What Size Dumpster Do I Need?

Choosing the right size dumpster for your clean-up project is very important. Huge projects like home renovations or commercial constructions can be incredibly stressful, and the last thing you want to do is make it worse by not picking the right size dumpster rental.

Most companies operate with an average size and volume for their dumpsters, making preplanning fairly simple. However, it is recommended that you get in touch with your local waste hauling company to confirm their dumpster dimensions before hiring. This is because exact dumpster sizes may vary between manufacturers. 

Measurements To Know: Cubic Yards

Most wastage hauling companies use cubic yards to measure their dumpster sizes. Cubic yards is the measurement of the total volume. It will show you how much debris and waste a dumpster can hold based on its internal and external dimensions.

Common dumpster sizes include 10 cubic yards, 20 cubic yards, and even 40 cubic yards. 40-yard dumpster sizes are best for large-scale projects when you need to get rid of large amounts of debris. If you’re looking for more residential dumpster sizes, opt for a 10-yard dumpster.

How to Work Out a Dumpster’s Size in Cubic Yards

Before you rent a dumpster for your residential or commercial project, you need to check how much waste it can hold. Depending on what kind of project you’re working on and how much waste will be produced, the container size you need can vary greatly.

To work out the approximate cubic yards of your roll-off dumpster size, you need to know the external measurements of the container. Most dumpster hire companies will have this information readily available and are likely to help you make the best choice for your project.

To work out the total cubic yards of your container, you need to:

  • Multiply the length x the width x the depth

These measurements will typically be given in feet, meaning this sum will work out the total cubic feet of your container.

To convert the cubic feet into cubic yards, you need to:

  • Divide the total cubic feet by 27

This will give you an approximation of the total number of cubic yards your container has. It should give you a good idea of how much construction or yard waste it can hold.

When working out how much waste your dumpster rental can hold, you are relying on the external measurements of the container. This will usually result in an overestimation – so keep this in mind when filling up your dumpster!

If you want a more accurate estimation of how much waste your dumpster can hold, use the container’s internal measurements.

A great way to do this is by shaving off around 6-8 inches from the external measurements. These new dimensions will give you a good idea of how big the inside of your container is and how much waste it can hold.

Things To Consider When Hiring A Dumpster

Estimating the volume of waste a container can hold can be challenging, but it is a vital step that will help you find the find the right roll-off dumpster for you. Discovering the volume of your container will help you make the most out of your dumpster rental and will ensure smooth sailing throughout your project.

Most wastage hauling companies recommend you choose a slightly larger container, especially if you’re unsure about which dumpster size you need. Doing this will save you a lot of stress and, in the long run, a lot of money too.

Trying to cram too much debris into a small container can result in additional charges from the dumpster service you’re using. The company will either leave the overfilled rubbish on your site for you to deal with later at an additional charge, or they’ll leave your container behind, as it does not abide by their safety regulations.

Even if the company leaves your container behind, you will still be charged a pickup fee for making them come out to your site. Some companies operate with overage fees too, meaning having a small container can cost you a lot more than if you’d chosen a larger container in the first place.

Furthermore, if your waste exceeds the volume of your roll-off dumpster and you need another one, there will be no discount. Choosing the wrong size container can be an incredibly costly mistake. However, it’s something that can be easily avoided with careful planning and a few helpful tips.

Piling your debris and waste higher to ensure it fits in your container can also be a mistake. There are legal regulations that prevent haulage drivers from being able to transport goods over a certain height. It can be an incredibly dangerous driving hazard.

If the driver cannot transport all your waste, they may unload the container themselves and leave you with a lot of mess to clear up on your own – at yet another cost.

Each haulage company has its own measurements and dimensions for its dumpsters, so it is recommended that you get in touch with them before hiring. Your local hire company should be able to provide you with the necessary information needed for you to choose the right-sized dumpster for your project.

Small Spaces

Make sure you note the dimensions of your space, yard, or job site, as well as the container size you are looking to hire. Dumpster rentals should not be left in overly tight spaces, as that’ll make your job very difficult, especially if you’re looking at hiring large, 30-yard dumpsters.

Most containers are around 8 feet wide, so this is the length you really need to be concerned about. If you have a small alleyway or front yard, you don’t just need to ensure that the container will fit in the space but also whether there’s enough room for transportation. There should be enough room for a truck to come in and pick up the container without any issues.

