How Big Of A Dumpster Do I Need?

October 16, 2020

Roll off dumpsters generally come in six different sizes - 10 yard, 12 yard, 15 yard, 20 yard, 30 yard and 40 yard. A yard is a cubic yard, which defines how much debris each dumpster holds. Each size has its own weight limit, with the larger sizes having the ability to hold more weight.

In this article, we will answer the question "how big of a dumpster do I need", and we will go over the weight limits for each size with information on the types of debris typically used for each size.

10 Yard Dumpster - 1 ton weight limit

This is the smallest size typically available, and its for smaller projects. It's popular with homeowners due to its small dimensions, but the weight limit is low. It is affordable if you are careful not to over-fill it, or fill it with heavy material. Often people use this size to discard small things - cleaning out a small room, a few pieces of old furniture, maybe a mattress or two, or maybe some yard waste like bags of leaves and small tree branches.

12 Yard Dumpster - 1.2 ton weight limit

The 12 yard is not as readily available, but has a slightly higher weight limit while keeping similar small dimensions. This is also for smaller projects like small room clean outs or small remodel projects. Some companies do offer this size for very heavy jobs, sometimes called a "12 yard heavy", offering a 10 ton weight limit. If this is offered, they are special dumpsters used almost exclusively for very heavy items like dirt, concrete, rock or sod.

15 Yard Dumpster - 1.5 ton weight limit

A 15 yard dumpster is also good for small jobs, but allows for more and/or larger debris. This size is not as readily available as other sizes, but it can be a good option for homeowners when available. This can take small items like a 10 yard, but also could take some larger items like light landscaping debris and small remodel projects.

20 Yard Dumpster - 2 ton weight limit

The 20 yard dumpster is one of the most popular choices for dumpster rentals. It's affordable, not as tall, and still able to fit in most spaces near residential homes. It also can carry heavier loads, making it a popular choice for landscaping and other contractors. This is a good choice for residential remodel jobs, landscaping clean up, larger tree branches, and more.

30 Yard Dumpster - 3 ton weight limit

The 30 yard dumpster is also one of the more popularly rented dumpsters. There are typically more of this size in circulation, making them easy to rent. They are also usually a very good value, because the weight limit makes it easier to not over-fill, keeping your cost down. People put just about anything in this size - from residential remodel debris, shingles and roofing debris, demolition debris, and more.

40 Yard Dumpster - 4 ton weight limit

The 40 yard dumpster is mainly used by contractors for large jobs. This size is also not as readily available because it's used more for special circumstances like large clean up projects, demolition work, or other commercial jobs.


Roll off dumpsters typically come in 6 different sizes (10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 40 yard). It's best to talk to a dumpster rental expert before you rent a dumpster to try to estimate the weight so you can be assured of getting the best possible price. At Trash Daddy Dumpsters, we help our customers get the right size dumpster for their job at the best price.

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