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Dumpster Rental Pricing Guide

Learn How Other Companies Rip You Off

Not getting ripped off is a matter of knowing what to ask. A long list of questions to ask a dumpster rental company is at the bottom of this article, but below are the big items we recommend checking. It all comes down to the transparency of the company you are working with; make sure you know all the ways you could incur costs.

Common Pricing Questions to Ask Your Dumpster Rental Company

What weight is included in the price and how much do I pay if I go over?

For context, a simple dumpster quote will be a sticker price based on the size of the dumpster, and included disposal weight, and a set number of rental days. For example: $550 for a 20-yard dumpster, 2-ton cap, 15 days. Out of those three, included disposal weight is the least intuitive, so let’s talk about it. Essentially, you will pay more if the total weight of what you put in the dumpster exceeds the included disposal weight.

To have a lower sticker price, companies will lower the included disposal weight. This is fine, but you need to know what the cost will be if you exceed that limit. See our price comparisons. Saving $40 or $50 seems excellent until you see that you have exceeded the included disposal weight and have to pay an additional $90/ton. In general, a household clean-out will be on the lighter side, a remodel/construction project would be in the middle, and a roofing or plaster-based project would be on the heavy side. In the context of a 20-yard dumpster, 1-3 tons is light, 3-4 is medium, and 4+ is heavy in our experience.

Is there a delivery or fuel fee?

Some companies will offer a low sticker price but will have extra fees that sour the savings. Fuel charges can be stated as fixed or as a percentage of the end bill, while the delivery fee is generally a one-time occurrence. Either way, both of these fees can increase the price of your project.

How much is a trip fee?

A trip fee is incurred when the driver visits a site but is unable to service the location. Make sure the company you are working with is doing its due diligence to check for problematic placement locations. For example, our roll-off dumpsters need 60 feet in a straight line and 23 vertical feet of clearance; the truck is not allowed to touch any branches for wires. 

Although this holds true for most roll-off trucks, other styles of containers need different dimensions for clearance. Additionally, make sure you know what the company expects when they come to remove the container. In general, the container needs to be kept level full, it cannot be excessively heavy, and nothing can be blocking the driver's access. Level full means everything needs to be flush or below flush with the top of the container.

Full List of Questions to Ask Your Dumpster Rental Company

Below is a longer list of questions to ask; some are situational, but these will help you get a better understanding of the process. While knowing the answer to these questions might not save you money, they will help you understand what to expect, helping you to plan your project. While it is impossible to list every potential question to ask, this list will get you off to a great start.

The List

  1. How much notice do I have to give to make a change to my order?
  2. Is there a cancellation fee?
  3. How much space does the delivery truck need?
  4. What is the delivery window?
  5. What is the removal window?
  6. Is the removal automatically scheduled?
  7. How does it work if I fill the dumpster and want a second one? (in the industry, we call this an exchange)
  8. How quick is the turnaround for getting an exchange?
  9. How does street placement work and is there an additional cost?
  10. How should I protect my driveway?
  11. Are the items I am planning to throw away acceptable?
  12. What weight is included in the price and how much do I pay if I go over?
  13. Is there a delivery or fuel fee?
  14. How much is the trip fee?
  15. Are there any other fees I should know about?

See Milwaukee Dumpster Rental’s responses for common dumpster rental pricing questions.

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