What Size Dumpster Do I Need? (Your Decision Guide)

March 29, 2023

Many roll-off bin rental customers ask, what size dumpster do I need? This is vital to consider, as an overly small dumpster will fill up quickly. On the other hand, you don’t want to pay for a dumpster size you don’t need. Additionally, it’s important that your chosen dumpster fit your needs easily, whether you need it for a major home renovation, landscaping project, or garage cleanout.

With this in mind, check out this comprehensive guide to choosing the right dumpster size for your project. Then, you can discuss your needs with a dumpster company near you. Their trained crew can also help you choose the right size, style, and features of a rented rubbish bin.


landscaping waster removal

Factors to Consider: What Size Dumpster Do I Need?

There is no “one size fits all” answer when it comes to the size dumpster you need. Instead, note some factors to keep in mind. These details will help you choose the best roll-off bin or another container for your project.

Amount of Waste

First and foremost, consider the amount of waste your project might produce. If you’re just cleaning out the garage, you might only need a small dumpster. On the other hand, a renovation, estate sale, or other residential projects might require something larger.

When considering the amount of waste produced by your project, don’t overlook its weight as well as its size! Smaller dumpsters might not easily manage heavy yard waste, concrete blocks, and the like. Even if you don’t need a large dumpster for its size, you might choose something bigger if it can more readily manage heavier debris.

Project Duration

Also, note your project’s duration. You might choose a larger dumpster for longer projects, so it doesn’t fill up constantly. A larger dumpster means less hassle with scheduling a pickup and new dumpster drop-off with your rental company.

Space Available

Additionally, you’ll need to consider available space for the dumpster. Commercial-size bins might not fit in residential driveways. Even if you can fit a larger bin in the driveway, will it block access to the garage or sidewalk? Might your neighbors object to something that large sitting on your property for days or weeks?

County or Community Restrictions

Lastly, remember that cities and counties sometimes restrict dumpster rentals. For instance, many cities require a dumpster to sit in a driveway and not in the street. You might want to measure your property’s driveway so you can choose a dumpster size accordingly!

There may be restrictions if you live in a gated community or pay a monthly HOA fee, so it's important to check with the management. They may want you to get a dumpster permit.

Common Dumpster Sizes and Their Capacity

Now that you have a general idea of what to consider when it comes to dumpster rentals, check out their common sizes. Also, these measurements are in cubic yards and not linear yards. This means a cube with every side measuring one yard. In other words, a cubic yard is a square that’s three feet across, three feet deep, and three feet tall.

Common dumpster sizes include:

  • 10-Yard Dumpster- 14 ft x 7.5 ft x 3.5 ft
  • 12-Yard Dumpster- 14 ft x 7.5 ft x 4 ft
  • 15-Yard Dumpster- 16 ft x 7.5 ft x 4.5 ft
  • 20-Yard Dumpster- 22 ft x 7.5 ft x 4.5 ft

If you’re still struggling to picture these sizes, note that a 10-yard dumpster is roughly equivalent to 4 standard pickup truck beds. A 20-yard dumpster is about 6-8 pickup truck beds, and so on.

Ten-yard and 12-yard dumpsters are good for smaller cleanout or decluttering projects. You might also choose a 10-yard or 12-yard dumpster for after a move, to manage boxes and packing materials. These smaller sizes are also good for simple yard cleanups and landscaping removals.

A 15-yard dumpster is better suited for standard renovation projects or larger cleanouts. These are excellent for holding construction debris, furniture pieces, and so on. If you’re planning a large estate cleanout, or for commercial purposes, consider at least a 20-yard dumpster. A 20-yard dumpster is considered a commercial dumpster size and more suited for large-scale renovations, roofing projects, demolitions, and similar projects.


what size dumpster do i need

How to Estimate the Amount of Waste You Have

Perhaps the biggest challenge in choosing a rented dumpster is estimating the waste your project might produce. Picturing that waste in a pickup truck bed is one helpful method. As said, a small 10-yard dumpster is equal to about 4 pickup trucks. If you’re tossing out large furniture or other items that you know would overload a pickup, choose a size up!

