Which dumpster size is right for you? Should you opt for something larger, like a 20-cubic yard or 30-cubic yard dumpster? Or would you be okay with a smaller 10-yard dumpster?
It’s standard to measure dumpster sizes in cubic yards. Unfortunately, not many people can visualize the size of a cubic yard. Matters become more difficult when you consider how many different types of junk you are probably planning on putting in your bin. How many cubic yards is your couch? How many cubic yards is a bag of garbage? After you knock out that ugly wall between your kitchen and living room, how many cubic yards will all the construction debris occupy? These questions aren’t exactly easy to answer, and they make planning for a dumpster rental harder than it maybe should be.
How Big Is a Cubic Yard?
Before you start trying to figure out the difference between 30, 20, and 10-yard dumpsters, let’s try to get a better sense of how big a cubic yard actually is. A yard, of course, is three feet. A square yard would be a three-foot by three-foot square on the floor. Now, try to imagine that square turning into a cube that is three feet long, three feet wide, and three feet high. Alternatively, just think of your oven or dishwasher. These appliances are typically a cubic yard in size—or at least close enough.
This visualization is somewhat helpful because it can at least help you envision the size of your rental dumpster. Saying “Oh, a 10-cubic yard dumpster can fit ten ovens!” is a bit of a simplification, but not a wholly inaccurate one. Of course, not all junk items fit into convenient cubic shapes, which means there’s still a guessing game to renting a dumpster. However, knowing what a cubic yard looks like in your home or business will at least give you a general sense of how much space you need.
Choosing the Right Dumpster Size
Even once you know how to envision a cubic yard, the process of choosing the right dumpster size is complicated. You want to rent a dumpster that big enough to fit all the stuff you need to throw away, but not so big that you end up with a lot of unused space. Most dumpster rental companies also won’t let you overfill their bins, either, which means you will have a problem if you have junk sticking out over the top of the dumpster.
With a 12 cubic yard dumpster, you can simplify the process. A 10-yard dumpster is usually a little too small for the average renovation, move, or cleanout. For residential applications, though, 20 or 30 cubic yard dumpsters are almost always too big. A 20 yard dumpster, for instance, is roughly the equivalent of 10 pickup truck loads worth of stuff. You might not even have that much stuff in your entire basement or garage, let along that much stuff that needs disposing. Unless you have an extensive commercial cleanout to plan for, you probably don’t need such a large dumpster.
Through research and experience, you’ll likely find that 12-cubic yard dumpster is pretty much the perfect size for most applications. It offers a little more space than the 10-yard dumpster, but not so much that it becomes excessive. As a result, virtually any residential client will find a 12 yard dumpster to be a perfect match for their needs. Many commercial clients are appeased with the size of a 12 yard bin, as well.
What if 12 cubic yards is too much space? What if it’s not enough? There is always a little uncertainty when it comes to renting a dumpster, just because estimating how much junk you have is a challenge. With this thought in mind, it’s good to look for a junk removal company that has a unique pricing structure designed with customers in mind. Ideally, you’ll find a company that only charges you for the dumpster space you use. In other words, if you only have about six cubic yards of garbage, you will just pay for those six yards. Do note, however, that many companies bill flat rates for their dumpsters and charge more for bigger models.
The Other Benefits of a Smaller Dumpster
Beyond the fact that most projects don’t require huge dumpster rentals, it’s worth noting that smaller bins are also just easier to handle and maneuver. When you rent a dumpster, you want to get it as close to your home or business as possible. Especially if you’re getting rid of items that are heavy, cumbersome, or both—like big furniture pieces or appliances—you want to minimize the number of steps you must take to get those items into the dumpster. Ideally, your bin will be able to fit right outside the front door, or at least right outside the garage. You might even be able to position it so that you can toss items out the window and into the bin. This strategy is particularly useful for renovations, as it gives you a way to get drywall debris or discarded flooring out of the way as you work.
Big dumpsters provide a lot of space for your junk, but they also take up a lot of space. Their huge sizes and awkward dimensions make them difficult to maneuver and limit the number of spots you can put them. As such, you might need to settle for a less convenient placement if you decide to rent a more substantial dumpster.
Larger dumpsters are sometimes so big that they don’t even fit into driveways or parking areas. Perhaps your driveway has a semi-sharp incline with limited space at the top. This layout poses a logistical challenge for positioning bigger dumpsters especially. Alternatively, maybe your home has a very small driveway that can’t accommodate larger bins, or maybe your business has insufficient parking or loading zones out front. In any case, you will have a lot more luck finding room for a 12-cubic yard dumpster than you ever would with a 40-yard bin.
Finally, there’s the factor of property damage. Larger, heavier dumpsters can damage concrete or asphalt. Their dimensions are also often too big for the driveway, which means they end up hanging off the edges into your lawn, garden, or flower bed. Even when your dumpster gets hauled away, you could still be dealing with the damage to your driveway or landscaping.
Renting a 12 yard dumpster solves all these issues. It is small and compact enough to fit into more limited spaces. Its dimensions are modest, which means it fits into the average driveway without hanging off into the grass or garden. It has a special base that protects the driveway from damage, and it provides all these perks while still being an easy-to-deliver roll-off dumpster.
Forget the 10 Yard Dumpster or the 30 Yard Bin: Choose a 12 Yard Dumpster
Perhaps you are renting a dumpster for the first time and aren’t sure how to choose the right size. Maybe you have rented a dumpster in the past and want to avoid mistakes you’ve made previously. Either way, when you rent a 12 cubic yard bin, you’ll enjoy a compact and well-designed dumpster that, in all likelihood, will offer all the capacity you need. So, forget the 10-yard dumpster or the larger 30 or 40 cubic yard bins. And don’t forget to look for a company that offers sustainable benefits!
As you compare dumpster rental costs, though, try to find companies that will give you concrete estimates or quotes. Services that are cagey about price quotes will often try to hit you with unexpected fees after the fact. Reading online customer reviews should also help you spot—and avoid—these dumpster rental companies Call us for more information at (888) 888-JUNK.