If you are looking to hire a dumpster rental company in Michigan, then it is a good idea to get accustomed to the relevant jargon.

Having a basic understanding of the terminology used by dumpster rental providers can ensure that you get the right dumpster for disposing of debris and junk from your property.

Without further ado, here is a quick look at common dumpster rental terms:

10, 20, 30, 40 Yard Dumpsters

When hiring dumpster rental services, many people assume that cubic yard is the unit that is used to measure the size of a dumpster. However, the size here refers to the capacity of your waste. For instance, a 10-yard dumpster contains 10 cubic yards of space.

However, not all 10-yard or 20-yard dumpsters are the same. In other words, each company owns dumpsters of varying dimensions. The average dimensions for different dumpsters are listed below.

10-Yard Dumpster – Average dimensions are 12 ft. x 8 ft. x 4 ft. They can handle 250 square feet of deck removal.

20-Yard Dumpster – Average dimensions are 22 ft. x 8 ft. x 4.5 ft. They can handle 2500 square feet of single-layer for shingles.

30-Yard Dumpster – Average dimensions are 22 ft. x 8 ft. x 6 ft. You can use them for garage debris.

40-Yard Dumpster – Average dimensions are 22 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 ft. You can use them for the construction of a new home.

Commercial Dumpster

Commercial dumpsters—also known as trash dumpsters—are picked up by trash collectors to be rented on a regular schedule. They are not the same as roll-off containers because they:

  • Are smaller in size.
  • Use a lid to cover themselves.
  • Are picked weekly or monthly.
  • Are used by apartment complexes, grocery stores, and restaurants.

Clean Load

The term ‘clean load’ is used when recycled materials, such as concrete, are used to fill a roll-off dumpster. Recycling offers several advantages to concrete companies. Instead of visiting a landfill, they can have their entire load recycled.

Make sure to ask the customer representative of your dumpster rental company if they allow clean loads for recycling.

Mixed Loads

When different types of recyclable materials are loaded into a rented dumpster, it is referred to as a mixed load. Unlike clean loads, a sorting facility is needed to split and rearrange each recyclable material. These sorting facilities are yet to become mainstream in the U.S., so make sure to ask about their availability before renting a dumpster.

Dumpster Bag

A dumpster bag is a modern replacement for a conventional steel dumpster. It is built from heavy-duty materials—you can expect it to handle heavy loads. If you need a dumpster rental for a small job, such as the removal of kitchen flooring, then dumpsters bags are an economical option.

Dumpster Permit

Many municipalities have made it mandatory for dumpster rental providers to carry a dumpster permit, especially if intend to have it positioned on a city street. In some cases, the company manages all the paperwork by itself. But, sometimes, the responsibility may fall on you to secure a permit. Therefore, make sure to discuss all the permit requirements with your dumpster rental company. Keep in mind that permits don’t come into play if you want to position the container on a private property.

Landfill Fees

A lot of debris and waste that goes into the rented dumpster is unloaded in area landfills, a special-purpose site used for the disposal of waste materials. They are managed by the city and local governments, which charge a fee for offloading waste. These charges are known as tipping or landfill fees. Generally, the charges depend on the quantity of waste (per ton). The national average of landfill fees is $44 per ton. Some companies may include the fee in your dumpster rental bill, but some may ask you to pay it separately. Hence, do ask your company whether or not the fee is part of the total cost of its dumpster rental service.

Maximum Tonnage

Maximum tonnage refers to the material weight that you can squeeze in a rented dumpster. Your rental dumpster company will inform you of the maximum tonnage allowed for your dumpster. They will also give you a basic idea of how much material is needed to exceed the maximum tonnage. Overreaching the max tonnage = paying overage charges for each extra ton.


If you exceed the tonnage limit on your rental dumpster, it incurs a fee known as overage charge or simply overage. It is added to the initial price quote of your dumpster rental.

Prohibited Items

You cannot offload every type of material in a rented dumpster. Usually, dumpster rental companies add tires, paint, lead-acid batteries, and motor oil, to the list of prohibited items. It is a good practice to inquire about prohibited items to avoid paying any penalty.

Roll-Off Dumpster

If you are involved in construction, home remodeling, or any form of cleanout, a special type of container is sent to your location, known as a roll-off dumpster. The name is derived from their function—they roll off from the back of the delivery trucks. Wheels are attached on one side to make drop-off and pickup more convenient. 

Roll-Off Truck

The track that drops off and picks your dumpster is known as a roll-off truck.


You might have trouble communicating with a dumpster rental company in Michigan if you use foreign terms. If you have moved to the U.S. from another country, such as England, then you might know roll-off dumpsters as skips.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know all the basic terminology of dumpster rental services, you can easily contact a reliable company and carry out a discussion for renting a dumpster.

Get in touch with us if you are located in Michigan. If you have never hired a dumpster rental company before, then our friendly representatives will explain in detail how our service works and respond to all your queries.

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