What Size Dumpster Do I Need?

One of the biggest challenges in doing a major remodel project around the house is finding the right size dumpster. This is because there are so many variables.

There are lots of sizes to choose from.

They are built on a scale that is difficult for the average person to visualize.

Most people rarely need to rent one, so we have no experience.

It is hard to imagine how big your project will look when it is dumped in a dumpster.

We are going to try to demystify the process a bit.

Garbage Bags

You’ve probably already looked at the website of a local dumpster dealer and you’ve seen a picture of an average scale human standing in front of an average scale dumpster.

This is meant to be helpful. Really it is. However, we seldom think of our garbage as being scaled with our body.

Instead, we are much more familiar with the size of a garbage bag. We handle those frequently. We have a sense of their size.  So in order to help you visualize it, we are going to explain it in terms of garbage bags.

Your dumpster choices will be marked in terms of “cubic yards” or “yd³”

On average, 1 cubic yard looks about like a medium size dresser, or about 6 trash bags.

Your smallest dumpster choice, the transition point where it makes more sense to rent a dumpster than to put it out in your own trash can, is 10 cubic yards. So this is about 60 trash bags.

  •             10 yd³ = 60 trash bags
  •             15 yd³ = 75
  •             20 yd³ = 120
  •             30 yd³ = 180
  •             40 yd³ = 240

Pickup trucks

OK so maybe garbage bags aren’t how you think. Maybe you are a do-it-yourself kind of person who understands what it means to throw a shovel in the back of a pickup truck, or what it means to load the pickup truck with mulch or dirt.

And besides, it does get pretty challenging to think about size in terms of 60 garbage bags.

Let’s measure in pickup trucks.

  • 10 yd³ = 3 pickup truck loads
  •             15 yd³ = 4-5
  •             20 yd³ = 6
  •             30 yd³ = 9
  •             40 yd³ = 12

This is an especially helpful measure when you are imagining each of those pick up truck loads being driven to your local dump. If it’s right around the corner three trips is no big deal.

However, if you’re like most folks who are doing a big fix-it-up project around the house, the local dump is NOT right around the corner.

And the further away it is, the more time and effort it adds to your project to haul everything there yourself.

Now you’re loading, driving, unloading, driving back … multiple times. And this is time added to the work of demolition or removal.

Many people might even choose a 10 yd³ dumpster to avoid that pain and hassle of even one or two trips to the dump.

Also, you should round up, and get the next biggest size if you are unsure. No one is judging you for not wanting to make any more trips than you have to. Or making no trips at all.

We hope this guide helped you with your project.

Keep Others From Using Your Rented Dumpster

We know what happens. We might, if pressed, even admit that we’ve done it ourselves.

Sometimes things get thrown in the dumpster by someone other than the owner or renter.

It’s no big deal when a member of the working crew throws their Wendy’s bag in there, or someone passing by on the street does the same.

But having strangers illegally filling a dumpster that you rented can be an expensive a time-wasting event.

So how do you prevent it?

Here are some suggestions.

Location: where are you place your dumpster will influence how much outside debris gets placed in it. If it is possible for you to move the dumpster away from the property line and against the building, that is an ideal situation. Removing from sight from the street is even better.

You should work to put it as much on private property as possible. It’s unavoidable that a dumpster placed on or near a public right of way is simply going to collect a little bit of community trash. You can reduce that by placing it in the yard instead of in the street, for instance.

You can make the call if saving some unwanted refuse is worth the dead spot in your yard.

Signs: sometimes it helps just to post simple easy to read signs that explain to people it is illegal for them to put trash in your dumpster. It can be helpful if you know the local municipal fines for doing this.

Signs can be especially helpful if they point out that the site is monitored. Of course, it can help even if you are just claiming that, even when a spot is not monitored.

Fencing: if your dumpster is going to be in place over a long period of time, or perhaps dumped and refilled multiple times, it might be tempting for other work crews in the area to dump larger and larger loads in it over time.

Putting fencing around your dumpster does several things to prevent illegal dumping. First, a good fence makes it clear that dumping from strangers is unwanted.

Second, it just makes it physically harder to get large loads into your dumpster, because now they have to go over a fence.

Third, if you can allow some space between the dumpster and the fence it can make it almost impossible to place anything heavy in the dumpster. This is important because typically charges are added to your final fee based on the weight of the trash in the dumpster. And while we’re not talking hundreds of dollars, we know that this weight and these fees can add up.

Get proactive: Does a neighbor up the street also have a project going on and no dumpster? Knock on their door. Tell them what you’re planning on doing and ask them if they want to get involved and perhaps share the cost of renting a dumpster.

Identifying and heading off potential conflicts down the road can be beneficial for your bottom line and for neighborhood harmony.

