According to EPA estimates, the construction industry generates around 600 million tons of waste every year. That’s around 30% of the total materials used, and most of this ends up in landfills.
While there are ways to reduce the waste you generate while working on-site, some waste is inevitable. Therefore, every conscientious construction company needs to ensure they dispose of these items as responsibly as possible
The first step toward effective waste management is renting a construction dumpster. Here’s your guide to construction dumpster sizes and which ones might suit your project.
How Are Construction Dumpster Sizes Calculated?
The dimension of a dumpster’s exterior is usually measured in feet. The total volume is generally indicated in cubic yards.
The capacity of a dumpster equals its dimensions multiplied by each other, i.e. length x width x height, which gives you the volume in cubic feet. To calculate cubic yards, you divide that number by 27.
Dumpsters also have weight limits, and a dumpster with twice the volume doesn’t necessarily hold twice the weight of a smaller dumpster. Keep the following in mind regarding different construction dumpster sizes:
- 10 Cubic yard dumpsters – 3 pickup trucks worth of waste (1-2 tons)
- 20 Cubic yard dumpsters – 5 pickup trucks worth of waste (3 tons)
- 30 Cubic yard dumpsters – 8 pickup trucks worth of waste (5 tons)
- 40 Cubic yard dumpsters – 9 pickup trucks worth of waste (6 tons)
There isn’t any hard-and-fast way to tell exactly how much construction waste you’ll end up with, but there are a few guidelines to help you decide on dumpster rental for construction sites.
Common Dumpster Rental Sizes and Applications
Construction dumpster rental prices usually comprise a flat daily rate, depending on the size of the dumpster and your location. You’ll pay more for a dumpster if your site is remote, due to higher delivery costs.
These are the different dumpster sizes and what they’re best suited to:
10 Cubic Yard Dumpsters
Some 10 cubic-yard dumpsters can accommodate up to 2 tons of waste material. They measure 11′ x 8′ x 4′ and work well for heavy materials like concrete, or lighter items like landscapers’ debris.
This dumpster size is popular for smaller residential projects and maintenance cleanup, as their small size easily fits into driveways and other limited spaces.
A 10 cubic-yard dumpster works best for the following small-scale projects related to residential construction:
- Light cleanups
- Minor excavation
- Small renovations
Examples of jobs suited to this type of dumpster include home decluttering, flooring removal, driveway renovations, and single-room home renovations.
15 Cubic-Yard Dumpsters
These dumpsters are less common, but they come in useful for a wide range of mid-size projects. The typical dimensions for a 15 cubic yard dumpster are 16′ x 7.5′ x 16′.
They can hold up to 2 tons of waste, which equals 4.5 pickup truck loads.
These dumpsters are best suited to:
- Bedroom remodels
- Basement cleanouts
- Community cleanups
20 Cubic-Yard Dumpsters
A 20 cubic-yard dumpster can hold up to 3 tons or 6 pickup trucks worth of waste. Typical dimensions are 20′ x 8′ x 4′.
Despite its high capacity, it’s still compact enough for most job sites and it’s suited to both commercial and residential applications.
These medium-sized dumpsters are a good option for medium-sized excavations, as well as the following projects:
- Furniture removal
- Moderate excavation
- Building waste removal
A 20 cubic yard dumpster suits a wide range of medium-sized projects like removing roof shingles, home cleanups, or large landscaping projects.
30 Cubic-Yard Dumpsters
A 30 cubic-yard dumpster is well suited to larger projects. It measures 20′ x 8′ x 6′ and holds up to 5 tons, or 8 pickup trucks worth of waste.
This larger size suites new home construction, medium commercial builds, and very large landscaping projects.
Most 30 cubic-yard dumpsters are most commonly used for roof removals, but they’re also suited to:
- Large-scale cleanups
- Roofing material removal
- Significant excavation
You can also use these dumpsters for large recycling projects like estate cleanouts.
40 Cubic-Yard Dumpsters
These large dumpsters are equivalent to 9 to 12 pickup trucks worth of waste, weighing up to 6 tons. The dimensions are usually 22′ x 8′ x 8′.
It is especially handy for managing large-scale projects like building demos, large volume yard waste, and commercial construction projects that create a large amount of debris and waste.
High weight limits and spacious interiors mean these dumpsters suit larger projects particularly well. A 40 cubic-yard dumpster is best for:
- Large-scale demolition
- Major earthmoving projects
- Substantial waste removal
This is usually the largest size available for construction dumpster rental.
How to Rent a Construction Dumpster
Once you’ve decided on the dumpster size you need for your project, you can get the rental process underway. You can get hold of your chosen rental company via email or phone, or book your dumpster online.
If you’re in doubt as to the size dumpster you need, your rental company can advise you.
Once you’ve reached out about dumpster hire, you’ll receive a quotation. Be sure to question anything you’re unsure about before you sign the rental agreement.
When you’ve provided your details and paid your deposit, the rental company will deliver the dumpster to the address of your choice. When your contract expires, the company will collect your dumpster and dispose of its contents correctly.
Most rental companies offer flexible weekly and monthly rentals if you don’t want to opt for a daily rental.
Be sure to order your dumpster in good time, you can’t work efficiently without a dumpster to receive the waste you generate on-site. If it arrives late, your workers won’t have anywhere to dispose of waste, resulting in delays and frustration.
Save Time and Money With a Construction Dumpster Rental
It’s crucial to figure out the correct construction dumpster sizes before you get started on-site. If you order a dumpster that is too small, you’ll incur extra costs if you overfill it, or you’ll need to hire a second dumpster halfway through your project.
A dumpster that’s too large is a waste of money and takes up unnecessary space. Always ask for advice from the rental company if you’re in doubt.
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