Rent a Dumpster or Hire a Junk Removal Company?

Dumpster Rental VS Junk Removal

   Hey, listen, I know it's a bit of a drag when it comes to these kinds of things, but whether you're doing a massive junk removal or you need to hire a dumpster rental service for your home, church, business, yard clean-out, furniture removal, construction debris, community center or whatever else in between, the last thing you should be worried about is figuring out which one is ideal for you; so this article is for you. 

This article will give you the very best answer to which one is right for you, with all the advantages, disadvantages, which to use, items not allowed, costs, permit, and so on - and if at any point, you are confused or you need clarification, talk to us. We will help.

Now, before we start, let's make it very clear that there are essentially two ways to removeitems from your place. Either way, junk removal or dumpster rental both offer an easy way for you to clear out items from your home or business area. 

It can all be done in just 3 steps: 

  1. Make a phone call
  2. Pick which type of removal service you want.
  3. Pay for the service 

Your choice of service will just depend on whether you intend to do the junk removal yourself or have a trained crew to do the heavy lifting. Here's the difference between the two.

Dumpster Rental: What is it?

Basically, it's a DIY approach to waste removal. A company will deliver a massive dumpster and now, you'll have a couple of days to organize and dump everything that you want into it. This approach is very relaxing; there's no real pressure. No people to handle.

Junk Removal: What is it?

Think garagemen or garage trucks but more professionally organized and thoughtful. People will come over and help you pick up stuff, throw stuff, lift heavy stuff, and whatever. It's a bit more expensive, but it's fast and very convenient. This approach is more like you're a supervisor.

Which One is Best for Me? 

Let me ask you- which do you have more of, time or money?

If time, go with dumpster rentals:

  • Cheaper
  • Way more relaxing
  • Could potentially be a family-bondingmoment

If money, go with junk removal:

  • Faster (couple of hours)
  • Convenient
  • Feels like you've just hired movers

Everything about Dumpster Rentals

A Relaxing Time to Bond 

Dumpster rentals are simple. You hire someone to deliver a massive dumpster to your place, they leave it with you for a couple of days, and you get to work. They're best for construction debris, furniture removal, a community center, or basically any place that has a lot of heavy items that need to be removed. This is fantastic for a group activity.

Types of Dumpster Rentals:

Roll-Off Dumpster:

  • Sizes: from 10 yards to 40 yards
  • Delivered by a truck equipped with a specialized lift system and is dropped off at the site; 1 to 2 weeks rental period.
  • Recommended  when you're disposing of a large number of waste materials. 
  • Can hold the bulky items that you can't put out on the curb, such as      furniture, electronics, appliances, drywall, bricks. 
  • Suitable for temporary jobs, including demolitions, home improvement projects, and events. 

Front-Load Dumpster:

  • Resembles a roll-off dumpster; varying sizes. Accepts similar materials.
  • Best  for commercial use, by restaurants, schools, offices, apartments. 
  • A  front-load dumpster is more permanent.
  • Price:  based on the dumpster size, location, pick-up frequency, added considerations. 

Dumpster Bag:

  • A  Dumpster bag or Bagster is used in smaller jobs that don't need a      full-sized dumpster. 
  • Size: width- 8 ft; height- 2.5 ft; depth- 4 ft. Used when driveway space is limited. Despite the small size, the bags are durable and carry as much as 1.5 tons. A Bagster is purchased from a retailer: fill it up, then schedule for pickup. 
  • A great option for smaller jobs with its lower price, compared to a regular  dumpster. 
  • Price: $30 Plus the pick-up fee. No deadlines or overage fees, not like a  dumpster rental. 
  • You can't fill with large items, appliances, electronics. But can include  heavy items in smaller quantities, such as concrete and brick.