A Quick Guide to What You Can’t Put in Your Dumpster

We get versions of this questions of this version all the time:

“What CAN’T I put in my rental dumpster?”

Of course, there is a list of items included in the rental contract, but you want to know the answer before you make the decision to rent a dumpster. So here’s a quick guide to what you can’t put in your dumpster.

First of all please note, this is a list of what you can’t put in YOUR dumpster.

There is a much shorter list to what you can’t put in someone else’s dumpster: everything. You should never put anything in someone else’s rental dumpster. If you do this, you are subjecting yourself and them to possible citations and fines.

The list of prohibited items falls into a couple of different categories.

Home interior:

The following home interior items should not be placed in your dumpster.

  • Mattresses
  • Couches
  • Upholstered chairs
  • Beds
  • Paint / paint cans
  • Televisions
  • Household cleaners
  • Light bulbs
  • Refrigerators
  • Large appliances

Each of these items likely have specific rules in your community for their disposal. In some cases this is because the items can be reused, usually decent furniture fits into that category, and televisions you’ve replaced not because they weren’t working but because you’ve upgraded. Keeping them in use and in circulation saves landfill space and saves another family money.

In other cases the items can’t be disposed of because they are themselves toxic or they contain toxic ingredients. Placing them in the landfill those poses problems to your environment including the drinking water for your community. Your community likely has rules and procedures for disposing of hazardous ingredients.

Garage or lawn and garden:

These garage, lawn, and garden items should not be placed in your dumpster.

  • Pesticides
  • Lawn chemicals
  • Weed killer / herbicides
  • Engine oil or lubricants
  • Propane tanks (even if you’re CERTAIN they are empty)
  • Tires

In each of these cases throwing out the indicated item is a risk to the environment and the people who handle or work at your trash processing facility. In some cases, including engine oil and lubricants, proper recycling means that they can be useful again. It might take an extra step, but reusing and reducing waste goes a long way towards helping the community.

Large item removal

Many municipalities offer the service of removing large items for you. Often you have to call ahead to schedule a pickup of the item on a specific day. This might not be your normal trash pick-up day, because the schedule is handled separately and sometimes is handled by an entirely different company or contractor.

Most communities require you to get it out to the curb which doesn’t require any more or less work than it would’ve taken to get it into a large dumpster. Some communities will even offer the help of someone coming into or up to your house to help with the removal process.

How do I know if this is trash? – Garage Edition

It’s spring cleaning time. Or perhaps you’re tasked with cleaning out a relative’s garage. Or maybe you have inherited some stuff you just don’t want.

But is it trash?

How do you know?

Here’s a handy guide to what is – and isn’t – trash in your garage.

Lawnmower:

That old gas guzzling, gray cloud spewing lawnmower. You thought maybe you got rid of it when you got the new one … was that six years ago? Seven?

Ask some key questions. Is it in almost-usable shape? If so, there are good reasons to donate it to a lawnmower repair place. A lot of lawnmowers are built with standard-size parts, and these can be used or upcycled to keep other lawnmowers in good repair. Donate

If it worked when you replaced it, someone might be able to get it working again, depending on the extent of the damage. Donate

Is it covered in rust, with visible damage from the elements and maybe rodents? (Rodents are attracted to the sweet taste of common engine oils.)  Trash

Hand tools:

Still sturdy and in workable shape? These are the types of tools that can get re-worked and put to good use for another generation. Donate

Covered in rust? Unmoveable? Showing physical signs of decay? Trash

Siding and building materials:

You forgot that you kept that bag of shingles after the roofing project, “just in case.” But there it is, under something that was under something in your garage. Or maybe it is a few yards of siding.

Do you still have that shingle / siding on your house? You might want to keep it, let’s see how we do on these questions: is it still the original color without staining? Keep

There really is no place to donate these. However, maybe you’re lucky and the siding is true aluminum siding? Recycle

Oh, it’s just discolored siding from an old project? Trash

Turf builder and lawn food:

Do you feel lucky, even though it is expired? Many lawn and garden chemicals change properties over time, but they tend to become a little bit weaker. Applying them to your lawn won’t do damage, as long as you follow the rules on the side of the bag. Keep

But your lawn is your greatest joy and you don’t want to take any chances? Many of these can go directly to the dump, but you don’t want to risk it.  Read the label, then, and dispose of as directed. Trash

Old sporting equipment:

Oh the memories in that old tennis racket. Remember that one game of croquet we played that summer when this set was new? Sadly, time and technology have moved on. If your racket is more than 7 years old, it’s not going to find a new home. That old basketball with a water stain, and that volleyball that you THINK MIGHT hold air? No one cares, and no one is about to start using it now that it has been found. Trash

Aww, my old baseball glove. So many good memories, mostly from being with friends before and after the game. Memories are hard to replace. Bring it inside, dust it off, oil it up, and wrap it in newspaper. Keep

Help! My Landscaping Project Involves Removing A Garage!

