Dumpster Loading FAQ and Tips Houston
What can and can't you put in a dumpster?
Its probably easier to mention the things you prohibited from throwing in dumpster rentals first rather than all the thing you CAN throw in the dumpster. The most common prohibited junk you can't put in the dumpster (depending on your state and local regulations) are paint, oil, solvents, tires, compressed cylinders, gasoline and other flammable materials, refrigerants, and other chemicals that require a HAZMAT license to transport. You CAN throw away and put common things like furniture, couches, beds, appliances, cardboard, boxes of garage junk, branches, trees, toys, tables chairs, food and drink, tools, wood/lumber, insulation, equipment, sheet rock, construction waste, shingles, some electronics . For some items there is a bit of a gray area due to local regulations and landfills. For instance, mattress disposal may cost extra due to local recycling initiatives and the need to divert to secondary facilities, same thing goes for some electronics like old CRT Tvs, refrigerators and some other heavy metal appliances which get taken to a scrap yard. Some euipment like riding mowers will need to be discussed with your Houston dumpster hauler, because they contain oil and gas and may need to be separated out. Some other denser materials like concrete, dirt, rock, and lanscaping will need to be discussed with your rental company prior to drop off due to weight concerns and restrictions and the maximum capactiy of the equipment. More on that below.
What's the best order to load things in a dumpster?
Some people don't think about the optimal order to load a dumpster, but after loading thousands of them, we have a few tips for you. The order depends a little bit on what type of junk you have and how heavy it it is. To give you an example of a hoarder house loading, which has a bit of everything from furniture to kitchen to garage junk, we would recommend going in this order: first load the denser kitchen food and dishware trash, it is small and doesn't take up too much space, but gets a little too heavy to lift up and over dumpster walls and throw over shoulder height so its best to load it first. Next we would recommend loading heavy furniture like couches/tables/chairs/dressers. Again, you don't want to wait till the end to toss them because they are often to heavy to lift over dumpster walls, and also you don't want to be stepping over other junk in the dumpster while you are carrying a heavy metal riclining couch. Next, load more heavy denser items like tools to fill in cracks and gaps. Finally, load lighter more carryable items like boxes of garage junk and bags of clothes to fill in open spaces and toss over the sides once the dumpster door is closed. For costruction waste like tile, carpet, sheet rock, boards, insulation, etc, we always recommend loading dense flooring material like tile first so you can just wheel barrow it into the dumpster first without stepping over anything. Same thing goes for sheet rock if it is in small bits, after the tile. Next we would load carpet, because carrying large rolls of it while trying to step over other items is a good way to sprain an ankle or teak your back. Next we would load insulation and THEN load more of the sheet rock if it is trash can or bag loads of larger pieces that aren't to heavy to lift over your head and wood and boards as well (to compress the insulation). Make sure to stack the boards parallel to each other and not crosshatch them, to maximize density and minimize space. An then finally load lighter items like carboard boxes of waste and packing material. In general, load denser, heavier material first and lighter items last.
How much weight can you put in a dumpster?
Not all dumpster equipment can handle a full dumpster off dense materials like concrete and dirt. Some materials ultimately should be handled with a large dump truck instead. Every hauler is different so make sure you call and discuss the weight limitations of their equipment anytime you want to dump rock, concrete, dirt, whole trees, asphault, cement, etc. Concrete can weigh between 2,400-4,000 pounds per cubic yard, so a 20 yard dumpster full could weigh around 48,000 pounds, enough to cause problems with even joist hoisting the dumpster up on to the truck after its loaded, for example. Most reputable and experienced junk haulers have hydraulic trailers and dumpsters that can handle at least 5,000 pounds comfortably, so household junk and furniture should not be an issue, but even then, some "dumpster rental" companies have only single axle trailers that can't more then 2,000 pounds, so it is important to be honest about what you are dumping when you book your dumpster rental. In general, furniture and household junk is much lighter and will have far less weight issues that construction waste and landscaping material.
Can I leave stuff sticking out over the top or back of the roll off dumpster?
