Renting a Dumpster for Roofing Shingles: Everything You Need to Know

Dumpster rental for roofing shingles

Even once you’ve nailed down the final strip of shingles, there’s still work to be done.

Getting rid of the old roofing shingles can be quite the chore unless you rent the right roll-off dumpster.

This guide will focus on the important aspects of renting a dumpster for shingle roofing projects.

We’ll cover the cost of renting a dumpster, how to estimate the weight of scrap roofing shingles, how to save money on dumpster rentals, and more.

Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or a contractor working on a roofing project, the information below is sure to help take the guesswork out of renting a roll-off container for shingle roof replacements.

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The Type of Roofing Shingle Matters

Not all roofing shingles are created equal, and not just in terms of quality and appearance.

The two main types of roofing shingles on the market are 3-tab asphalt shingles and architectural-style shingles.

You most likely have one or the other.

3-tab vs architectural roofing shingles

3-tab Shingles

This is a more traditional shingle you’d find on many homes.

It’s a more budget-friendly option and it’s also a relatively lightweight shingle, so it’s easier to stay under the dumpster rental company’s weight limit compared to premium-style shingles.

Architectural Shingles

This is a newer type of roofing shingle that gives a more “premium” look to roofs.

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

Be careful not to underestimate the weight of these shingles—overage costs can rack up pretty quickly. (Read about overage charges below.)

Roofing “Square” vs. Square Footage

what does a roofing square mean

In the roofing industry, “square” is the standard unit of measurement. One square is equal to 100 square feet. For example, a 2,000 square foot roof is equal to 20 square.

Other useful roofing and dumpster related information:

How Much Does a Bundle of Shingles Weigh?

Roofing shingles are generally sold in bundles.

Three bundles are equal to one square.

Each bundle is relatively heavy, weighing in at 60 to 80 lbs depending upon the type of shingle.

Knowing approximately how many squares of shingles you have to dispose of makes it easier to communicate that info to the dumpster rental company, who can then recommend the right sized container.

How Much Does a Square of Shingles Weigh?

A square of shingles weighs 250 lbs. to 400 lbs. depending upon the type of shingle (see below).

An important thing to keep in mind is that many roofs have multiple layers of shingles, so you must factor that in when determining weight and choosing a dumpster.

For example, a 20 square roof with two layers of shingles will actually produce shingle waste equal to 40 squares.

Know how many layers of existing shingles are on your roof prior to ordering the dumpster to ensure you choose the right one and avoid having to get a second dumpster later.

Still unsure of what size dumpster you need?

Which Dumpster Size is Right for My Roofing Project?

3-tab shingles weigh up to 250 lbs per square

Roofing Squares (3-Tabs)

Shingle Debris Weight

Ideal Dumpster Size


1.25 tons

10 yard


2.5 tons

10 yard


3.75 tons

15 yard


5 tons

20 yard


6.25 tons

20 yard or bigger


7.5 tons

30 yard or bigger

These dumpster size suggestions are based on capacity alone and don’t factor in weight allowances.

Dumpster rental companies vary when it comes to included weight allowances.

For example, a dumpster rental company may rent a 20-yard container for $400 with an included 4-ton weight allowance, while a competing company rents the same size container for $300 but only includes 2 tons of weight.

To avoid potential overage charges, always ask the rental provider about the container’s tonnage limits before renting a dumpster.

Architectural Shingles Weigh Up to 400 lbs Per Square

Architectural-style roofing shingles are on average about 40% heavier compared to 3-tab shingles, so you’ll need a slightly larger dumpster to accommodate the extra bulk.

Roofing Squares (Architectural)

Shingle Debris Weight

Ideal Dumpster Size


2 tons

10 yard


4 tons

12 yard


6 tons

20 yard


8 tons

20 yard or bigger


10 tons

30 yard


12 tons

30 yard or bigger

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Dumpster Prices: Cost Factors and Advice for Saving on a Rental

Dumpster sizes, prices and capacity for roofing shingles

The cost to rent a dumpster is highly variable and depends on many factors, like your geographic location, container size, weight allowance, duration of the rental, and more.

Examples of rental costs for 10 yard bins in different parts of the country:

  • Tulsa, OK: $375, includes up to 4000 lbs of debris ($35 per ton additional weight)
  • Boston, MA:  $325, includes up to 2000 lbs of debris ($95 per ton additional weight)
  • Yonkers, NY:  $350, includes up to 1500 lbs of debris ($95 per ton additional weight)
  • Chicago, IL:  $280, includes up to 4000 lbs of debris ($50 per ton additional weight)
  • Columbus, OH:  $255, includes up to 2000 lbs of debris ($50 per ton additional weight)
  • Dallas, TX: $215, includes up to 6000 lbs of debris ($27 per ton additional weight)
  • Warren, MI:  $275, includes up to 8000 lbs of debris ($30 per ton additional weight)
  • San Diego, CA:  $495, includes up to 12,000 lbs of debris ($60 per ton additional weight)

**Overage charges vary by location but can be as high as $100 per ton for going over the weight allowance.

The cost of renting a larger container (e.g., 20, 30, and 40 yards) is roughly $50 to $100 more for each 10-cubic-yard increment above that of a 10 yard dumpster. For instance, a 30-yard container in Boston, MA would cost roughly $425 to $525.

Get more info on dumpster rental prices in your area: The Big List of Dumpster Rental Costs in All 50 States

save money

Save on Dumpster Rental Costs Using These Tips:

  1. Call multiple dumpster rental companies and use these competing quotes as leverage to get a better deal.
  2. When in doubt, go with a bigger size. Getting a larger dumpster reduces the chance of incurring overage charges or having to rent a second dumpster later.
  3. If you're a contractor that wants to rent a dumpster on a regular basis, ask the rental provider if they’d be willing to cut you a deal if you do future business with them. Any reputable dumpster rental company will jump at the chance for steady, reoccurring business.
  4. Ask the rental company if they can give a discount if you keep your asphalt shingles separate from other wastes (more info below).

Recycle Instead of Landfilling and Save Money!

recycle and save money

Did you know that in many cities, the tipping fees associated with disposing asphalt shingles at local landfills are more than twice as much as recycling those same shingles? It’s true!

  • EXAMPLE #1: In Chicago, the price of dumping a load of scrapped shingles at a Clean Construction and Demolition Debris (CCDD) facility costs about 1/10th that of landfilling it, according to the Illinois EPA.
  • EXAMPLE #2: The Scholl Canyon Landfill in Glendale, CA accepts general municipal waste at about $48 per ton, but it charges just $8.50 per ton for clean asphalt loads (as of 2014).

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.

Recycled asphalt shingles, or RAS, is a process that’s becoming widespread across the country.

All of this saves the dumpster rental company money, and oftentimes, these savings are passed on to you.

So, always ask the dumpster rental provider about recycling your scrap roofing shingles.

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