Why Big Box Store Dumpster Rental Isn't Always the Best Option
It’s tempting to run to your local Home Depot or Lowe's to rent a dumpster for small home projects, but you should know that options are very limited in these cases. It’s important to look past cost and convenience because both can be deceiving in this case.
Most Big Box stores across the country offer Bagster dumpsters from Waste Management. These are bag dumpsters with a capacity to hold up to 3 cubic yards of material weighing no more than 3,300 lbs. This is typically the only type of dumpster offered by large home improvement stores.
National waste haulers like Waste Management also offer dumpsters, although we’ve shown before how these rentals can be much more expensive compared to going with a local hauler. (Read that article.)
Whether 3 cubic yards sounds like an adequate amount of loading capacity or not, the truth is that it won’t accommodate very many jobs. It may be a valid option for a minor roof repair, small garage/shed cleanout (small items only), small patio demo, or light spring cleaning, but not much more than that.
Do your due diligence before renting a dumpster for a project. Rushing to your local Big Box store seems like the quick and easy solution, but it could end up being an expensive and time-consuming mistake.
Cost of Bagster – Beyond the $30 price tag
The initial cost of bag-style dumpsters is attractive, but don’t forget to factor in the pick-up costs associated with this type of dumpster. This cost can range from about $100 to over $300 depending on where you live.
Your all-in costs will approach the cost of a 10 yard dumpster in the end. Additionally, your cost-per-cubic-yard is higher than a roll-off dumpster rental by quite a large margin.
A quick example illustrates the difference in cost:
A Bagster dumpster costs around $170 to buy and have picked up in the Atlanta, GA area. A local dumpster rental company offers a 15 yard dumpster for $315, all costs included. With the larger dumpster, you get 5x the loading capacity for less than twice the cost.
What if you don’t need 15 cubic yards, like the example above, or even 10 yards? Why pay for the extra capacity?
These are great questions, and the answers will vary depending on the customer’s specific disposal needs. However, we find that going with the smallest container isn’t the most cost-efficient option in most cases.
It’s tough to estimate how much waste, junk, or debris will be generated during a cleanout, renovation, or other cleanup project. It’s easy to underestimate it. This can be an expensive situation should you need to rent a second dumpster to complete the job. Overweight fees also become a factor when trying to squeeze too much weight into a small dumpster.
Being that a Bagster can only hold a maximum of 3 cubic yards, you better be absolutely certain it will accommodate your disposal needs! If not, you may need to pay for a second Bagster; in which case you could’ve rented a larger 10 yard dumpster at a similar cost and easily had the capacity to finish the job. In fact, a larger bin may offer additional loading capacity to dispose of other trash, renovation debris, or junk you have lying around the house.
Read more about why paying a little extra to get a bigger dumpster is oftentimes the better, more cost-efficient option:
- How larger dumpsters can cost less than smaller dumpsters
- A warning about going with the cheapest dumpster rental
We’re not bashing Big Box stores or Bagster in particular
Far from it. Big Box home improvement stores are incredibly convenient, and Bagster can be a useful means of disposal for some projects. Bag dumpsters can be great for situations where you have a small pile of debris that needs to go but it either can’t fit in your weekly trash cart or that type/amount of debris is prohibited by your trash collector.
Before heading to Lowe's or Home Depot to purchase a Bagster, we suggest calling a few local dumpster rental companies to get an expert opinion. You can get a free no-obligation quote for various dumpster sizes to see which will meet your needs and budget. We also suggest reading verified customer reviews from people who've recently rented roll-off containers from dumpster rental companies near you.
If you find that a Bagster or other bag-style dumpster is best suited for your project, remember these tips:
- Avoid over-filling it. You could be asked to unload some of the waste if the driver feels it’s too full to safely pick up.
- Be mindful of weight if you’re loading heavy debris, such as concrete, roofing, or dirt (*not allowed in some markets). It adds up quickly! For example, 1 cubic yard of sandy/gravely dirt weighs 1 ton.
- Be sure Bagster pick-up service is available in your area!