Demo Dumpsters

Purpose: this article will provide a knowledge base for anyone who needs to secure demo dumpsters.

Read time: 10 min


Local Sourcing

Drive around and find local construction sites that are similar to yours, and find out who has the most dumpsters out on sites. That is usually a good place to start.


Be aware when conducting an internet search for local dumpster companies: brokers may appear in the local search, which will increase your cost with an additional layer. 


Know the weight limits of the dumpster.  Be sure to size appropriately. Be sure to ask the dumpster company, but typically, the heaver the material, the smaller the dumpster. 

10 Yard

For small jobs, or heavy material (e.g. brick, dirt, concrete, etc). 


15 Yard

For smaller jobs and heavy removal


20 Yard

Best for concrete, bricks, and masonry because the walls are 4 feet high. This makes the risk of overfilling the weight capacity for the truck less likely. (If you are using any other size dumpster for straight concrete or masonry, only fill the dumpster ½ full. Otherwise, the company could charge you for an over-loaded dumpster due to the material type, ask you to remove some of the material so the dumpster can be transported for disposal.)


30 Yard

For typical construction and debris (i.e., "C&D" material)


40 Yard

For more lightweight material (e.g., carpet, vinyl, and drywall). 


  • Tonnage fees will vary based upon the landfill, and the charges can range greatly depending upon the type of material that is being disposed. (For example, C&D tonnage rates can vary between $38/ton to $87/ton.) The biggest reason for the highest rates is usually out-of-county disposal, and some landfills will not accept out-of-county waste. Call the surrounding landfills, and get a list of the various charges per ton. If the load is “clean” concrete (meaning a load of straight concrete with no other C&D), you can often find a landfill with a discounted tonnage rate—in some instances, the disposal may be free. It is imperative to keep in mind that if any other C&D material is in the load other than concrete, the landfill will likely charge full C&D disposal rates.

  • Dumpsters can be put on a credit card or on an account, but credit accounts take time to set up and are billed on a pre-determined schedule. 

  • Delivery fees typically range from $150 to $250 for an initial delivery. 

  • Daily rentals typically range between $5 to $7. (Sometimes there is a grace period of the first 14 days.)

  • The Swap Fee = the base cost + the per-ton fee. (Final Removal costs are the same as the Swap Fee.)


  • Verify if you need a permit from the local municipality. This isn’t needed if you place the dumpsters on your own property, but would be needed if you place on the right-of-way or the street.

  • Make sure not to place any dumpsters under or near power lines.

  • Know where you want the door, and make sure it opens the right way. 

  • Make sure there is 75' clear in front of where you want the can. That will allow pick-up and delivery from the roll-off dumpster. 

  •  Try to place the dumpster as far on your property as possible. (Dumpsters near the street get used by everyone in the neighborhood.)

  • Be nice to the driver!  If you learn their names and treat them well, they will make sure your dumpster placement is ideal. (If you have a poor working relationship with the driver, you may get your dumpster placed where you don’t want it.)

  • Be aware of the location of the septic tank and associated lines. These areas need to be avoided.


  • Have an onsite name and phone number for the driver, or someone the driver may call with questions whenever they arise.

  • Ensure the dumpster is full to the level, and not sticking far above the rim. 

  • Make sure the dumpster door is closed and locked at time of pickup.  If material is in the way and the door is unable to be closed, it will not be removed.

  • Swap Options: When removing a full dumpster and getting an empty replacement, there are two options:

    • The company can take the existing dumpster away, bring it to the dump, and bring back an empty dumpster in replacement. This is the less likely option, and possibly problematic if the dump is far away. But with limited space for a swap and the dump is close by, this option is preferable. 

    • The more likely option is that the company will bring an empty dumpster, place it somewhere close by, remove the full dumpster, and replace it with the empty dumpster. 

  • Nothing shuts down a job faster than a full dumpster! Definitely Plan ahead with your calls and know the lead time for the dumpster company.  Give them a "heads-up" when you think you will have heavy use so they can be prepared. Teamwork is key here. Ask your service provider their lead time for service.

  • Make sure the dumpster is not blocked at the time of service, or you may be charged a trip fee for coming to the site and not being able to service the dumpster.


Tips & Tricks

If you have lots to demo planned, see if you have spots for multiple dumpsters. If you are going to pay for them anyway, the only additional cost is the delivery fee. It is far cheaper and easier to rent multiple dumpsters than having a crew stopped from lack of dumpster space. It bears repeating that nothing will hold up a demo team faster than not having room in the dumpster.