When to Rent a Dumpster and When to Get Waste Removal Services

Sometimes it seems like most of life revolves around getting rid of piles. These include piles of laundry, piles of dishes, piles of task reminders, and on occasion, piles of garbage. Multi-family apartment complexes, construction projects, and industrial processes generate piles of junk that don’t fit nicely into the curbside garbage bins. So what are you supposed to do then?

Understanding your two main options:

1. Waste Management Services

Waste management (aka junk removal or garbage pick-up) involves a disposal company coming over with a truck and a team of workers, loading your pile of garbage or debris into a truck, and then transporting it to local waste disposal and recycling centers. When ordering waste removal services, you need to clarify how big your pile of garbage is, what’s in it, and when you want it picked up. The rest is taken care of by the waste disposal company.

2. Dumpster Rental

Renting a dumpster means you take responsibility for loading your junk into the dumpster, but it also gives you more freedom regarding when and how you get rid of your pile. Dumpster rental companies will want to know where to drop off the dumpster, how long you’ll need it for, and how large of a dumpster you plan to fill. Then they will pick it up when you’ve filled it.

One way to conceptualize the difference between a dumpster rental and removal services is to think of it like the options for moving. You can rent a trailer to load your possessions into yourself or hire a moving company that will move everything for you.

Which service is best for you?

Although both dumpster rental and waste removal services ultimately accomplish the same goal, disposing of garbage, several factors will make one of the two options better suited to your situation.

Type of Garbage

  • Construction Debris

For many building projects, a construction dumpster rental is the preferred option because work is ongoing. Crews need somewhere to put debris for a few days or weeks in a row. A one-time waste pick-up would not do the job.

  • Household Items

If these came from an apartment spring cleaning event or moving event, junk disposal services might be the easiest and best way to go, but dumpster rentals also work great. The deciding factor may be the amount of waste you have.

  • Tree and Plant Debris

Renting a dumpster for a day can be a great way to keep large-scale landscaping, yard work, and weed control efforts organized.

  • Chemical Waste and Large Items

Waste disposal services are ideal for complicated and potentially dangerous waste, like chemical waste and oversized items, that you might not be able to handle without professional equipment.

Time Frame

If you will slowly accrue a pile of garbage, dumpsters are the best way to manage your waste. Otherwise, you would need to pay for waste disposal services daily, which would be impractical. Junk disposal services are the best option if all of the garbage is generated in one day, or you already have a convenient place to store the pile and only need it picked up.


  • Community Events

Conferences, festivals, and concerts can often benefit from having multiple waste disposal dumpsters on the outskirts of the event. Workers can fill these from smaller collection bins as the event progresses.

  • Home Projects

Depending on the project, waste disposal services and dumpster rentals can work equally well. Generally, single-home projects will only require a small dumpster size.

  • Industrial

Manufacturing facilities and factories sometimes need chemical waste clean-ups. These situations may also involve waste that requires machinery to move. In this case, waste disposal services are the way to go.

  • Urban Projects

Even if you could load a dumpster on your own, many urban settings lack a place to set a dumpster down. In this case, junk disposal services can be beneficial.

Human Resources

Another factor to consider is how many people you have to help out with moving piles of garbage around. Dumpsters are great if you have people on hand to load them. If you lack helping hands or time to load a dumpster, waste disposal services are the place to turn.


Since waste disposal services require more work on the company’s side, they can often be more expensive than hiring a dumpster to be dropped off and picked up. However, if you keep a dumpster for a long period, this can be the more expensive option. Cost fluctuates based on waste weight, type, time frame, and in the case of rentals, overfilling, or if you damage the dumpster.

Demolition, renovation, moving, and spring cleaning are all situations that land you with a big pile of garbage. Unlike the pile of toys your kids forgot to clean up, you can’t just stuff it into the bottom drawer. These kinds of piles need a larger-scale solution. Hopefully, now you know what kind of waste disposal solution will deal with piles of garbage in a sustainable and tidy way.