A dumpster is a large container for garbage, which is known as a ‘skip’ in the UK. Standard dumpsters are typically found at the back of a commercial building or an apartment building, and they will regularly be emptied by special trucks.
There are also roll-off dumpsters which are more commonly used for the disposal of construction waste or home clearouts. They go by the name ‘roll off’ because of the way they seemingly slide off the back of a truck when they are delivered.
If you need a dumpster for a rubbish clearout at your home, then you’ll need to first figure out which size you need. Dumpsters are priced according to size, so the bigger the dumpster is that you choose, the more you will have to pay.
You’ll want to find a dumpster that is going to accommodate all of your rubbish but don’t choose one that is excessively large; otherwise, you will be paying a premium for dumpster space you aren’t going to use.
If you have limited space on your driveway or around your property, then you’ll also need to check the dimensions of the available dumpsters to make sure it is going to fit where you want them to go.
See also: Standard Trash Can Sizes (with Drawings)
Common Dumpster Sizes
Dumpsters usually all have the same width size of 7 and a half feet, which means they can fit on the back of a truck and be driven on the roads, and it also means they are a convenient size for fitting on a driveway or in a parking space, as a standard parking space is between 9 and 10 feet wide.
The length and height measurements of dumpsters will differ between each size, and this is what allows them to fit varying amounts of waste in. Dumpsters are labeled according to capacity, which is measured in cubic yards.
10 cubic yards
A 10-yard dumpster is the smallest size you are likely to be able to rent. It will measure 14 feet in length, 7 and a half feet in width, and 3 and a half feet in height. It will be able to fit approximately 50 to 70 filled garbage bags in it, which each have a capacity of 33 gallons or the equivalent of around three loads from a pickup truck.
This size of dumpster is going to be the most economical but is usually reserved for small home projects such as bathroom renovations or basement clearouts. It can also be used for the removal of soil or dirt if you have dug a hole on your land, for example, in preparation for a pond or extension foundations.
12 cubic yards
The 12-yard dumpster will have the same footprint as the 10-yard dumpster, but it is able to contain a greater amount of waste because the side walls are taller. The measurements of a 12-yard dumpster will be 14 feet in length, 7 and a half feet in width, and 4 feet in height.
It should be able to hold between 70, and 80 filled 33-gallon garbage bags, making it a good size for small to medium home renovation projects, such as a bathroom remodel, attic clear out, or flooring replacement.
15 cubic yards
A 15-yard dumpster will be 16 feet long, 7 and a half feet wide, and 4 and a half feet tall. It can hold the same amount of rubbish as the equivalent of 4 and a half pickup truckloads, or around 80 to 100 filled 33-gallon garbage bags. It is a good dumpster to use for medium size home projects such as kitchen renovations or clearing out a large basement or attic.
20 cubic yards
This size of dumpster is popular for use in moderate to large-sized home renovations, as it has a generous amount of space. The dimensions of this dumpster will be 22 feet in length, 7 and a half feet in width, and 4 and a half feet in height.
It will hold the equivalent of around 6 pickup truck loads of rubbish, or between 110 and 130 filled 33-gallon garbage bags. The 20-yard dumpster is also commonly used on small to medium-sized construction sites or for landscaping or roofing jobs.
30 cubic yards
This is a very large dumpster that is more commonly used on construction sites than for home residential use; however, it can be suitable for large renovation projects or estate clearouts.
The size of this dumpster will have the same footprint as a 20 cubic yard dumpster, but it has taller walls which allow it to hold a considerable amount more. The dimensions of this dumpster will be 22 feet in length, 7 and a half feet in width, and 6 feet in height.
The additional height on these dumpsters means that it can be difficult to add heavy waste to them, so they may not be a good option if you have awkward items to dispose of, such as a bath. These dumpsters usually have steps installed at one end so that you can climb onto the side of the dumpster to get things inside it.
40 cubic yards
The 40-yard dumpster is the largest dumpster you are likely to be able to rent for home use, and this is going to be far bigger than most people will need, even to clear out a whole home. The footprint of this dumpster will be the same as the 30 cubic yard and the 20 cubic yard dumpsters, but it will have even taller walls to allow it to contain more rubbish.
The dimensions will be 22 feet in length, 7 and a half feet in width, and 8 feet in height. These dumpsters will have steps fixed to the end of them so that users can climb up the exterior walls to deposit items in the dumpster, rather than having to throw them over the 8 feet high walls.