Lower Your Cost to Rent a Dumpster in 2021

how to get a cheap dumpster

The national average cost of dumpster rental is $404, though prices can vary significantly depending on:

  • The dumpster size you rent.
  • Local landfill and/or recycling fees.
  • Which provider you rent from.

Average Cost to Rent a Dumpster

Container Size Average Cost
10 yard dumpster $305
20 yard dumpster $370
30 yard dumpster $440
40 yard dumpster $490

 

Small 10 yard dumpsters rent for an average cost of $305.

A medium-sized 20 yard dumpster is $370 on average.

The cost of a larger 30 yard dumpster is roughly $440.

The overall average cost to rent a dumpster in the United States is $405.

Though these averages give you an idea of what a dumpster costs to rent, your local prices may vary.

To get the best price for your dumpster rental, keep reading to learn our 7 insider tips.

1. Rent Local

Many people don't realize that there are three different types of companies that rent dumpsters, and understanding the distinction between them can save you money.

3 Types of Dumpster Rental Providers

  1. Independent, locally-owned dumpster services
  2. Large, national trash companies (Waste Management, Republic Services, etc.)
  3. Out-of-state brokers that book the dumpster and pass the order onto a local service provider

We always recommend hiring from a local dumpster company because they generally provide better customer service and better prices.

Your other two options—renting from a large, national hauler or from a dumpster broker—are almost always more expensive for a worse customer experience.

Big, national companies, like Republic Services and Waste Management, are excellent for regular weekly collection of residential trash.

For curbside trash pickup, these companies run highly efficient operations with very competitive prices, but it's a different story for temporary dumpster rental.

Compared to small and local disposal services, renting from the big guys costs quite a bit more.

We surveyed 48 U.S. metro areas and compared Waste Management's dumpster prices to local dumpster services.

Because 20 yard dumpsters are the smallest size container that Waste Management offers, that's the container size we compared.

On average, the cost to rent a 20 yard dumpster from Waste Management is $525 compared to $370 from a local hauler.

Dumpsters from local haulers are over $155 cheaper on average.

dumpster cost comparison

Along with better prices, local dumpster companies also tend to offer better customer service.

Many local companies are family operated businesses, so when you call, you typically talk to an owner or someone with direct access to the owner.

National companies can be more challenging and offer less attentive customer service.


Find local dumpster services in your area


2. Avoid High-Priced Brokers

As mentioned above, we recommend avoiding dumpster brokers and renting from a local company.

Dumpster brokers often appear to be local haulers, but they are actually an out-of-state middleman.

They take orders for dumpsters at an increased prices (generally 10-20% higher than local prices) and then pass that order on to local haulers, keeping the difference in price for themselves.

The unsuspecting homeowner or contractor is often unaware that they booked their dumpster with a high-priced middleman, not the actual service provider.

It can be difficult for renters to know which companies are brokers and which companies are legitimately local, but here's a helpful hint: Brokers tend to have toll-free numbers.

They also often (falsely) present themselves as "budget" or "discount" haulers.

Some of the most common dumpster brokers in the U.S. include:

  • Bargain Dumpster
  • Budget Dumpster Rental
  • Big Red Box
  • Discount Dumpster Shop
  • Dumpster Rental Guys
  • Same Day Dumpsters

We always recommend hiring a local dumpster service over dumpster brokers, but in some areas, local haulers aren't easily accessbile.

This may be because they are a one or two-man company that is operating at maximum capacity and don't have a dedicated staff to answer phones.

A reputable broker can be a good bridge to these companies.

Zters Waste Value is the only broker we've chosen to list on this website.

They have good customer service and have built their reputation honestly.

Zters answers their phone, they’re pleasant to work with, and they’ll make sure you get your dumpster delivered on the proper day.


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3. Call for Quotes and Be Prepared

Because so many factors affect your actual price, it’s usually necessary to compare rates by calling haulers directly.

Calling also allows you to directly confirm the company’s availability to deliver your size on your date (availability is not a given, many companies have full schedules).

Talking directly to the company can also give some insight into the level of service you can expect to receive.

Questions the Dumpster Company Will Ask You

  • Do you know what size you need?
  • What will you be putting in the dumpster?
  • Where are you located?
  • When do you need delivery?
  • How long do you need the dumpster?

Questions You Should Ask the Dumpster Company

  • How much weight is included in the price?
  • What happens if I go over the included weight? How much does it cost per ton?
  • How many days are included in my rental period?
  • What happens if I need to rent the dumpster for longer?

