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What Size Dumpster Do I Need? Dumpster Sizes Broken Down

what size dumpster do i need

What Size Dumpster Do I Need? Dumpster Sizes Broken Down

There are multiple reasons why you might need to rent a dumpster. Maybe you are just doing some spring cleaning or getting rid of unwanted belongings after an estate sale

Depending on how much junk you need to dispose of, you are probably asking yourself, “What size dumpster do I need?”. There are plenty of options to choose from when selecting the right size dumpster.

How Does Renting a Dumpster Work?

The best dumpster rental companies are very similar to the best moving companies. They have variances in availability, cost, and added features but offer similar types of services. 

If you rent a dumpster, the dumpster rental company will drop it off for you and leave it where you need it. You can either fill the dumpster up by yourself and have the company come back to pick it up or have the dumpster company fill it for you. 

There are many advantages of using a dumpster rental company, especially when you have a lot of things you are trying to get rid of. You won’t need to worry about how you will dispose of all the garbage yourself, and you will be assured that it will be appropriately disposed of. 

Most junk removal companies do everything to donate items that can still be used and not end up in landfills. 

blue dumpster

How Big of a Dumpster Do I Need?

When deciding which size dumpster you will need, you will need to consider some factors. If you are cleaning out a small space, like a one-bedroom apartment, you will need a smaller dumpster than cleaning out a large home, remodeling or doing a demolition. 

What Size Are Dumpsters?

Dumpster rental companies offer various dumpster sizes based on how large or small of a space it is that junk needs to be removed from. You might notice a difference in dumpster sizes that some dumpster rental companies offer. The availability of a company’s dumpster sizes depends on unit availability in your area. 

10 Cubic Yard Dumpster

A 10 cubic yard dumpster is about 17 feet by 7.5 feet by 3.5 feet. It can hold between 4,000 and 6,000 pounds and is best used for junk removal in small to medium-sized homes or landscaping projects. 

15 Cubic Yard Dumpster

A 15 cubic yard dumpster is about 16 feet by 7.5 feet by 4.5 feet. It can hold between 4,000 to 6,000 pounds and is best used for roofing jobs, small remodels in a home, or significant landscaping projects. 

20 Cubic Yard Dumpster

A 20 cubic yard dumpster is about 22 feet by 7.5 feet by 4.5 feet and can hold no more than 6,000 pounds. This sized dumpster is best used for pre-junk removal in a large home, renovations, and other construction projects throughout a home.

30 Cubic Yard Dumpster

A 30 cubic yard dumpster is about 22 feet by 7.5 feet by 6 feet and holds between 7,000 and 10,000 pounds. This sized dumpster is best used for large construction projects in a home, renovations, and cleanouts throughout the entire house. 

40 Cubic Yard Dumpster

A 40 cubic yard dumpster is about 22 feet by 7.5 feet by 8 feet and can hold between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds. This sized dumpster is best used for demolitions, major construction projects, and large-scale renovations.

dumpster rental

Choosing a Dumpster Size 

If you are wondering, “What size roll-off dumpster do I need?” you should use these factors to narrow it down. 

Type of Project You Are Working On

When choosing a dumpster size, you need to know what kind of project you are working on. If you are planning on renovating your entire home or preparing for long-distance moving, you will need a larger dumpster than if you are doing some spring cleaning. 

Ask the Dumpster Renal Company for an On-Site Inventory 

Dumpster rental companies are used to figuring out what size dumpsters their customers will need. When choosing a dumpster rental company, ask if they do on-site inventories. Most companies will be happy to come out, assess the situation, and recommend a dumpster size. 

However, it is essential to remember that on-site inventories are just estimates. It is not guaranteed that the recommended dumpster will be the perfect fit for you. If you need to add more junk and a larger dumpster, you will need to cover the additional cost of adding another dumpster. 

Take Your Own Inventory 

If you are doing a pre-moving cleanout of your home or even decluttering, it is good to take your own inventory. Take inventory of certain items that you know will be going in the dumpster to estimate what size dumpster you will need to rent. 

You should look at every room in your house, even in the closets, and write down an inventory of what you plan on throwing out. Be sure to include if you have appliances, bulky furniture, rugs, or oversized items in your inventory list. 

Think of if you plan on cleaning out anything in your yard, basement, attic, etc. If you have many large items that you are going to be getting rid of, you will likely need a large dumpster rental. 

green dumpster

What Happens If I Choose a Dumpster That Is Too Small?

Many people accidentally choose a smaller dumpster than they need because it can be overwhelming choosing from the many different sizes of dumpsters. If that happens, there are two things you can do.

Switch Out Dumpsters

This is when the dumpster rental company comes and switches out your filled-up small dumpster with an empty new one. You will be charged an additional price because you need to rent a different dumpster. 

An Increase in Disposal Costs

If you exceed the limit of what your dumpster can hold, you will be charged an additional fee for exceeding the limit. For example, if you cram 13 cubic yards of junk into a 10 cubic yard dumpster, you will be charged a fee for overfilling the dumpster by 3 cubic feet.

Reminders When Renting a Dumpster

Now that you likely have a good idea about what size dumpster you will need to rent, here are some helpful reminders to keep in your thoughts when you rent a dumpster.

  • Do not put any hazardous metals or flammable or toxic materials in the dumpster
  • You can book a truck haul instead of a dumpster if you don’t need a dumpster for long
  • Costs vary depending on what size you need and how long you need it for

Final Thoughts

After discussing dumpster sizes and how to choose the right size, the answer to “What size dumpster do I need?” should be apparent. To search for different dumpster rental companies in your area, consider using Agoyu. 

Agoyu is a free online tool that can help you find the best and most qualified moving companies in your area. Once you’ve cleaned out your home and you’re left with all the good stuff you want to take, Agoyu will help you get an accurate quote on your moving costs. Give the Agoyu moving app a try today!

Bill Mulholland

Bill Mulholland is the owner of ARC Relocation, a company that relocates thousands of employees annually, to every state in the United States, and more than 90 foreign countries, for organizations like DHL,, GNC, and the U.S. Government. Bill also owns a real estate brokerage and title company in Virginia.

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