Loading past the top, out over the sides, and out the back of a dumpster is a major issue that dumpster rental companies have to contend with on a daily basis. Here's the delimma: customers want to get their money's worth and want to maximize the amount of junk they load "inside" the dumpster, but all to frequently underestimate just how much junk they have and think it will fit when it won't, or don't want to spend the budget for a slightly larger dumpster, for instance an extra $100 for a 20 yard versus a 15 yard. Here's why its a big deal, and not okay to load over the top/sides/back of the dumpster, it is a major safety issue, in addition to a budgetary one. If your trash is stick out over the sides of the dumpster, it means it can't be properly held down by a tarp to keep it from slipping out the sides of the dumpster when the truck is headed down to the landfill on the freeway at 60 miles per an hour. A deck board releases at that speed or on a windy day for instance, could cause a car accident or ram through a windsheild and kill another driver. Lighter materials like cardboard and plastic can fly off disturb other drivers line of site and litter the road. Same thing happens with materials stacked too high (past level with the side walls), they shift while in transit and are not securely contained within the dumpster during transit. Furthermore, when you stack past the top of the dumpster, it can't block the autotarp from closing and/or rip a whole in the tarp if say something common like a board with a nail is jutting out over the top (seen in a million times). Besides the major safety concerns involved with overloading volume wise, it also short changes your dumpster rental provider profit wise because we get charged based on weight or volume wherever we go dump, so if we give you a rate based on dumpster size, and you the customer overload the dumpster passed what we agreed on, it comes out of our end, directly. Overloading also presents a potential property damage situation when we pick up the dumpster. When hoisting the dumpster up on the rails of our roll off truck, it ends up tilted at close to a 45 degree angle, and some of this junk runs the risk of sliding off backwards or over the sides and into your garage door or onto your car or driveway. Finally, sometimes we've encountered situations where the customer has filled a dumpster without closing the back swing door, and has not left enough room for it to actually close or have even any hope of closing without removing the trash from the dumpster to some degree and restacking it. Dumpster rental companies won't pick up your dumpster in these situations and will charge you a dry run fee and extra days when this happens. Honestly, what other realistic and sustainable option is there?
What happens if it rains when a dumpster is on my property?
The main reason dumpster rental customers are concerned with this is that they know the rental company typically only includes a certain amount of weight in the dumpster rental, but water will add weight and possibly the price of the dumpster past a certain weight. The general consensus for us and most other dumpster rental companies is that we are not gods and cannot control the weather and therefore will not be responsible extra costs incurred due to rainy weather. Otherwise we would have to just eat the cost of the extra weight at the landfill, and thats not fair for us either. For that matter and for the same reason, we don't give free extra days because it rained. But before you fret too much, consider that the rain is most likely not adding that much weight to your dumpster rental and here's why. First of all, most dumpsters are not at all water proof, intentionally, and the water will stream out down and out the bottom corner and sides of the dumpster. What about the trash soaking up the rain? Well, maybe part of the top layer of trash will, but the top material will quickly become saturated (if it even can retain water) and excess water will be redirected down the sides to the bottom and out the dumpster. Finally, consider a heavy rain might still only be one inch total in most instances, so even if ALL OF THE RAIN was 100 percent retained by the junk getting soaked, it still wouldn't add that much weight and cost. Here's some math: 8ftx14ft area dumpster times 1 inch rain equals 9.33 cubic ft. 9.33 cubic feet x 62.43 pounds per cubic ft of water equals 582.64 pounds. If overage is charged at $95 per ton, that much rain would add a total of $27.68 in overage IF the dumpster goes over the include tonnage in the first place and IF ALL of the rain water gets retained. Hopefully quantifying things mathematically helps put your mind at ease.
Will a dumpster scratch or crack my driveway?