If you rent a 40-yard roll-off dumpster, you’ll likely need a lot more space than if you were to rent a 20 cubic yard or 10-yard dumpster.

Another thing to consider is the door of the container. Most dumpsters have an 8-foot door that swings open to allow for waste disposal. This can be useful if you have a lot of heavy waste and don’t want to chuck it over the top of the container. If this feature would benefit you, make sure your site has enough room to allow for it.

Material Types

Most companies will have strict rules and regulations about what you can and can’t put into your roll-off dumpster. Even if your job entails something as simple as changing roofing shingles, make sure to check that the materials are all above board. This is especially important when it comes to things like flammable materials and medical waste.

A Guide To Different Sized Dumpsters

Renting a dumpster for your project can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time customer. With things like dimensions and weight limit to consider, it can be difficult to find the right dumpster size for the task ahead. Would you benefit from a 15-yard residential dumpster, or would a commercial dumpster be more up your street?

Commercial and Residential Dumpster Sizes

Most companies will offer dumpster rentals for both commercial and residental projects.

Typical dumpster sizes include:

  • 10-yard dumpster
  • 20-yard dumpster
  • 30-yard dumpster
  • 40-yard dumpster

A 10-yard dumpster is usually the starting point when it comes to dumpster sizes, but some companies may offer 8-yard dumpsters. This size is beneficial if you’re dealing with small spaces or minor jobs, such as roofing shingles or a small basement cleanout, and don’t want to pay for a 10 cubic yard dumpster.

40-yarders tend to be the right dumpster choice for commercial cleanups and construction debris, as they offer a lot of space.

All roll-off dumpster rentals are built to withstand heavy materials, but make sure to check the weight limit of each size.

We’ll run you through the common dumpster sizes and dumpster dimensions, so when it comes to choosing the right dumpster size for your project, you won’t have to hesitate.

Roll Off Dumpster Sizes

The 10-yard dumpster is our smallest available size and is suitable for residential projects and minor junk removal. This dumpster can hold, approximately:

  • 250 square feet of outdoor decking
  • A single layer of roof shingles, as seen in most homes (average measurements of 1500 square feet)
  • Small kitchen or bathroom renovation waste

The measurements for a this size dumpster are usually: 8 ft. x 4 ft. x 10 ft.

A 12-yard dumpster is suitable for small residential projects, including attic and garage clean outs or the disposal of construction and renovation debris. The small size of a 12-yard dumpster makes it easy for businesses and households to fit it anywhere. It holds roughly three pickup truck loads of yard waste or debris.

The dimensions of a 12-yard dumpster are: 8 ft. x 4 ft. x 12 ft.

A 15-yard dumpster is ideal for small remodels and cleanup projects. It can fit light demolition materials. Like the 12-yard dumpster, this one is another great choice if you need to tackle a garage cleanout. The low height makes disposal easy in any setting. It holds roughly 4.5 pickup truck loads of waste.

The dimensions for a 15-yard container are: 8 ft. x 4 ft. x 15 ft.

A 20-yard dumpster is suitable for larger cleanup projects and can hold approximately 10 pickup trucks’ worth of waste. From small home additions and minor demolition projects to estate cleanout jobs, this residential dumpster is sure to make your project go more smoothly.

This container is the most popular size for a range of projects due to its flexibility, cost, and compact footprint.

The dimensions for a 20 yard roll-off container are: 8 x 4 x 20 ft.

A 30-yard dumpster is ideal for a total house renovation or smaller commercial projects. This dumpster can approximately hold:

  • Full set of home windows
  • New home construction debris
  • Waste from a garage demolition or rebuild

The dimensions for a 30-yard roll off dumpster are: 8 ft. x 6 ft. x 30 ft.

The 40-yard dumpster is the largest available container at most dumpster rental companies. It is suitable for large residential, commercial, or industrial cleanups. It’s a great commercial dumpster to tackle large home renovation projects, construction projects, and more.

The dimensions for a 40 cubic yard roll off dumpster are: 8 ft. x 8 ft. x 40 ft.

Key Services & Skills

With decades of experience under our belt, we can provide you with quick, headache-free waste management solutions.

Our friendly customer service team are on hold to answer all your questions and concerns regarding our dumpster rentals.
Our specifically-chosen locations in Philadelphia, Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware mean we can offer immediate dumpster delivery.
With competitive pricing, superior customer service, and fast delivery, is it any wonder why we’re the best waste management company in the area?