Dumpster Costs Demystified

White Line Waste
You might think that your dumpster rental company of choice is raking in profits on a high rental price. However, it is more likely that your dumpster company makes only a small profit on each container. Hopefully, breaking down the dumpster costs will make it easier for you to understand what all goes into renting one!   

The things that will impact dumpster rental pricing the most in your area are as follows:

  • Driver Wages
  • Dump Fees
  • Fuel Costs
  • Sales Taxes

In addition to direct costs affecting your container rental pricing, a company must include other basic overhead costs.

  • Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance Costs
  • Advertising
  • Office Wages
  • Merchant Account Fees
  • Insurance Costs
  • Real Estate Costs
The way a dumpster company stays in business and becomes profitable is through container turnover, or renting lots of containers.  

White line Waste dumpster costsADDITIONAL DAY CHARGES

Most dumpster rental companies have a specified number of days in which they allow you to rent a container. They will charge a fee for days or periods beyond the specified rental period. Additional rental days charged to the customer offset the opportunity cost of renting the container to a different customer.


If you find you fill up the dumpster you rented much faster than you expected and still have junk leftover you can expect to be charged when requesting a dumpster to be emptied and brought back. Emptying and returning a dumpster to your location will incur all of the same costs to the dumpster company as your original reservation including drivers wages, fuel, and dump fees. Some dumpster rental companies will dump and return a container or bring an empty container in exchange for the full container. When unsure about the volume of waste you have to dispose of, it is often safer to overestimate the size of the dumpster. The cost difference between sizes is usually less expensive than the price of getting a dumpster emptied and returned.


Dumpster rental companies will charge for container weight in one of two ways. A dumpster rental company will charge a flat rate that includes a certain weight allowance. This means customers will pay the flat rate for the load regardless if the load is heavy or light. Additional charges will incur if the given weight allowance is exceeded, and is usually billed at a per ton fee. The other way that a dumpster company will charge for weight is to bill the customer directly for the exact weight that they place in the dumpster. There is usually not an overweight charge in this case unless the weight of the load exceeds a maximum amount set by company policy.  

Dumpster Costs White Line Waste TrashADDITIONAL FEES AND FINES

You can expect to pay a fee or fine for the following:


Any fees are based on the prep by the company for your rental when you cancel a dumpster rental within a specified window.  Canceling a load may cause the company to have to re-plan an entire day’s route or even re-route a driver. Your reservation may occur at the denial of other customers wishing to reserve the same size container on the same day.   

Dumpster Relocation

You might decide a dumpster location is unsuitable after delivery, find that you have a materials delivery, or have a moving truck scheduled that will conflict with your current dumpster location. Most dumpster rental companies will not relocate a dumpster for free. A company may not be able to execute your request on the same day as requested because even a minor relocation will require a driver to detour from his or her regularly scheduled route.  

Blocked or Failed Pick Up

A blocked pickup may occur when a driver is unable to access a container because it is not reachable. A failed pickup occurs when a dumpster is overloaded by weight or volume and driver refuses to pick up for safety reasons or based on company policy. The customer must then reschedule a time to have the dumpster picked up after the container has been offloaded to compliance. Weather conditions can also account for a failed pickup in the instance of heavy rains causing the ground to become to soft to bear the weight of company equipment. Most of these instances will incur additional charges to the customer.

Unacceptable Items

You can expect to pay an extra fee or fine if unacceptable items are in your load. Above all, you will have to ask your dumpster rental company for a list of unacceptable items. See Tips on Disposing of Unacceptable or Hazardous Waste for more information.