What Size Dumpster Do You Need? Here's a Helpful Guide

Published on January 24, 2024

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Figuring out what size dumpster you need for a home cleanup or renovation project can be downright puzzling. Dumpsters come in all shapes and sizes - from mini 10-yard dumpsters to giant 40-cubic yard construction models. Choosing one that’s too small means making multiple trips to empty it, costing you time and money. 

So, what size dumpster do I need? If you need a dumpster rental, the size you need depends on the scope of your project - a 10-15 yard dumpster is good for a small cleanup. In contrast, a 20+ yard dumpster is better for a medium to large remodeling project.

Going too big means overpaying and wasting precious space that could be used for more trash. To take the guesswork out of your dumpster rental, here’s your guide to picking the perfect-sized metal wastebasket.

What Size Dumpster Do I Need? Here's The Dumpster Dimensions Guidebook

First, let’s decode the confusing dumpster dimensions you’ll see when browsing your rental options. Dumpsters are measured by their capacity in cubic yards. This refers to the amount of space inside - length x width x height. The dimensions for common sizes are:

10 yard dumpster - 5 x 8 x 3 feet

15 yard dumpster - 5 x 8 x 4 feet

20 yard dumpster - 8 x 8 x 4 feet

30 yard dumpster - 12 x 8 x 4 feet

40 yard dumpster - 12 x 8 x 6 feet

As you can see, the bigger the second number, the bigger the dumpster. Now, let’s explore which size is right for your needs.

Cleaning Out the Garage or Attic? Go With 10-15 Yards

Tackling a few household junk removal projects like clearing out the garage or attic clutter? A 10 or 15-yard dumpster should do the trick. These slim 5 x 8-foot models can fit a twin mattress or stack of boxes easily without wasting precious driveway real estate.

15 yards has 50% more space than a 10-yard, so opt for that if you have lots of castoffs to haul. Don’t stuff the dumpster so full that the cover won’t shut, or you could get slapped with an overflow fee. Carefully pile items inside using a ladder for safety. And if you have very heavy objects like cast iron gym weights or an old piano, avoid compacting them tightly to prevent the box from getting too heavy for the dump truck lift.

Remodeling a Medium Room? Call 20 Yards

Gutting a mid-sized den, bedroom, or kitchen for a reno? A 20-yard dumpster provides the perfect amount of space in most cases. Measuring in at 8 x 8 x 4 feet, it can contain up to 6,000 pounds of debris - great for hauling away old cabinets, flooring, and those dated countertops you’ve been itching to replace.

With nearly double the capacity of a 10-yard dumpster, going for 20 cubic yards allows some wiggle room, too. You can pile items high without hitting the limit. Don’t overdo it with bricks, concrete chunks, or extremely dense materials. And be sure to check your rental contract - some companies prohibit hazardous waste like lead paint-contaminated items. Better safe than lawsuits!

what size dumpster do I need

Major Addition? Think 30-40+ Yard Behemoth

Building a large master suite addition or bonus room expansion above the garage? For these ambitious remodeling projects that require knocking down walls, you’ll need serious dumpster containment. When a ton of drywall, wood, roofing materials, and other heavy debris enter the mix, consider a 30 or 40-yard rental or even larger.

These 12 x 8-foot mega dumpsters can handle around 10,000 pounds, giving you breathing room for all those generated dust-coated relics you’ll unearth during demo. Just know that oversized models take up major driveway space and likely can’t be parked on residential streets overnight without a permit. Also, filling them to the brim is pretty much impossible without heavy equipment. But don’t worry - your contractor has a skid steer loader to stack it all in!

The Takeaway - Size Up Your Cleanup!

Choosing the right temporary trash tank for removing waste doesn’t have to leave you puzzled.

Just carefully assess how much junk needs gone, from old electronics to broken bathroom tiles. When in doubt, never underestimate debris - go a size larger to cover all your cleanup bases. And whichever dumpster dimensions you land on, take your time loading safely without overpacking the container too tightly.

Following these handy guidelines will help you pick the perfect metal trash receptacle for your home project. Soon, that driveway eyesore will roll away, leaving you with newfound space to pursue your dreams without all that junk crowding you out!

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About Lakewood Ranch Dumpster Rental

When you need an affordable and reliable dumpster rental, look no further than Lakewood Ranch Dumpster Rental. Family-owned and operated since 2008, we offer quick delivery and pickup with fair, transparent pricing on all dumpster sizes from 10 to 40 yards. For your next home renovation or cleanup project in the local region, call us at (941) 271-0566 for quality roll-off containers you can count on.


What is the most common size dumpster rental?

When it comes to dumpster rentals, the 15-yard size is generally the most popular and commonly-used. With dimensions of 5 feet by 8 feet by 4 feet (L x W x H), 15-yard dumpsters offer a versatile amount of space for the average homeowner. This midsize model works well for garage cleanouts, storage clears out, medium renovation projects, and anything in between where you need more capacity than a 10-yard but don't require an overly large 20+ yard container.

How do I choose the right dumpster size for my project?

First, estimate how much debris you will generate - a 10-15 yard container works for a room or garage, while bigger 20-40 yard dumpsters fit remodeling debris. Next, consider weight - don't overload smaller dumpsters with extremely heavy materials. Finally, think about space - make sure the dumpster size allows ample driveway room and clearance for the disposal truck to maneuver.

How do you calculate the size of a dumpster?

Dumpster sizes are measured in cubic yards, referring to the amount of space inside the dumpster for waste and debris. To calculate the capacity, take the length x width x height to get the total cubic yardage. For example, common dimensions are 10 yards = 5 x 8 x 3 ft., 20 yards = 8 x 8 x 4 ft., 30 yards = 12 x 8 x 4 feet, and so on, with the bigger second number increasing container size.

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