Many local dumpster services need your location and the type of debris you're putting in the dumpster to quote the right price.

Why?

  • The cost to dump can change based on the type and weight of your debris.
  • Travel time and gas to your location twice (delivery and pickup) are a significant expense.
  • Some cities and towns charge for permits and others don't.

Find local dumpster services in your area


4. Compare Apples to Apples on Quotes

We advise getting a quote from at least 2-3 local companies to make sure you get a fair deal.

We do not recommend immediately booking with the cheapest company.

Consider total costs, company reputation, customer service, and make sure you are comparing apples to apples on the quotes. 

What Affects Your Final Price

When you rent a roll-off dumpster, a specific amount of weight is generally included in your price.

This is the weight of your debris only. (Don't worry about the weight of the container itself.)

If you go over the included weight, you will be charged a fee for that extra weight.

Overweight charges are assessed only after your debris is weighed at the landfill, and some renters are surprised to receive an additional charge after the fact.

The fees to dump at landfills in your area are the single largest factor impacting the cost to rent a dumpster.

The dumpster service pays the landfill for the weight of your debris.

If landfill fees are $60 per ton in your area and your debris weighs 4 tons, the dumpster service will pay the landfill $240 ($60 x 4) for your debris.

It's an unavoidable cost that gets passed on directly to you.

The cost to dump and process waste varies widely by region.

In the U.S., landfill disposal fees range from $60-$100 per ton (1 ton = 2000 lbs).

If you live in a region with high landfill fees (Northeast, West Coast, and many places in between), your cost to rent a dumpster will be higher regardless of which disposal service you use.

Learn more: How to Estimate the Weight of a Dumpster Load to Avoid Overage Fees

Compare Price Quotes

When you rent a dumpster, the cost often includes a certain amount of weight in the price (e.g. up to 3 tons/6,000 lbs).

Your debris is weighed at the landfill, and if your debris weighs more than the amount of weight included in your quote, you will receive an additional charge for the extra weight.

Let's consider an example...

If Company A offers a 10 yard dumpster for...

  • $250 with 1 ton of weight included (2,000 lbs)
  • $50 per ton over included weight

And Company B offers a 10 yard dumpster for...

  • $275 with 2 tons of weight included (4,000 lbs)
  • $50 per ton over included weight

Which is the best price?

It depends on the weight of your debris.

If you're disposing of relatively light household junk, and it weighs in at the landfill at 1 ton, Company A would be the cheapest option.

If you're disposing of heavier construction debris, and it weighs in at 3 tons, your final cost with Company A would be $350 ($250 + ($50 x 2 tons overweight)).  Final price for Company B would be $325 ($275 + $50 X 1 ton overweight)).  

"Household junk typically weighs in fairly light... 1 to 2 tons.  Roof shingles, concrete, dirt, and construction debris are much heavier."

5. Avoid Renting a Dumpster That's Too Small

The cost of renting a dumpster increases with the size of the container, so it may seem smart to get the smallest dumpster you need, but this isn't always the case.

Estimating the volume of your junk or construction debris is notoriously difficult, and many underestimate what they have.

If you rent a dumpster that ends up being too small, you will have to pay double to rent the dumpster twice, so beware of skimping on the size to save a buck.

It may backfire.

We recommend sizing up unless you are confident the smaller dumpster has enough capacity.

On average, the cost difference between a 10 yard and 20 yard dumpster is less than $80.

If the 10 yard dumpster turns out to be too small for your project, then you'll have to pay for another dumpster, which could be $300 or more depending on where you live.

This is why the larger dumpster option is typically the safest choice.

Learn more: The Ultimate Guide to Dumpster Sizes

6. Donate or Sell Before Loading the Dumpster

If you can, sell any usable items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, or donate to local charities, rather than just throwing them out.

Not only are these options better for the environment, but they save you money, too.

Eliminating bulk and weight that would otherwise be going into your dumpster means you may be able to rent a smaller dumpster or pay less for weight.

7. Share with a Neighbor

Everyone has junk lying around the house that they've been meaning to get rid of.

Let your neighbors know you’re planning on renting a dumpster, and see if they’d be interested in sharing the dumpster and the cost.

If they have just one or two items, like a couple pieces of furniture, they could pay $50 of your $250 rental.

Or if they've got a little bit more to get rid of, you could split it down the middle and pay $125 each.

Either way, you save on costs and your neighbor reaps the benefits too.


Find local dumpster services in your area


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