Avoid Hidden Fees on Your Dumpster Rental

When you have a big project coming up at your home or office, either construction or destruction, a dumpster rental makes sense. You can save time, energy, and money by using one dedicated dumpster instead of hauling endless truckloads of waste to a local landfill or garbage dump.

It clearly beats the alternative of buying, filling, and then walking to the curb dozens of trash bags. The sight of of these bags piled high for days is far worse than the appearance of a dumpster.

A dumpster rental says to the community: we are doing some important work here, and it will be over soon.

A pile of trash bags says, “something went terribly wrong.”

One problem with dumpster rentals, though, is the hidden fees that some companies can add to the bill. You thought you signed up for one low price, but then you got stuck with a handful of extra charges that run your project over budget and beyond the expected price.

Here are some things to ask about before you sign your dumpster contract.

Ask about these often hidden dumpster fees

So to be certain you are not getting charged, here is a list of common (and not-so-common) fees that some companies or fly-by-night workers might charge you.

Drop-off fee – believe it or not, when you contract a dumpster, some companies don’t think that means they should drop it off for free. Some companies charge a drop-off fee, indicating that they must pay someone else to put the dumpster in place. This doesn’t make sense because getting a dumpster to your site seems the most obvious part of renting one. It doesn’t do you any good if it’s anywhere else!

Pick-up fee – sure enough, some companies don’t think that picking up your dumpster should be included in the overall charge. Ask about this in advance so you don’t get stuck with a useless pick-up fee.

Environmental surcharge – the costs of fuel for picking up and dropping off your dumpster should be included in the charge (though some companies have a reasonable radius around where they store their dumpsters) because they are not unanticipated expenses. Some companies call these fuel charges “environmental” costs, and pass them on to you.

Seasonal fees – this is another cost that should not be hidden in the fine print or only show up in the final bill. Everyone knows what season your project is happening in. And, except for possible local statutes, there shouldn’t be an extra charge to rent a dumpster in one of them.

Taxes – The sales and usage taxes in a given area don’t change much from day to day. They are not a surprise, and they are charged to almost every entity. If you are a for-profit business, expect taxes. If you are a non-profit, check local regulations to see if these taxes apply to you. But they should not be a surprise at the end, and should instead simply be a percentage of the cost of the dumpster. However, this is almost always added as a separate line on a dumpster bill and NOT included in their quoted price.

By asking a few questions up front, you can determine if your dumpster price is fair and free from hidden costs.

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