Self-Service or Full: Do You Need Dumpster Rental or Junk Removal?

There are two solutions for bulk trash beyond the limits of your regular trash pick-up: dumpster rental and junk removal. Understanding the differences between the services can help you select the best one for your specific needs.

Dumpster Rental

Dumpster rental is exactly what you might think. You pay a fee to have a large dumpster delivered to your home or business. When you finish filling it, the waste management company hauls away the dumpster and all the trash you put in it. Dumpsters can generally be rented for a few days or as long as needed. This flexibility makes them great for weekend conferences and longer building projects.

Spending a long weekend clearing out your attic? You have the dumpster available to accommodate everything you purge over a few hectic days. Tearing out an old kitchen and doing a DIY roof replacement? Your dumpster can sit in front of your house for weeks while you progress through the projects and slowly remove the debris.

Factors to Consider

Depending on local regulations, you may need a permit for the dumpster or permission from your homeowners’ association or other governing body, especially if the dumpster will be placed on a city street.

Standard dumpster sizes range from 10 to 40-yards, with ‘yard’ referring to the cubic yard capacity. Ten cubic yards equals approximately 30 standard garbage cans, and 40 cubic yards is roughly 120 standard garbage cans. Your waste disposal company should be able to help you estimate the size needed based on the type and scope of your project.

It is always better to overestimate than to have a dumpster that is too small. You don’t want to get halfway through your project and realize you need another 20-yard dumpster or need to have yours emptied earlier than you expected. A small dumpster can create delays in your progress and cost more than it would have to have rented the correct size initially.

Much of the cost of dumpster rental is in the delivery and pick-up, so you want to avoid multiple trips. Work with your dumpster rental company to determine the correct size.

In addition to your trash volume, you want to consider the weight. Construction debris that would fit in a 15-yard dumpster can weigh more than 1.5 tons, or 3000 pounds. A heavy dumpster sitting on your lawn or driveway, can do significant damage. If you damage a city street, you could be liable for expensive repairs. Some companies will place plywood or boards under the dumpster to help prevent damage, so ask about that if you think weight damage is a concern.

The dumpster rental company will likely have limits on the overall weight allowed. Because it costs them more to dispose of heavier loads, you may have to pay additional fees if your trash is too heavy. Make sure you understand limits ahead of time. The company should be able to help you estimate your total waste based on the details of your project.

With dumpster removal, you receive drop-off and pick-up of a container that you can fill on your own timeline, making this an excellent solution for projects where you are planning to do all the work yourself and only need a place to dispose of the trash or debris.

Junk Removal

Junk Removal is another option for getting rid of bulky or otherwise difficult to dispose of items.
Unlike dumpster delivery, with junk removal, the company does the back-breaking work of loading up your trash. A crew will show up and take away whatever materials you tell them to remove.

If you are cleaning out a house or office, a junk removal team can show up and carry out everything. This option works best when you have already removed anything you would like to keep. These crews work quickly and efficiently. After they arrive is not the time to be digging through grandma’s old photos or the mystery contents of the attic. You want to be prepared so the only step left when they arrive is hauling out the trash.

Factors to Consider

Your Waste
Junk removal works well if you only have one or two oversized items like refrigerators or heavy furniture. For these small but heavy loads, dumpster rental might not make sense. Junk removal may be the right solution. If you cannot move these cumbersome items on your own, you can hire a junk removal crew to do the work for you, allowing you to spend your time on other things and protect your health and safety. The main advantage of junk removal over dumpster rental is that someone else does the labor.

Depending on how much stuff you need to remove, this service can take anywhere from less than an hour to several days. The junk removal service should be able to estimate the time required based on a description of the project. The fee for junk removal will be based on the weight and volume of your debris or trash, and the time it takes to carry it away.

While you generally pay more for junk removal than dumpster rental, it may be worth it to have everything moved safely by professionals. They have experience moving large, heavy objects and know how to avoid damage to your home, yard, or business.

In some cases, you may save money while also avoiding the heavy lifting if you choose junk removal over dumpster rental. This is especially true with smaller projects that likely wouldn’t fill even the smallest dumpster.

If you don’t have a place to put a large dumpster or if regulations prevent you from having one, junk removal services are a great solution.

Both dumpster rental and junk removal are great solutions for homes or businesses with projects generating extra trash. Consider your timeline, physical abilities, and project access to determine which is best for you.