local demolition companies, and they can come in handy for small debris removal jobs. But for those projects that produce more than 8 yards worth of debris, as most interior demolition projects do, renting a dumpster is almost always the more cost-efficient and convenient option.

Here's why...

It's quite common to underestimate the amount of debris a particular project will generate. And this mistake can rack up the cost of debris disposal quite quickly.

When you hire a company to perform the debris removal with a trailer (let's say they quote you $200), you are signing up to pay $200 per haul, which means if it takes multiple hauls to the landfill to complete the debris removal, you're paying $200 for each trip.

This is not how dumpster rental works. You can opt for the larger container -- say a 20 or 30 yarder -- rather than the 10 yard trailer, and probably get the disposal finished in one shot. You pay one price and it includes the cost of the dumpster, mileage, and disposal. The key is always over-estimating the amount of debris you think will be generated during a renovation or demolition project. It will ensure you don't incur overage charges or require multiple trips to the landfill.

KEEP READING: Bagster vs Dumpster: Buy a Dumpster Bag or Rent a Small Dumpster

Choose the right size dumpster for the job.

Best dumpster sizes for interior demolition and remodels

There are several dumpster sizes to choose from, and each size has a specific weight limit — or weight that is included in the price — that varies from company-to-company.

The dumpster you rent must be big enough to hold the debris from your demo project, and it must also include a weight limit high enough to accommodate your debris in the smallest number of trips possible.

Let’s look at a few of the most common interior demolition projects to determine the dumpster size that is typically the best choice…

Bathroom remodels

If you’re doing a small ½-bath remodel, you can get away with using a 10-yard container for the debris. However, for larger bathroom remodels, a 20-yard container is the smarter option.

When to use a 10-yarder:

  • ½ baths
  • Small full baths (5 ft. x 5 ft. or smaller)

When to use a 20-yarder:

  • Medium to large full baths (10 ft. x 10 ft. or smaller)

KEEP READING: 5 Beyond-Easy Ways to Save on Bathroom Demolition Costs

Kitchen remodels

For a small kitchen remodel, you will likely be able to use a 20-yard dumpster without going over the weight limit, but for a large kitchen remodel, you will certainly need a 30-yard container, if not a 40-yarder.

When to use a 20-yarder:

  • Small kitchens with minimal appliances

When to use a 30-yarder:

  • Medium kitchens with some appliances

When to use a 40-yarder:

  • Large kitchens with several appliances

KEEP READING5 Tips for Saving Big on the Cost of Kitchen Demolition

Medium to large home remodels

For general home remodels that involve demolishing medium to large amounts of the home’s interior, you will likely want to go with a 30 or 40 yard dumpster.

When to use a 30-yarder:

  • Small to mid-size home remodels

When to use a 40-yarder:

  • Major home renovations
  • When a lot of heavy materials are involved, such as concrete or plaster


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How dumpster rental works.

The #1 way to ensure your dumpster rental goes smoothly is to simply familiarize yourself with how the dumpster rental process works and how dumpster rental providers typically price their services.

Here's what the disposal process looks like:

Demolition debris disposal dumpster rental process

  1. After you schedule to have a dumpster delivered, the dumpster company delivers a container to your home.
  2. You then load the demo debris into the dumpster, making sure to abide by the dumpster’s weight limits.
  3. When the debris is gone or the dumpster is at capacity, call the company to inform them you’re ready for the dumpster to be picked up, and they will come hoist it onto their truck.
  4. The company then drives the dumpster to the landfill or appropriate recycling facility.

This is where a lot of the cost comes into play, so take note!

  • When the company gets to the debris drop-off site, the truck and dumpster drive onto a scale, and the total weight of the dumpster, truck, and debris is measured.
  • The truck then empties the dumpster, and as it goes to leave the drop-off site, it drives over another scale and measures how much the truck and dumpster weigh without the debris.
  • The difference between the first weight and the second weight reveals how much the debris weighed, aka the weight you will be billed for. Be aware that if the weight of your debris is more than the “weight limit” included in your quote, you will be responsible for overage fees (if applicable). These typically range from $50 to $100 per ton over the weight allowance.

5. If you still have debris at the demo site, the company drives the dumpster back to your home, repeating this process until all the debris is gone.

KEEP READING: What can and can't be put in construction dumpsters?

Understand all the charges.

Dumpster rental prices have various factors that come into play, not just the disposal fees for the weight of the debris. They also depend on:

  • The size of the container
  • How far the roll-off truck has to drive
  • Disposal fees in your area

When it comes to demolition debris disposal, oftentimes the bigger dumpster is the better choice.

As mentioned, when in doubt, it is always wise to rent a dumpster one size bigger than you think you'll need. Not only does that debris add up fast, but dumpsters also have a way of making you want to throw out other junk that you've been meaning to toss over the years.

Of course a 40-yard dumpster will cost more to rent than a 20-yard dumpster, but it may save you money in the long run. That way you'll be able to get rid of all the debris in a single trip to the landfill. The cost of fueling a roll-off truck is steep, so minimizing the amount of trips to the landfill can save the dumpster company money, and those savings are passed onto you.

Find the right local dumpster rental provider for you and your project with the help of It's always a good idea to speak with at least 2 - 3 different companies about their pricing and availability to ensure you find the perfect company for your interior demolition project.