Sometimes when the phone rings, the voice on the other end is panicked.  “Please help. My husband has started this landscaping project and we need to remove the old garage. How can we do this?”

We love it when the answer is this easy: put it in a dumpster.

Not just any dumpster, of course. You will need a Big Daddy Dumpster.

Tear down safely with these tools

You will need to own, rent, or borrow a couple of simple tools.

Hammer: Some of the time, simply pulling a nail will be easier than “Hulk! Smash!” Not always more fun, just easier.

Sledgehammer: a sledgehammer is built to do the difficult work of breaking things apart. The weight helps you leverage a swing into barn-busting power.

Gloves: You will be working around wood, which means splinters and nails. Wood is also an absorbent surface pulling moisture from your hands, and dry, cracked hands are more susceptible to rips and tears. Don’t take any chances, wear gloves

Crow bar / spud bar: All this prying will involve a crow bar AND a spud bar. The crow bar can do the close-up prying and nail removal that a hammer can’t quite manage. The spud bar will allow you leverage to pry loose footers and corner joists with ease.

Ladder: Before you smash in to the work, remove some – but not all – of the reinforcing supports and the electrical wiring (if any) safely from your ladder. Then smash.

Work boots: heavy soled work boots are the best for a demolition project with nails. It is very easy for a foot to slide onto an exposed nail and to turn a fun event into a medical event.

Demolition, and getting the garage in the dumpster

Early in the planning stages you will want to talk with a Bid Daddy Dumpster consultant to make sure you have the right dumpster. We will need to know the dimensions of the existing garage. This helps us determine the total volume of the project.

You don’t want to have one side of a garage that you need to later put out in small parcels with the ordinary garbage. That can add weeks to the project.

Once you have the right size dumpster delivered to your site, you are ready to begin the demolition.

Tearing down a garage is a great family and community activity. Gather people for the first big tear-down. Some folks like to tie the roof to a pickup truck and tow it down, others prefer to just go at it with sledgehammers and crow bars.

Either way, make sure you are clear about how people are working. No one wants to accidentally hit another person with a piece of steel or wood debris.

Encourage your worker, or remind yourself, to lift debris in a responsible way. Bend at the knees, keeping your back as straight as you can. This way, the main weight is kept on your large lifting muscles in your legs. Your back will thank you in the morning.

Hauling it away safely

When it is time, you have one last lifting chore. Pick up your phone, call (937) 790-1661 and identify yourself and your project. We will haul it away for you.

That’s the easiest part!

Help! My Landscaping Project Involves Removing A Concrete Sidewalk!

We get calls or emails like this every once in a while. “Please help. I have this landscaping project and we need to remove the old sidewalk. How can we do this?”

Well, if removing concrete is part of the plan for your next remodeling project indoors or out, any reputable trash removal company like Big Daddy Dumpsters can help.

The hard part is still the same: getting the concrete in the dumpster.

Breaking up concrete safely

You will need to own, rent, or borrow a couple of simple tools.

Sledgehammer: a sledgehammer is built to do the difficult work of breaking up concrete. Its reinforced steel head can survive thousands of concrete-busting collisions.

Goggles: concrete is brittle. When you strike it with a sledgehammer small chips are going to fly and unpredictable directions. While your eyes are remarkably quick to react to their environment, your eyelid is not up to the task of keeping speeding concrete out. Wear goggles at all times.

Gloves: in addition to being brittle, concrete is abrasive, caustic, and absorbent. While you it may have worked with concrete bricks in the past, picking them up and moving them, it does not compared to the hardship your hands will face working all day to remove a concrete sidewalk. Hundreds of interactions with concrete will not only leave your hands dry and chapped, but also create a chance for concrete burns, as a result of the alkaline. Don’t’ take that chance.

Crow bar / spud bar: concrete breaks better when it is on top of other concrete. The best way to pry out large chunks once you start to break them apart is to use a long handled crowbar known as a spud bar. Available almost anyplace you can buy tools, this will save you hours of work and is worth the investment.

Lifting concrete safely

Early in the planning stages or even in implementation of a concrete removal project, it is common to be full of confidence. You are strong. You are healthy. You can certainly lift concrete and put it into your rented dumpster.

This is all true. However, few of us are physically up to the task of doing this work multiple times over several hours.

It is important that you first break up the concrete into smaller chunks. These easier to lift chunks will make it easier to get out of bed the next morning.

Find a concrete slab size that you can easily lift.

