Ask Angela: How far in advance do we need to order a dumpster for a clean-out or remodel?

Angela Phillips is a Senior Account Manager III at ZTERS Waste Solutions. She helps customers with some of their most challenging site service issues, and she answers your questions here on our website.

Angela, how far in advance do we need to order a dumpster if we’re doing a clean-out or home remodel?

Not surprisingly, we get this question a lot in spring and summer. People are spending more time at home in 2020, and we’ve seen people either starting or planning major clean-outs and renovations. Here’s what you can expect when renting a dumpster for residential use, including how early you need to order a dumpster.

In most cases, if you call to schedule before noon you can have a dumpster delivered the next business day. (There’s usually a rush fee if the next day is a Saturday and you absolutely have to have it that day.) However, keep these things in mind:

  • Storms, natural disasters, and times when there is a large demand for dumpsters will almost always have a waitlist. We’ve helped customers bring in dumpsters from other areas, so that’s possible. But keep this delay mind if there’s any kind of increased demand in your area. I’ve written about storm debris cleanup before. Check out that article to read more about disaster cleanup.
  • You’ll need a dumpster that fits in your driveway or the front of your house (check permitting regulations!). This usually means a 10-yard dumpster. In some areas, especially where a lot of residential work is happening, there may be short supply of smaller dumpsters. Call a few days ahead to make sure you get the size you want.
  • Dumpsters aren’t usually delivered first thing in the morning. Standard delivery times usually fall between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m., but it’s not unusual for deliveries to happen as late as 5 p.m. If you have a crew coming, or you need to start using the dumpster in the morning, we highly recommend you have it delivered the day before you need it. That way even if it’s delivered late in the afternoon it’ll still be ready to go the morning you need it.

When in doubt, call and schedule a few days in advance. It’s better to call a little early than to not have a dumpster when you want it.

On that note, if you ordered a dumpster and it hasn’t shown up by 2 p.m., give us a call so we can check on it. Most local delivery offices close between 4 and 5 p.m. (with many offices closing at noon on Fridays!), so if the delivery hasn’t shown up, we need to know as early as possible.

Before you make the call, here are a few other tips when you order a dumpster for residential use:

  • Make sure you check for city or county permitting regulations. Some cities even rent dumpsters to residents (like Spokane, WA).
  • Make sure there’s enough clearance for the delivery truck to safely set the dumpster in place. A good rule of thumb is double the length and height of the dumpster.
  • Make sure you’re setting the dumpster on a hard surface like a driveway. They can’t be placed directly on soft ground because rain could cause it to sink and you run the risk of ruining the yard. There would also be extra fees if the dumpster sinks or gets stuck in mud because it’ll have to be towed out, costing extra time and expense. For extra protection, put down 3-4-inch plywood to prevent damage to whatever surface the dumpster is placed on.
  • You can’t put hazardous materials or chemicals like paint, antifreeze, or oil in a dumpster. Other no-go items include batteries, electronics, tires, and appliances. We compiled a list of items you can’t dump on our dumpster rental page.

Renting a dumpster for residential projects is pretty easy and straightforward. You can usually schedule it within a business day. This was a long answer to a short question, but hopefully you found the tips useful! If you need to order a dumpster for residential use, give us a call and we can help you set it up.