Dumpster Rental Prices - A Complete Guide

November 11, 2022

Dumpster rental prices are often very confusing. Depending on which company you call, you will notice different rates, different rental periods, and different methods of calculating the cost. This can make it very difficult to compare prices between companies. Some companies have flat rate pricing, and others will have numerous fees and charges.

Ultimately, the total cost is all that matters. So, how will you know if you are getting a good dumpster rental price? Well, you won't, unless you understand more about dumpster rental pricing. That's why we wrote this guide.

Dumpster rentals are very popular because they are an extremely affordable and convenient way to get rid any kind of debris or junk that you don't need or want. At Trash Daddy Dumpster Rentals, we are trash industry veterans who have been renting roll off dumpsters for over 15 years. In this article we will explain the different methods of pricing as well as any other charges that can increase the cost.

Types of Dumpster Rental Prices

dumpster prices

There are typically two different types of pricing for dumpster rentals - flat rate pricing, and what is called "haul plus ton" pricing. Both have their advantages, but flat rate pricing is more common today.

Haul Plus Ton Pricing

Haul plus ton pricing means that a customer will pay a fee for the delivery (and/or pickup) and a fee based on the ultimate weight after the dumpster is picked up and dumped.

Example: you pay $375 for a 20 yard dumpster at the time of delivery. Then you pay an additional $75 per ton after the dumpster is picked up and weighed. If the dumpster weighs 2.5 tons, that would be $187.50. Total cost = $562.50.

This dumpster rental pricing method was much more common years ago; however, some haulers do continue to set their prices this way today. This method does not include a weight limit, and therefore is not as popular as the more modern day flat rate pricing.

Flat Rate Pricing

flat rate dumpster rental pricing

This is a more common method of pricing for dumpster rentals, especially in the last several years. With flat rate pricing, you usually pay just one price for pickup and delivery.

We say "usually" because there is one exception - the weight limit. Almost every hauler that uses flat rate pricing will include a weight limit for each dumpster size. If the weight of the dumpster exceeds the weight limit, there is an extra charge. However, if it does not, then you only pay the one price.

Example: you pay $399 for a 20 yard dumpster at the time of delivery. Then you pay an additional $75 per ton, but ONLY if the weight exceeds 2 tons. If the dumpster weighs 2.5 tons, that would be an extra $37.50 (or $0 if less than 2 tons). Total cost at 2.5 tons = $436.50 ($399 if less than 2 tons).

This pricing method makes it much simpler to compare prices between companies. However, there are still three more things to remember when comparing dumpster rental prices. One is the rental period, another is the weight limit included in the price, and another is any additional fees.

Comparing Dumpster Rental Prices

dumpster prices compare apples to apples

When comparing dumpster rental prices between companies, make sure you are comparing "apples to apples". Things like dumpster size, weight limits, and especially rental period will affect the price.

Rental periods can vary widely. At Trash Daddy Dumpsters, our rental periods in most areas is 14 days. Some haulers have rental periods as short as two or three days. Typically there is not a big discount for renting a dumpster for a shorter period of time. Remember to keep this in mind when comparing dumpster rental prices.

Example: hauler A charges a flat fee of $399 for a 20 yard dumpster with a rental period of 14 days. Hauler B charges a flat fee of $375, but with a rental period of only 5 days.

If you only call around and ask "how much for a 20 yard", you must remember to ask about the rental period. If you don't compare "apples to apples" on rental periods, you could end up paying a lot more than you had planned.

Ultimately the weight of the dumpster is what determines the total cost

It's also important to note how much weight is included in the flat rate price. Many haulers will include the same amount of weight with common dumpster sizes. For example, the 20 yard will come with 2 tons of weight, the 30 yard with 3 tons, etc.. However, in some areas, the weight included in the price can vary quite a bit. Again, if you don't compare apples to apples on the weight limits, the cost can end up being more than you thought.

Other Dumpster Rental Charges

Dry Run Fees

Dry run fees or relocate fees are examples of other fees that can also affect the cost of a dumpster rental. These fees are less common, and most customers won't ever have them. However, you should be aware of them, as it can affect the total cost of a dumpster rental if and when they occur.

A dry run fee is charged if a driver comes out and cannot pick up or deliver a dumpster. This normally happens when the area where the dumpster is being placed is blocked, either by cars, or maybe behind a locked gate. It also happens if a customer turns a driver away for some reason - like they weren't ready for the dumpster to be picked up yet, for example. At Trash Daddy, we always make our customers aware of these things when they order in an attempt to always keep the cost as minimal as possible. Dry run fees normally cost about $200.

Relocate Fees

A relocate fee is charged when a dumpster is dropped and a customer decides it's not where they want it and they need it moved. If that happens, first you will have to wait until a driver can be scheduled out. Then when the driver comes out, there is an expense for that, so a relocate fee is charged to cover that expense. Relocate fees are typically $100-$200.

Dumpster Rental Prices - Conclusion

The main thing to keep in mind is that the weight of the dumpster is what will determine your total cost. Normally, most companies' prices for dumpster rentals are not far apart. However, we wrote this guide to help you compare "apples to apples" when it comes to dumpster rental pricing. Several things can make a dumpster rental cost much more than you thought, including the type of pricing, the rental period, the size, the weight limit, and any other fees.

Just remember - it's not as simple as calling dumpster rental companies and saying "how much for a 20 yard dumpster". You have to find out the other details as well in order to get the full true dumpster rental price. If you have any questions, our team at Trash Daddy is happy to help! We have been in the dumpster rental business over 15 years and we have seen it all. We hope this guide helps you to better navigate the dumpster rental world!