For small cleanups—such as remodeling jobs, attic cleanouts, spring cleaning, and small deck or patio demo—small dumpsters less than 10 cubic yards offer the perfect balance between affordability and convenience.
Sometimes referred to as ‘mini dumpsters’, these versatile dumpsters feature a compact footprint and are specially designed to easily fit in driveways and other locations a 20, 30, or 40+ yarder may not fit.
There are some important considerations to take into account when deciding if a dumpster under 10 cubic yards in size is right for you...
If you’ve never rented a dumpster before, you may not understand the difference between commercial dumpsters and roll-off dumpsters.
In short, "commercial dumpsters" are the 3 yard, 4, yard, 6, yard, or 8 yard dumpsters you see in the back of restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, and other commercial businesses. Waste haulers provide weekly or monthly pick-ups of these bins much like that of residential curbside service.
"Roll-off containers" are the type of dumpsters that can be rented by homeowners, contractors, and businesses on a short-term basis. A standard rental period is seven days, but this can vary depending upon your needs and the rental company’s policies. The most common roll-off dumpster sizes are 10, 20, 30, and 40 yard containers.
"Mini dumpsters" are available from some dumpster rental companies and can range in size from 3 yard to 10 yard capacities. Mini dumpsters come in different styles, too, like bag-style dumpsters, trailers, and roll-off containers. In rare cases, the dumpster rental company may rent commercial dumpsters on a temporary basis.
One of the most popular mini dumpster options is the Bagster from Waste Management, but that's not the only mini dumpster available.
Small roll-off dumpsters can be found in most locations across the country, ranging from 3 to 10 cubic yards. Opting to hire a junk removal company is also a cost-effective and very convenient Bagster alternative, especially for small cleanups.
IMPORTANT: It’s generally not an option to dump construction, demolition, or renovation debris in your weekly trash cart. Many waste haulers do not allow for disposal of building materials, so this method of disposal is often not an option unless you call and set up a separate pick-up (at an additional cost).
Here’s a breakdown of each option:
Bagster and Other Bag-Style Dumpsters
The Bagster will hold up to 3 cubic yards of material. It’s not ideal for heavy materials, such as dirt or concrete. In fact, only 1 cubic yard of heavy debris is allowed in a Bagster.
A dumpster bag is best used for very small remodeling projects or light household cleanups where the debris is light and relatively small.
KEEP READING: Bagster vs. small dumpsters
Sizes vary, but mini dumpsters tend to have a 10 cubic yard (or smaller) capacity. Mini dumpsters are a type of roll-off dumpster marketed as “residential-friendly” or “driveway-friendly,” because these containers generally feature a more compact design than the traditional 10 yard roll-off container.
For example, a traditional 10 yarder may have a 12’ long x 8’ wide footprint, while a 10 yard mini dumpster may have a 10’ long x 8’ wide footprint. The mini dumpster maintains the same overall capacity by having taller sidewalls.
This often overlooked option can be a cost-effective and convenient means of getting rid of construction debris, household junk, furniture, appliances, and other small jobs. Junk removal companies handle all the loading and hauling for you, so it’s a quick and easy option.
Prices for junk removal services vary by location, type of debris, and the amount of waste you have. The average minimum charge nationwide is approximately $100 ($50 to $150) for a small cleanup. This could prove to be the most affordable disposal method for your project, so it’s something worth exploring.
Compared to larger dumpsters, the availability of mini dumpsters can be limited. Not every dumpster rental company offers dumpster options less than 10 cubic yards in size. A bit of research can dig up the ones that do. Search through the local dumpster rental companies at HometownDumpsterRental.com to find local haulers that do offer small dumpster rental.
Call at least two or three dumpster rental companies to increase your odds of finding the ideal dumpster size for the project at the best possible price.
Many dumpster rental companies offer a 10 yard bin as their smallest option. A select few companies – such as national franchise Bin There Dump That – specialize in residential-friendly dumpsters designed for safe placement on driveways and residential areas. There are local companies that offer similar services, such as Moon Mini Dumpsters of Louisville, KY and Mini Bins of Little Rock, AR.
Dumpster rental companies that offer mini dumpsters for rent may stock 6 yard, 9 yard, 10 yard, or 12 yard containers designed specifically for residential use. In general, the smaller the dumpster, the lower the cost.
Expect to pay $200 or more to rent a mini dumpster for a standard 7-day rental period. Choose to rent from a local company to save on costs.
So whether you find and choose to rent a bag dumpster, 6 yard, 8 yard, 10 yard or other small dumpster, the overall cost will be relatively the same between all of the sizes, give or take $50. And keep in mind, we’re talking about out-the-door pricing with all fees included – delivery, pickup, disposal, tax, etc.
For this reason, and some others mentioned below, it may be a good idea to consider going with a slightly larger dumpster than you originally intended.
When it comes to renting a dumpster, it's typically a good idea to choose a bigger dumpster than you think you'll need.
It’s tough to accurately estimate the amount of debris generated during a construction, demolition, renovation, or remodeling project, or home cleanout. It’s not uncommon to underestimate just how much junk your project will produce, but this can be a costly mishap.
FOR EXAMPLE: Let’s say you opt for a 3 yard Bagster for the cleanup, and it turns out you have 5 - 6 yards of total waste or debris in the end. This would require that you rent another Bagster to complete the job, and that means you’ll pay double for the Bagster, pick-up, and disposal. The average cost of a Bagster is $140 (varies by area), which means you could pay $280 or more in a situation like this. On the other hand, you could’ve rented a 10 cubic yard dumpster for $200 - $250 (average U.S. cost) and saved quite a bit of money, time, and hassle.
The 2 most critical things to keep in mind when choosing your dumpster:
- type of debris you'll be tossing
- how much debris you'll generate
Just know that it’s very common to go into a project and have things come up that may throw off your numbers.
For instance, during a bathroom renovation, you may find that the drywall is water-damaged and needs to be replaced. Maybe you didn’t factor this into the original debris estimate, and with a bag dumpster or 6 cubic yard mini dumpster, you wouldn't have enough space to fit all of the debris.
Erring on the side of caution and choosing a bigger dumpster is a good practice when renting a roll-off dumpster. It reduces the risk of incurring overage charges and/or having to rent a second dumpster to complete the cleanup.
In general, mini dumpsters, bag dumpsters, and small dumpsters can be extremely useful and cost-efficient during a wide range of projects and small cleanups. However, use good judgment when estimating the amount of debris your particular project will generate.
If on the fence as to which size dumpster is right for your project, a local dumpster rental provider will help you choose the ideal container size to accommodate the job.
Image source: Bin There Dump That