Dumpster Sizes | Weight limit | Dimensions (in feet)

10-yard | 4,000-6000 Pounds | 14 x 7 x 3 | best for furniture, debris, clean-outs, junk

15-yard | 4,000-6000 Pounds | 16 x 7.5 x 4.5 | best for heavy materials like asphalt, concrete, dirt

20-yard | 4,000-6000 Pounds | 22 x 7.5 x 4.5 | best for heavy-debris in house clean-outs, remodeling cleanup

30-yard | 7,000-10,000 Pounds | 22 x 7.5 x 6 | best for renovation of office and large homes, junk removal

40 yard | 10,000-12,000 Pounds | 22 x 7.5 x 8 | best for big remodeling and construction projects

Dumpster Maximum Fill Requirements:

Follow the requirements on Maximum Load. Just contact the company. When you're done, they'll come back and haul it for you. A dumpster rental company imposes weight restrictions in filling a dumpster, based on your municipality's rules and fees of the landfill. If your dumpster load exceeds the weight restrictions, additional fees are charged.


  • If you plan to place your container on your driveway, that's the most common location; normally does not require a permit.
  • Cities differ in their dumpster permit regulations. Check if your locality requires a permit for the dumpster if it'll be on the side of a street or in a public area. Most likely, you'll need a permit when the dumpster is  visible to passersby, and if the dumpster is put on public property.

Restricted Items

A team reviews the list of prohibited items with a customer. This list should be included with the invoice sent to the customer's email. 


  • There are restrictions on some items that should be handled separately from other debris, mainly for safety and environmental reasons. 

Restricted items

  • Adhesives, fluorescent light bulbs, car batteries, oils, fuels, and propane tanks;  household cleaners; paint and lacquers, freon, food waste, hot water tanks, inks, and resins; railroad ties, tires, telephone poles.

Hazardous waste

  • Flammable or ignitable waste items; corrosive waste items; reactive and toxic wastes
  • Infectious or bio-hazardous waste items: these are potentially infectious substances, like blood, body fluids, body parts, and waste of animals. Sharp wastes like blades, needles, glass pipettes, other waste that cause injury while being handled

B. Restricted items on a Commercial Dumpster  

Your commercial bin is the right container for most trash produced in your business. But restrictions apply on hazardous items mentioned above, for safety reasons. Plus, some bulky items are too large for the usual garbage truck collection or must be transported to another landfill. 

The list below shows types of debris that can't be put in a commercial dumpster. Alternative disposal ways must be used.

Prohibited Items - Recommended Disposal 

There's a chance that if you include these prohibited items in your dumpster, you may get penalized and your day ruined. Avoid the following:

  • Fuels, oils, batteries: contact service for hazardous waste disposal
  • Liquid  chemicals and industrial drums: contact service for chemical collection or drum disposal
  • Medical waste: contact service for medical waste collection 
  • Tires: look for an auto shop or local recycler of tires
  • Appliances:  use a temporary roll-off dumpster
  • Construction, roofing, and remodeling materials: use a construction dumpster.
  • Concrete, dirt, asphalt, bricks: use a demolition dumpster.

... whatever your dumpster's configuration or fancy way of getting it delivered or picked up, it's a dumpster. You put stuff on it, and surprisingly, it's really easy and stress-relieving. It just is.

Everything about Junk Removal-

Letting Them Do the Heavy-LIfting

Hiring a Junk Removal Service is usually for property turnovers, clean-outs of basement or storage, home remodeling, or clean-outs of the whole house. The junk removal company goes to your home or business location with a large truck. This truck has a dumpster and a crew that hauls all the junk into the dumpster. Work is done in a matter of hours, the longest being the whole day. 

Why do you hire junk removal services?

  • Speed of junk removal is your priority
  • You only have a few bulk trash items. Junk removal service is generally cheaper than a dumpster rental.
  • There's  a big pile of debris in a central area; you're willing to pay extra to hire labor to haul the heavy debris.

For a residential clean-out

  • Hire a company that does residential junk removal. Items are furniture, electronics, appliances, rugs, mattresses, and carpet.
  • If the needed cleaning is because of house renovations, then items to be removed are construction debris; drywall, concrete debris, scrap metal, flooring, wood, lumber.