You might also consider the measurement of new building materials when planning a renovation. For instance, one roofing square of shingles equals one cubic yard. Your roofer might tell you that your roof requires 15 squares of new shingles. You’ll need at least a 15-yard dumpster to hold the old shingles.

Another help in estimating the amount of waste is to ask your rental agent! Many companies are experienced in helping customers choose the right size dumpster for their needs. Also, they will take into account the expected weight of your waste materials as well as size. Then, they can explain their options and which one might work best for your needs.

Cost Considerations When Choosing a Rental Dumpster Size

Generally speaking, larger dumpsters cost more to rent. This makes sense, as they’re more difficult to transport and hold more waste! In addition to size, note what else might affect a dumpster rental cost:

  • Some dumpster rental companies might charge more for delivering to rural areas or someplace undeveloped. Unpaved roads, steep grades, and other conditions often make for a tougher delivery!
  • Rental duration also affects your overall costs. In many cases, you’ll pay more for keeping the dumpster longer. On the other hand, some companies might offer a discount for long-term rentals.
  • Most dumpster rental companies charge extra for hazardous materials or electronics. This includes various combustible oils, items with batteries, and sharp objects such as broken glass. They may also charge more for heavy debris removal.

Whatever the case, ensure you check your dumpster rental contract. Your price estimate should outline all added fees and charges so you know your total before signing!

roll off dumpster for contruction projects

Frequently Asked Questions About Dumpster Rental Sizes

Check out some frequently asked questions about dumpster rental sizes. These tips can ensure you choose the best dumpster or bin for your project!

What will fit in a 20-yard dumpster?

A 20-yard dumpster is about 6 to 8 pickup truck beds, as said. These might hold the equivalent of 110-125 large 33-gallon trash bags. These dumpsters are good for moderate cleanout projects, such as when you want to purge before a move. They might also hold items from two rooms in the home, such as two mattress sets and dressers or a medium sized couch and chair and a dining set.

Should I get a 20-yard or 30-yard dumpster?

If you’re not sure about a 20-yard versus a 30-yard dumpster, “err on the side of caution” and choose the larger size. Remember that you don’t want an overflowing dumpster! First, your rental company might not transport an overstuffed dumpster. Second, items hanging over the sides can spill out or get in the way of foot traffic.

Also, note that you might shy away from tossing out items if your dumpster gets too full. In turn, you might end up having to extend your dumpster rental agreement.

Some property owners might also try to break down various items and put them in household trash bags. This can be difficult and mean a messy, hazardous property while waiting for trash day to arrive! Avoid these risks by choosing a dumpster larger than what you think you’ll need.

Will a couch fit in a 10-yard dumpster?

Most standard couches will fit in a 10-yard dumpster. However, overstuffed couches, sectionals, and other large pieces might not. Again, err on the side of caution and choose a 15-yard or 20-yard dumpster when needed.

Not only will a larger dumpster accommodate your sofa more readily, but it might also encourage you to toss other items! Why not take advantage of your dumpster rental and clean out your closets or get rid of other junk you have around the property? You can then enjoy your new furniture in a clean, pristine home.

Is a 15-yard dumpster big enough?

A 15-yard dumpster might hold medium-sized furniture from one room. It might also be big enough for a small remodeling project or if you’re cleaning out the garage. However, for larger projects, you might go up a size to a 20-yard dumpster or something larger.

Choosing the Dumpster Size You Need

To ensure you choose the best dumpster rental for your project, check online guides. Go up a size if you’re not sure the best choice for your project. Also, remember that you’ll need a larger dumpster for heavier debris, not just bigger items. Lastly, never hesitate to ask your dumpster rental company for added guidance and tips!

Bradenton Dumpster Rental is happy to help answer the question, what size dumpster do I need? Hopefully we’ve given you some good advice! You can also visit our other blog posts for more helpful tips. Additionally, call our Bradenton dumpster company if you’re in the area and need a FREE dumpster rental quote. We’re happy to help explain your options and answer your questions about rented bins. For more information, contact us today.


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