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Choosing the Right-Sized Residential Friendly Dumpster

December 2022 Bruce Kozak

Now that you have decided to rent a dumpster for your home cleanout, remodeling, or landscape project, determining the most appropriately sized residential friendly dumpster is the next logical step.

Truly residential friendly dumpsters are typically available in a range of sizes, from 4 to 20 yards, with any one size delivered on a smaller, less intrusive, single axle truck. Anything larger than a 20-yard roll-off bin, and a triaxle truck would be needed to carry it, which are much heavier and less maneuverable.

For instance, good luck trying to get a triaxle to make the turn through a typical driveway wrapping around to the rear of your property, where you need the bin the most for your garage cleanout.

Now, bin size identities used by service providers are typically in "cubic yards" - an industry standard (it is easier to simply say "yard") than 27 "cubic feet”.

Note: There are three (3) feet in a yard, so one (1) cubic yard is 3 ft. x 3 ft. x 3 ft. = 27 cubic feet.

Measuring your debris pile may be impractical, but maybe not. Quantifying your debris amount is easier when you have a handy comparison. As such, see the Handy Reference Guide in Table A below. Carpet can be difficult to determine the required bin size; but the Guide simplifies it.

Shed volume interiors are mostly airspace. So, when they are demo-ed, the guide shows that a 15- and 20-yard Bin size accommodate the most common shed sizes. If your shed size is not exactly as shown, you can estimate between the ranges. Ex. If you have a 9 x 13 shed demo (if there is such a shed size) it would fit in a 15yard bin.

Wheelbarrows are not much good with dumpsters that do not possess entry doors (for easier walk-in loading). But, if your dumpster service provider's bins include walk-in loading doors, then you will appreciate this design for wheelbarrow type loading. Common uses of wheelbarrows are for landscape debris (bricks, dirt, gravel for ex.) or busted-up Concrete for instance, from a side-walk demo. Lathe and plaster remnants area also commonly purged via wheelbarrows too.

You may find yourself needing several dozen trash bags for your cleanout or remodeling project. Estimating required bin sizes can be tricky if you have a large quantity of trash bags to dispose. The Guide considers the commonly used 33gallon bag size.

Larger frames of reference are easier to compare to bin sizes. So, # of truckloads might work best for you – that metric is there too. A common comparison is garage size - one or two car garage. For instance, a 10-yard bin can typically hold the junk or debris set on the floor of a one-car garage!

Now for siding and shingles. So, what is a "square" anyway? Simply put, it is a more convenient way to measure large sections of roofing and siding. And it is 10 feet by 10 feet. Siding and Roofing material are also shown.

Keep in mind that dumpster service providers typically have Rental “Terms” which include the duration of the rental and the allowed weight, with an overweight fee pro-rated amount once the weight exceeds the allowed weight limit. Household cleanouts rarely result in weight overages. However, significant amounts of roofing material or landscape debris, concrete demos, drywall demos and lathe and plaster demos would be more likely to trigger a weight overage fee.

So, choose your bin size wisely. Always best to stay conservative if you are not sure of the size and take the next size up. It is no fun needing more bin volume when you do not have it. Plus, it is quite possible you will find there will be more items you will have figured need to get tossed out too!


Bin There Dump That, Tri-State services its customers in the tristate area of southwestern PA, the northern panhandle of WV & all of northeast OH with its residential friendly dumpsters, trucks, and staff!


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