What You Need to Know Before Renting a Dumpster

So you’ve made the decision to toss a bunch of stuff and now you know you need a dumpster to do the job. What do you need to know before you actually get one?

Renting a dumpster from any company should be easy and straightforward. But it doesn’t always work that way. You do need to know some basic things before actually renting a dumpster

Here’s a quick overview of what to understand:

1. How Do You Choose a Quality Dumpster Rental Company?

Just like any consumer or business service, you have great dumpster rental companies that couldn’t be easier to work with. And then you have not-so-great ones that fill your contract with hidden fees, come late or not at all, or are just plain rude in their interaction with you.

How do you research upfront so you get the kind you love?

First, find a company that operates locally. Their reputation depends on giving you excellent service. They’re likely to understand that and give you great service as a result.

Large companies and brokers focus on efficiency. They have so many customers that if they screw up they just move on to the next customer. Find 2-3 prospects on Google. Some websites also offer entire directories of dumpster rental companies.

Research your prospect’s Google reviews and Facebook reviews. Talk to each company. If you feel like they’re genuinely concerned with helping you out and answering your questions, that’s a great sign.
If they offer poor service at any point in your interaction with the company prior to hiring them, cross them off the list.

Remember, the company wants to earn your business and money at this point. And if they’re anything less than kind and helpful, that continues and usually turns into bigger problems later on.

2. Where Will You Place Your Dumpster?

This can actually be quite tricky. First, you should contact your local municipality and ask if they have any regulations. They may require you to have a permit, and they might ban the placement of dumpsters on city streets altogether.

If you live in a HOA, you should also contact the association and ask about their requirements. In many cases, you’ll end up putting your dumpster on your driveway. That’s because a flat and hard surface bears the weight of the dumpster best. And when you do, you need to protect your driveway. The weight of your dumpster, when full, can be enough to cause cracks.

To avoid this problem, you simply need to go to your local hardware store or lumber yard and get cheap 4×8-foot sheets of plywood. Laying them down and placing your dumpster on top will be enough to protect your driveway from damage. The sheets of plywood will be damaged and unusable. But, you could cut them up and have a
backyard fire with your family!

What if you don’t have a flat or hard surface available?

A parking lot, street, or hard-packed dirt works well too. However, these again may be subject to local regulation or HOA requirements.
You can also put your dumpster on loose sand if no other options are available. And again, 4×8-foot sheets of plywood will give your dumpster the stability it needs.

If you’re not sure what to do, this is a great question to ask your dumpster rental service as you research companies. You can test their service and see if they’re genuinely interested in helping
you, or if they’re just reciting their way through, treating you like a number.

3. What Size Dumpster Will You Really Need?

What size of dumpster do you really need to toss all your stuff away? Honestly, it’s a pretty easy decision.

We always advise to look at the way you’re going to throw stuff out. If you’ll walk your stuff to the dumpster, you’ll be fine with a 20 cubic yard dumpster.

If you’ll use heavy machinery to assist you in removing trash or debris, you’ll need a 30 cubic yard dumpster.
What if you’re not sure? This is another opportunity to call your dumpster rental company and test their customer service. See how nice and patient they are when you ask a simple question.

In general, you should go with the largest (not the smallest) dumpster you think you’ll need. That’s not because larger dumpsters cost more and we’re trying to add to our own profit margin. If you underestimate and get a dumpster that’s too small, it’ll need to get hauled away and brought back again. If you have one that’s too large, it only gets hauled away once. And, it costs you less to have a larger dumpster hauled away once.

4. What Exactly Can You Put in Your Dumpster?

You can’t put anything and everything in your dumpster rental. That would be nice. But because of recycling and regulation, it’s not possible with any dumpster rental company. Generally, dumpster rentals can accept any typical household garbage, yard waste, or
construction debris.

You might also have stuff that no dumpster rental company can take, which may require special disposal. For example, batteries, paint, fuels, or chemicals. Ask how you can get rid of these. You might also have large furniture that’s impossible for you to move on your own. In that case, you’d have to ask your dumpster rental company if they haul such stuff away, or if they know a junk removal service who can do that for you.

You don’t want to try and sneak anything in your dumpster that shouldn’t be there, even if it is a small amount. If you get found out, that results in fines and possibly high fines.

5. What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Your Stuff?

You may feel the temptation to hold onto your stuff and sell it on Craigslist or Ebay. That’s actually not a bad idea for items you own that you know have a decent market value. For example, you have an old set of a popular brand of dishes. You might be able to get some
money for those.

You probably won’t want to do this for every last item you own, however. That’s because selling stuff online takes more work than you might realize. You have to create a product listing, upload
images, and change prices. Plus, your items won’t necessarily sell right away. It could take many months or even longer
than a year.

So, if you want to get rid of your stuff, you have to estimate how much time it will take, and then consider whether it’s worth your time to resell it or just toss it away. It frequently makes sense for items that carry a decent value. But you’re probably wasting your
time if you try to sell everything you want to get rid of online.

Now You’re Prepared

When you talk to dumpster rental companies, their process and terms should always be easy and straightforward to understand. And armed with this information, you now have a rough idea
of what to expect so you don’t make any costly mistakes! 

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