Ask Angela: Why is my dumpster rental bill higher than the quote?

Hi Angela, we rented a dumpster for a renovation project and the bill ended up being more than we expected. What happened?

Thanks for reaching out. I can’t speak to your specific situation in this post, but I can provide some insight into dumpster rental fees and charges. (And your account manager is always there to answer questions specific to your account.)

Dumpster rental quotes are based on several factors, starting with size and rental length. In the past, dumpster rental companies were notorious for quoting a low rate then sneaking hidden dumpster rental fees into the invoice. At ZTERS, we built our reputation on cutting through the nonsense and providing straightforward pricing.

Despite our transparent quotes, there may be times you still see extra fees. We try to give you a heads up any time you rent, but keep these things in mind:

  • Heavy items like concrete and dirt are going to weigh more and may exceed weight limits. Always tell your account manager if heavy items will be thrown in the dumpster. Trucks have weight restrictions, so if the dumpster is too heavy to remove, you’ll be charged an overage fee.
  • Blocked driveways or not having a clear path for delivery or pick-up will cause a dry-run fee. If the truck can’t get to the dumpster, they have to make another trip and you’ll be charged. Create a clear path before the truck arrives.
  • Prohibited dumpster items like flammable materials and medical waste can’t be disposed in regular dumpsters. If these materials are in there and the truck either can’t pick it up or they’re turned away at the landfill, you’re going to see a charge. Be aware of what you’re throwing out and make sure you’re following the proper disposal method.
  • Damage to your dumpster. Believe it or not, we’ve seen some wild things on job sites. Dumpsters can get dented, punctured, broken, and even set on fire. Any damage beyond normal wear and tear is going to end up as a charge on your invoice.

When you see unexpected fees on your invoice, there’s a good chance it was one of these items.

There’s one other scenario that comes up now and then. Sometimes people don’t schedule their pick-up, or no one is on the site when the driver arrives. They end up keeping the rental past the rental period, and the fees continue. Don’t forget to schedule a pickup when you’re done with the rental. And if you have a staff member or someone else schedule it for you, make sure they’ve made the call.

If you ever have a question about your rental period, check your account information any time using our free ZTERS app or visit We try our best to be transparent in all areas of pricing. If you ever have a question, give us a call or reach us through the app.