Dumpster Sizes

The Ultimate Guide to Dumpster Sizes

Dumpster sizes are typically measured in cubic yards. The outside dimensions of the dumpster are usually measured in feet. Ideally, when you have to rent a dumpster you will also want to think about the type of project as well as the waste materials you will be putting in it. For example, filling a dumpster with yard waste will create far less weight compared to getting rid of construction materials or rubble.  Moreover, some dumpsters have restrictions on the types of waste that can be placed in them.

How to Calculate Dumpster Size: Understanding Cubic Yard

A cubic yard is a way to measure space or volume. You can calculate the number of cubic yards of debris that a dumpster can hold by using the basic formula below. But before that, you will have to take the dimensions of the dumpster in feet.

  • Multiply length , width and height in feet to determine total cubic feet
  • Divide the total cubic feet by 27

Dumpster Size Guide: Four Standard Options

Dumpster sizes are generally provided in feet and measured from the outside of the container walls.  To get a more precise interior volume, use interior dimensions by subtracting approximately 6 to 8 inches off each exterior measurement. An 8 ft. exterior width then becomes 7.4 ft. of interior width.

Here are the specifications of four standard dumpster sizes.

10 Yard
These can accommodate up to 10 cubic yards of waste material and that approximately fits into 4 pickup trucks. According to a standard dumpster size guide, this size is most useful for:

  • Concrete or dirt removal
  • Attic cleanout
  • Shed cleanout
  • Small kitchen or bathroom remodel
  • Small deck removal (250 sq. ft.)
  • 20-25 square of single-layer roofing shingles (2,000 – 2,500 square feet)
  • Junk cleanout during a move
  • One car garage cleanout

20 Yard
This dumpster can hold up to 20 cubic yards of waste material– roughly equal to six pickup truck loads. These are best suited for:

  • Kitchen renovation
  • Bathroom renovation
  • Offloading junk when moving in/out
  • Shed demolition
  • Inground swimming pool removal/demolition
  • New construction of a smaller barn or cabin
  • Garage demolition
  • Whole-home cleanouts (hoarding, foreclosure, estate)
  • Yard waste removal
  • Two-stall garage cleanout
  • 400-500 square foot deck removal
  • 40-50 square of roofing shingles

30 Yard
Roughly equal to nine pickup truck loads, this one is ideal for the clean-up jobs mentioned for 20-yard dumpsters, but on a larger scale. Examples include:

  • New construction of a house or cottage
  • Moving in/out of a large residence
  • Whole-home cleanouts- including large appliances and furniture
  • Two-car garage + shed+barn cleanouts

40 Yard
These are equipped to carry up to 40 cubic yards of waste- roughly equal to 12 pickup truck loads of waste material. This dumpster size is more popular for the following types of projects:

  • New construction of a house
  • Commercial cleanouts
  • Commercial roofing replacements
  • House demolition
  • Large deck removals (over 750 sq. ft.)
  • Whole-home renovation

Keep in mind that a dumpster rental near you will always follow the standard dimensions. So, going for a dumpster size that is too small can be costlier. Because if you try to squeeze debris meant for a 15 yard dumpster size into a 10 yard one, it could cause trouble. A smaller dumpster wouldn’t be able to contain all your trash at once. So, the dumpster company will have to get you another 10 yard dumpster to evacuate all your trash at once, and that will cost you double.