The Dumpster Size Guide
When you look into roll off dumpsters, you will see that they are measured in cubic yards. The cubic yards indicate how much debris each one can hold.
When you understand the different sizes of a dumpster, it can go a long way in helping you select the best container for you. We have a chart below of common dumpster sizes to help you.
Typical Dumpster Sizes and Dimensions.
Size Typical Exterior Dimensions Max. Volume.
- 10 yard dumpster 12 ft. long by 8 ft. wide by 3.5 ft. high 10 cubic yards
- 20 yard dumpster 22 ft. long by 8 ft. wide by 4 ft. high 20 cubic yards
- 30 yard dumpster 22 ft. long by 8 ft. wide by 6 ft. high 30 cubic yards
- 40 yard dumpster 22 ft. long by 8 ft. wide by 8 ft. high 40 cubic yards
Please be aware that the sizes above are the most common you see, but there are companies that may be different.
What are Cubic Yards?
Cubic yards are a measurement of volume. A yard is typically 3 feet. So, if you think about a square that is 3 feet wide, 3 feet long, and 3 feet high, you have yourself a cubic yard.
If you look at a dumpster’s dimensions in feet, you can calculate the cubic yards that the dumpster can hold with this formula.
length ft X width ft X height ft = total cubic feet.
Then take your total cubic feet and divide it by 27 to get the number into cubic yards.
Total cubic feet / 27 = Cubic Yards.
When you look at the dumpster dimensions, they are typically given in feet and are measured around the outside. If you take the formula above, and use it for the outside dimensions, the volume will be slightly larger. To ensure accuracy, its best to use the interior measurements, if the measurements are not available, you can minus about 6 to 8 inches off each side.
Things to consider when selecting a container size
When you try to estimate how much debris you may have, it can be challenging, especially when you have large items that can take up a lot of space. It is important to make sure you get the right size to ensure you have a good dumpster rental experience.
A small dumpster can be an expensive mistake.
If you are trying to save money by trying to fit 15 cubic yards of debris in a 10 cubic yard dumpster. It will not fit and will most likely cost you more money. What will typically happen is you would have to request to switch out the dumpster. The dumpster company will come by and they will deliver another 10 cubic yard dumpster that is empty and haul your full one away. This will end up doubling your bill costing more money than just ordering a single 20 cubic yard dumpster. You can learn more about dumpster rental costs with our guide to dumpster rentals.
Another costly mistake is overfilling the dumpster. You must keep your debris at level or within the top of the dumpster. If your debris fill up higher than the dumpster you may have to pay more money.
When you fill a dumpster, it may seem like there is no problem in filling it above the rim. This is another costly mistake. The dumpster service cannot and will not hall your debris. It is considered a safety hazard for the driver, as well as other people on the road. The driver may let you know that the dumpster is too full, and cannot be taken until it is level, and you will be charged a trip fee. Sometimes, if the debris are light, he may level out the dumpster himself and leave the debris on the side for you to take care of. In cases like that, you may be charged a overfill fee.
Double check your Dimensions.
Sometimes dumpsters may need to be delivered to a small driveway or alleyway, it is important to double check the size of the dumpster and compare it to the area you are having it dropped off. Dumpsters are typically about 8 feet wide, but the length of the dumpster will change depending how many cubic feet you may need.
When you consider the space you will need, it is also important to keep in mind that dumpsters typically have an 8 ft. wide door that swings open on the back. If you plan on loading through the door instead of loading through the top, then you want to make sure you add an additional 8 feet of length so that the door can swing open.
When you choose a dumpster, there isn’t really a best practice, but 10 yard dumpsters will suit most small residential clean outs.
10 Yard Dumpster
What will fit into a 10 yard dumpster?
- Basement or garage debris.
- 250 sq. ft of decking material.
- 1,500 sq. ft. of single layer roofing shingles.
- Small kitchen or bathroom remodel debris.
20 Yard Dumpster
A 20 yard dumpster is one of the most popular dumpster sizes, because if its price and capacity. The 20 yard dumpster will be able to hold up to 20 cubic yards of waste. The typical
20 yard dumpster dimensions are: 22 ft. long x 8 ft. wide x 4.5 ft. high. Large cleanouts like flooring debris are most suitable for 20 cubic yard dumpster. 10 pickup truck loads of waste and debris is about the same amount a 20 yard dumpster can hold.
What can a 20 yard dumpster fit?
- Basement, attic, or garage cleanouts
- Flooring and carpet debris from a large house
- 300 to 400 square feet of decking material
- 2,500 to 3,000 sq. ft. of single layer roofing shingles.
30 Yard Dumpster
A 30 yard dumpster is most popular for construction projects, it can hold up to 30 cubic yards of waste. The typical dumpster dimensions for a 30 yard dumpster are: 22 ft. long x 8 ft. wide x 6 ft. high. 30 yard dumpsters may be the right solution for whole house cleanouts and commercial projects.
What fits in a 30 yard dumpster?
- An addition to a home.
- Construction from a new home.
- Debris from a garage demo.
- Window replacement for whole home.
40 Yard Dumpster
A 40 yard dumpster can hold up to 40 cubic yards of waste and is most suitable for very large projects. The common dumpster dimensions for a 40 yard dumpster are: 22 ft. long x 8 ft. wide x 8 ft. high. This dumpster is ideal for large residential projects, commercial cleanups and industrial applications.
What would a 40-yard dumpster fit?
- Windows and sliding glass doors for a large house.
- Commercial roofing.
- Commercial or a whole office clean out.
- New construction.
- Large amounts of demolition debris, trash, paper, or cardboard.
When to rent a 30 or 40 yard dumpster:
If you need assistance, rental companies are the true professionals, and they can give you an accurate recommendation for your project.
When you are trying to choose a roll off dumpster, it can be difficult to estimate how much dumpster you will need. If you are not sure, you can call a few companies, and let them know what you need the dumpster for, and they can help you pick the right one.
You can learn more on how to select the right dumpster rental company for your needs by checking out our guide on hiring the right dumpster service.
If you need a professional to give you a recommendation, click below.