If you are in the market to rent a dumpster for the first time, you might be curious what to expect from a cost perspective. What is the average rate for dumpster rental? What kind of pricing would represent a good deal? How much money would be too much for a rental dumpster? These questions are all common when talking about rent-a-dumpster cost.
Understanding the Variables of Rent-a-Dumpster Cost
The bad news is that these questions aren’t necessarily easy to answer. There are a few reasons for the difficulty. The biggest reason is that there are a lot of variables that can impact how much you will spend to secure a dumpster rental. The size of the bin you rent; how long you need the dumpster; the location of the dumpster rental company (and how far they will need to travel to deliver your dumpster); the type of junk you are disposing of; the amount of trash you end up having; extra perks, such as green junk removal and processing. Each of these factors can influence how much money you pay for your rental.
How different dumpster rental companies handle these variables will also affect whether you get a locked-in price quote at the outset of service or not. Some dumpster rental companies bill based on flat rates, which means they can tell you exactly how much you should expect to spend before you rent your bin. Usually, these flat rates are based primarily on the size of the dumpster. If you rent a ten cubic yard dumpster, you will pay one rate. If you rent a 40 cubic yard bin, you will pay a higher rate. These companies can bill on a flat-rate model because they don’t consider how much junk you put in your bin—whether in terms of weight or regarding how much dumpster space you use.
The flat-rate model has its pros and cons. On the one hand, it’s nice to know upfront how much money you are going to spend on your dumpster. If you are concerned about finding the most reasonably priced dumpster rental possible, then getting a flat-rate price quote before you even fill your dumpster will probably have some attraction for you. Proponents of the flat-rate model often criticize dumpster rental companies that bill based on junk weight, as this model can lead to less predictable pricing (and therefore a less easily controllable budget).
However, there are also major cons to the flat-rate model. The biggest of these is that it is far too easy to book a dumpster that is substantially bigger than what you need. Dumpster sizing is one of the biggest pain points in the dumpster rental industry for most customers. Especially if you are a first-time dumpster renter, you probably have very little concept of how many cubic yards of trash your project will produce. Whether you are cleaning out your basement or clearing away yard waste, it’s not always easy to tell the difference between a “15 cubic yards of trash” project and a “30 cubic yards of trash” project.
To protect against this uncertainty, customers will typically go for a larger dumpster size. They figure it’s better to have a little too much space than not quite enough. With flat-rate billing, though, the price differences between different dumpster sizes tend to be substantial. In other words, if you rent a 30 cubic yard bin but your project ends up only yielding 15 cubic yards of junk, you are going to pay a lot of money for that space you didn’t use. You’re essentially tossing cash into the dumpster along with your trash, for how much good that extra spending will do you.
The Perks of a Space-Based Dumpster Rental Billing Structure
Looking for a space-based dumpster rental company, therefore, is typically the best compromise. These companies offer limited dumpster sizing options (or maybe even a one-size-fits-all model) and then bill customers based on how much of the dumpster capacity they actually use. So, if you fill the dumpster less than halfway, you’ll pay one rate. If you hit the halfway mark but don’t go too far beyond it, you’ll pay another rate. If you fill the dumpster, you’ll pay a third rate. The variance in pricing is as fair as it can be for a rent-a-dumpster arrangement, because you only pay for the space you use.
Now, what about budgeting for the space-based model? Many customers like the idea of not paying extra cash for space they didn’t use, but a billing system where you pay based on the percentage of the dumpster you filled is inherently less predictable than a flat-rate billing structure. How can you get the fairest pricing without going into your dumpster rental with little concept for how much you should expect to pay?
Here, it’s a matter of finding a dumpster rental company that you trust to do things above board. Any dumpster rental business should be willing to give you a price quote before you finalize a rental agreement, even if they are using a flexible billing structure. They might give you a general price range for their services based on how much dumpster space is used. In other words, they’ll tell you average pricing figures for a half-filled dumpster or a capacity-filled dumpster.
Other times, dumpster rental companies will be willing to come out to your home or office and look at the area you will be cleaning out. Since these people are junk removal experts, they can offer an educated guess for how many cubic yards of junk you have and then estimate your pricing accordingly. Some dumpster rental companies even have online pricing estimator applications, where you fill out an inventory of the junk you are removing and then they give you an automated price calculation.
In any case, the fact is that getting a reliable price estimate for a dumpster rental is always possible—even when you are dealing with a space-based billing model. To guarantee a reasonable price, make sure you are working with a company that values the quoting process. That way, you can compare prices against other nearby companies and decide which business is offering the best wvalue.
The Verdict: Spotting a Reasonably Priced Dumpster Rental
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to think about when it comes to renting a dumpster. The more familiar you get with the market, the easier it will be for you to tell the reasonably priced options from the rip-offs.
What you shouldn’t do is rely on average pricing figures. For instance, HomeAdvisor says that the average dumpster rental price in the United States is $396. This figure is an average for all different types of dumpster rentals across the entire country. It doesn’t consider any of the variables discussed in this article. There are some cases where something in the ballpark of $400 would be perfectly fair, based on location, trash capacity, and other factors. There are also cases where you could get 12 cubic yards of junk hauled away from your house for closer to $250.
Bottom line, if you are hunting for the best rent-a-dumpster cost in your area, make sure you do your homework. Researching different companies, seeing what they have to offer, and getting quotes from each will tell you a lot about the market. Once you’ve done your homework, you will have no problem finding a dumpster rental that makes sense for your budget.