For commercial clean-outs: 

  • Junk removal service is done on units vacated by tenants who left junk piles, or landlords finish their non-structural demolitions improving their property for future tenants. The materials to be removed include drywall, appliances, bathroom fixtures, even kitchen cabinets.

For industrial clean-outs: 

  • Help clean up a job site by disposal of junk, waste, recyclable material, scrap material following local codes, or provide service to speed up to complete demolition. Removing only non-hazardous items. 

Junk Removal: Items NOT Allowed

There are waste materials that junk removal companies do not take that are dangerous to transport. These materials are combustible, toxic, reactive, corrosive. These have to be properly disposed of, following your county regulations. Waste includes opened paint cans, gasoline, drums, and tanks of oil, solvents, chemicals, asbestos, other toxic and hazardous waste.

How much is junk removal service?

The cost for junk removal differs, on a case-by-case basis. The minimum charge is $50 to $125 to haul a small load. The cost increase of this base price depends on the volume of junk and the complexity of the project. Heavier, larger loads, like construction debris or yard waste, or commercial clean-outs, cost $125 to $2000.

Cost factors of junk removal service:

  • Size, weight, amount of debris to be disposed of
  • Junk  removal charges may be different for household junk versus construction and yard debris. The latter debris is heavier,  and needs more work to gather and bag up. This costs more than disposing of household items like mattresses or sofas.
  • Higher  costs in cities with a high cost of living, e.g. New York City, Los Angeles. Lower cost in areas with a low cost of living.
  • Distance traveled by the junk removal truck to/from your property, and to the  recycling center or landfill.
  • Additional difficulty and weight of debris, other extenuating factors.
  • Cost  estimates are advertised on free online sites or quotes given by phone or visits. You can send photos of the junk as a basis for price quotes.

7 Benefits of Junk removal service 

  1. Saves Time & Money: More time for friends, family, and business clients.  No need to coordinate a dumpster rental, applying for permits, or paying local fees. No need to balance logistics. Saving time is saving money. For business owners, you can invest your time into your business. 
  2. Worry-Free:  Hiring a professional junk removal company, with a track record of reliable service, saves you stress and frustration. Plus they know the best recycling practices. Your junk need not all be dumped into a landfill.  They can recycle.
  3. They Donate to Charities: Many junk removal companies donate the disposed of household appliances and electronics to charity organizations; office and warehouse furnishings are also donated.
  4. Safe from Hazards: There are serious injuries caused by junk, or unused  items clogging the yard or your hallways. On a larger scale, such as a job site, scattered debris is also a safety hazard.
  5. Protection from Injury: Large household items are heavy, like pianos, and need a team to remove them. To haul these heavy items by yourself, without  professional help, can cause injury. Other items have to be disassembled before they can be taken out of your house. A professional junk remover can do the job safely and well.
  6. Ideal for Emergency Situations: Unpredictable or extreme weather, fires, floods: junk removal companies handle disaster cleanups and debris cleanups in a safe, fast, and efficient way. 
  7. Handles Large-Scale Jobs: Contingent situations like a foreclosure; or a big-scale business renovation: junk removal service provides the manpower, the tools, and trucks to dispose of waste. Junk removal service efficiently handles big commercial jobs

Comparing Dumpster Rental Services and Junk Removal Services


  • Junk removal service provides a crew to remove all the junk, clean up the remaining debris on-site, in your home or business area, at a scheduled time. With dumpster rentals, you do all the heavy work of lifting and removing the junk. Here, you need to dispose of a large number of items, and this takes more than a day. 
  • Both dumpster rental and a junk removal company help with clean-outs or junk  removal. The difference is that the junk removal crew will do all the heavy lifting, like getting your washing machine from your basement


  • Dumpster rental price: 3 to 4 days rental fee is from $90 to $840. The price may include fees for permits required by the municipality, dumping fees. 
  • Unlike  some dumpster rentals, junk removal does not need permits. The service  cost of junk removal is not based on time, but on the volume of junk in a truck. There is also single-item pricing on everyday items such as mattresses. 