Unfortunately this is an undesirable possibility depending on the circumstances. Bigger roll off trucks like those carrying 30 and 40 yard dumpsters for intance can weigh 10,000 pounds or more than smaller pickups or roll off trucks only carrying 10 to 20 yard dumpsters, or trailer dumpsters. Combine that with the weight of a full dumpster upon pick up, it it makes it possible that they may have enough force to crack a driveway, especially if is having unseen foundation and dirt shifts beneath (typically of rainy Houston area), and can also crack culverts that are on there last leg. Furthermore, the metal wheels of the dumpsters themselves can scratch concrete if they don't roll properly or if they are just plain heavy enough. There are however some actions that dumpster rental companies can take to help prevent this. They can for instance place down wooden boards where the dumpster wheels go during drop off, which helps distribute the weight more broadly and helps prevent direct contact and scoring of the concrete by the metal dumpster wheels. Some dumpster rental companies, Snap Junk Removal included, also offer "rubber wheeled dumpsters" or trailers for use as dumpsters in other words, designed to distributed the weight more evenly and broadly to help prevent cracking and scratching of your driveway. Finally, smaller trucks and equipment used to drop off 15 and 20 yard dumpsters (like snap junk removal has) actually have a slight advantage with regards to not cracking your driveway, just by the fact that they are lighter and don't put as much force down.
Whats the right amount of time to rent a dumpster for?
It really depends on factors like whether or not you have help loading your dumpster, can you machine load your dumpster, do you need to sort through your junk and clear it through family members before throwing it away, the type of junk (household or construction waste), dumpster size, and your physical abilities. We can tell you from experience that two motivated grown men can load a 15 yard dumpster full of just about any type of waste within about 3 hours or less, depending on how far the junk is on your property from the loading point, and if they have 96-gallon trash cans to load the junk with, usually less time though (like 30 minutes if it is all in your garage ready already). A 40 yard dumpster might take two grown men a full day to load full of household junk. However, when you need to sort a large amount of junk before throwing it away, we recommend renting anywhere from 3 to 10 days or more, depending on the dumpster size and how much free time you have away from work. Contruction and remodeling waste typically takes way longer to hand load. Machine loading construction waste with a skid stear if it is accessible on your property shouldn't take any more than an hour tops for a 15 yard dumpster load, typically way less time. A 40 yarder loaded with a skid steer can easily be triple the time.
Will the truck or dumpster hit my branches or powerlines?
Make sure you discuss this with your roll-off rental service if you have cause for concern. Some of the roll off trucks might be only 12 ft high for instance, but their dumpsters and rails get tilted at an angle an are hoisted up in the air significantly higher when dropping off and picking up dumpsters and have the potential to bump into other structures on your property.
How wide are the dumpster and truck and will they fit?
Most roll off dumpsters, trucks, and trailers should be close to eight foot wide and can fit on one side of a two car driveway, but if you are concerned about cutting it close to certain gates and entrances on your property, make sure you bring it up. Certain parts of a truck for instance the mirrors or wheel wells of a trailer might extend out to 8.5 to 10 ft. Other equipment may be even wider.
What if I get done with my dumpster rental early? Or need it for longer?
Most of the time we can reschedule a pick up to be an earlier date if you get done sooner than anticipated, and are happy to do so because it frees up the dumpster for another rental and helps us make money faster, but if you need it same day or next day pick up unscheduled we cannot always promise that we will be able to accomodate, especially during peak days like a Friday, or on the weekends when the landfills close early like Saturday, or Sundays when they just aren't open period.
What are dumpster weight overage charges and other common fees some rental companies charge?
Some common fees that you might see on a dumpster rental bill (sometimes other companies are upfront about it, sometimes not so much) include weight overages, mileage fees, dry run fees, environmental fees, franchise tax fees, card processing fees, drop fee as separate from rental fee, extra days, fees for prohibited or diverted items, fees for damage to dumpsters, overload fees (loading past top or sides), time sensitive fees, and probably some other more creative ones we have seen other companies do yet. Some of these extra fees are actually pretty reasonable and fair in our opinion, and some of them not so much and so we don't engage in these other practices ourselves. At any rate, we'll do our best to give the rationale behind each and explain it.
What time frame can I expect to have my dumpster dropped off and picked up?
It is hard for dumpster rental companies to promise firm drop off and delivery times (unless you are willing to pay extra), for a variety of reasons. At any rate, most reputable dumpster rental services in Houston (including Snap Junk Removal) will at least give you a ballpark estaimate of approximate drop off time (morning or afternoon), and give you a courtesy call or text both when they are on the way to drop off the dumpster, and to pick it up.