Bend at the knees as much as possible, keeping your back straight. This places the main weight on your large lifting muscles in your legs, instead of lesser-used standing muscles in your back.

Resist the urge to throw these large pieces of concrete, as the twisting and untwisting with the additional weight can cause serious injury.

Hauling it away safely

When it is time, you have one last lifting chore. Pick up your phone, call (937) 790-1661 and identify yourself and your project. We will haul it away for you.

Big Do-It-Yourself Projects

Home prices are skyrocketing and the housing market is struggling to keep pace with demand. In this market, many homeowners are choosing to take on major renovation projects around the house.

 

These major projects probably require a contractor, though the handiest of fix-it people might try to take these on themselves.

 

Here are popular projects based on the value they add to your living space.

 

Basement renovation:  few renovation projects add square footage as efficiently as a basement remodel. There are lots of ideas for how to do it, but full agreement on why: usually the infrastructure is in place for an economical expansion. Better yet, basement renovations often yield high returns on the investment. Homeowners who later sell often realize more than 70% return on their investment in a basement.

 

Kitchen renovation: kitchen renovations are among the most complex, costly, and time-consuming projects a homeowner can take on. At around $100 per square foot, they can really set a homeowner back. Nationally, owners report that they only return between 50% and 60% on their investment in a sale.

 

A kitchen remodel almost always means working with electricity and water, so often the work involves coordinating multiple professionals and managing their schedules. Unfortunately, many homeowners must plan to leave their house for a period of time for a kitchen renovation.

 

Adding a room: Adding new space can be an attractive way to renovate your house. Adding a mudroom, breakfast nook, or even a full guest room over the garage, can be accomplished without adding expensive foundation elements. There are lots of ideas for where and what to add, and a wide range of costs. Picking the project that will be most useful for your family is important.

 

Renovating a bathroom: Bathroom renovations can be almost as powerful as kitchen renovations in shaping your quality of life. There is not another room where you are certain to visit at least twice a day, and no space knows you as intimately. Making the space larger, warmer, and adding storage are common adaptations. Expect a bathroom renovation to return nearly 70% on investment, according to Zillow.

 

 

Remember, despite information about the return on investment, there are even better reasons to take on these renovations. They simply make your space better.

 

More than one homeowner has taken on a major renovation to prepare for a sale, and decided to stay. They found that their new space was better than any house they might find on the market.

Six Steps to the Best Garage Sale Ever

Getting ready for your garage sale is as much about finding the right state of mind as it is about finding things to sell.

 

In order to get in the garage sale mindset, one might first watch a few minutes of Marie Kondo or Clean House, and perhaps an episode or two of Hoarders.

 

You know who you don’t want to be!

 

Once you are serious about getting rid of what you no longer need, you are ready to follow these simple steps to prepare for your garage sale or perhaps plan a neighborhood yard sale.

 

Just follow these 6 simple steps to the best garage sale

 

  1. Thoroughly clean in unusual places. Your living room might not have a lot of excess junk in it, or the dining room either. You live in those spaces and regularly tidy up and get rid of useless items. This is a time to tackle the back of the garage, a basement closet, or those boxes you never unpacked from the move.
  2. Don’t throw anything out – yet. Some people suggest doing an early cull and throwing away the “junk” before setting it out. But for most homes, your collection of unwanted items is relatively small. Lots of garage sale visitors work from a list of addresses and drive by the site before deciding whether to stop. Having lots of stuff entices people to stop by and browse.
  3. Set a date and advertise as your budget allows. Local paper? Social media? Printed fliers on the library bulletin board and neighborhood telephone poles? It’s all about your budget and time. Usually ads are relatively cheap. Some local papers offer a coupon for one free ad a month to their subscribers – take advantage of it!
  4. Label your prices – but be prepared to lose a haggle. The fun of a garage sale is getting money – any amount of money – for something you were about to throw away. Too many people end up throwing out or donating items after having asked too high a price during the sale. Now you not only don’t have the money, but you have one more thing to haul away. Everyone loses in that scenario.
  5. Combined garage sale? Use colored labels and keep a sheet at checkout with the actual negotiated price, to make dividing up the money at the end relatively easy. And don’t quibble over a few dollars here or there. Money left over and unaccounted for? Split it? A small dispute over the remaining $5? Hand it over. You have already won by cleaning out your space.
  6. Resolve to never let those items re-enter your house. After the garage sale, look at what’s left. The broken phonograph, the bike parts, the clothing. Some of these items can NOW be labeled junk and thrown in a curbside rental garbage bag, or perhaps into your own trash. The rest can go to a charity where they will find a new home. You’ve already thrown them away once. No sense taking them back in the house and having to throw them away again later.