Protection from property damage: 

  • Junk removal crew work as a team and are trained to do the heavy lifting, so no damage is done to the property. They have a lot of experience in removing heavy, bulky items like furniture, mattresses, appliances, and large quantities of debris like demolition debris and yard waste.
  • They use equipment to transport heavy items. More importantly, the junk removal service is backed by insurance as protection against property damage.
  • If you  do the lifting yourself, as in dumpster rental, you may scratch up your floor, or your wall or cause severe damage to your property


  • With dumpster rentals, because you do the heavy lifting, you may get injured if you don't have the proper equipment. Even lifting an old mattress by yourself can be dangerous if you're not strong enough.

Some items may be accepted or not: 

  • There are items that some dumpster rental companies do not accept, like items  with freon, as freezers or fridges; and tires.  For example, you can't place yard  trimmings together with construction materials-- you need to rent two different dumpsters. Check out the waste items that a dumpster rental accepts; and if different items can be put in the same dumpster or need to be put in different dumpsters.
  • Junk  removal services don't have these restrictions; they can haul yard trimmings, and drywall together with bulky items, such as bathtubs. 

Environmental Effects:

  • With a dumpster rental, all waste items hauled are brought to the dumpsite. So  you'll need to sort out your recyclable material; remove them differently.      
  • Junk  removal services, on the other hand, do the sorting of recyclables that are not to be brought to the landfill. Many junk removal services recycle part of the waste load. They also donate used items to charitable entities, so they can even give you a tax-deductible receipt for the donation.

Size of Container:

  • Dumpster  Rental: sizes of Roll-off containers: range from 10 to 40 cubic yards.  Standard rental period: 7 days
  • Junk  Removal: Most trucks are 15 cubic yards. Junk removal is done in 1 day; or less. 


  • Dumpster rental is cost-effective on larger loads; for clean-out and clean-ups on a bigger scale, such as clean-outs of an estate, construction, demolition.  With a minimum of 10 yards of debris. Longer rental period. Labor cost is low.
  • Junk removal is cost-effective for smaller loads, under 10 yards. Or pick-ups of single items. 

Cost Comparison: Dumpster Rental Services vs Junk Removal Services


  • Size,  weight, type, and volume or amount of space the debris takes up in the truck. Large items are best suited for junk removal companies, as  dumpsters have restrictions and limitations.
  • Costs differ: depending on your location, duration of junk removal, additional disposal fees, local permits needed to park a dumpster rental; the scope and complexity of the project. A dumpster rental for 2 days can cost $90 to $850. Factors include the type of debris, the weight of debris, size of  the container
  • Junk removal companies have no additional fees: Hiring a junk removal company is straightforward: simply schedule the pickup; pay for the junk removal;  get rid of all debris. 
  • Sample  smaller cleanups: for instance, you move only a few pieces of furniture, say an old sofa, mattresses, some boxes with junk in the garage. A  dumpster rental gives a quote of $250. While a junk removal service quotes  a base charge of $125 to haul the junk. With a small volume of junk, the dumpster rental is not practical
  • For larger quantities of debris removal, a dumpster rental is more  cost-effective; for instance, you want a roofing project or the total  clean-out of a home.
  • National  averages give an overview of the service costs.

Price Comparison: 

Rental rates of Dumpster (Base rate):

  • Dumpster,      10-yards: $295
  • Dumpster,      20-yards: $400
  • Dumpster,      30-yard: $450
  • Dumpster,      40-yards: $500

Junk Removal service prices (Base rate):

  • Minimum  price: $50 to $125
  • Removal  of household junk: $275
  • Construction   debris such as concrete, bricks: $300 to $530
  • Yard  debris: $350

Conclusion: Dumpster Rental Services vs Junk Removal Services 

I hope with everything that I've shared with you that it's clear which service is for you. I know it's a lot of information but again, here's the biggest tip. . . which do you have more- time, or money? More time, but limited money, or don't want to spend a fortune? Then, go dumpster rentals. It's DIY and actually kinda fun, especially with your family involved. And if you have more money than time, say you run a business or you're an executive, hire a junk removal service. They're basically like movers, but better.

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