Dumpster Overage Fees: Top 5 Ways To Avoid Them

by Jamey Vick


When you rent a dumpster, the quote you get is generally what you can expect to pay in the end. But sometimes, overage fees can occur if you’re not careful. Container prices are largely determined by the weight of the materials placed inside. Overfill and you could be charged for exceeding the weight allowance. 

With some careful planning though, you can avoid surprises when you get that final bill. Here are 5 simple things you can do to dodge those overage fees. 

1) Choose the right dumpster size

We all have the urge to skew toward smaller dumpsters because we think it’ll save us money. But you could actually end up spending more than you would have if you just got a bigger container. 

The key is to rent a dumpster slightly larger than what you think you’ll need. VaVia makes it easy by offering just two sizes. The 10-yard container is perfect for homeowners looking to clean out their garage or start a simple remodeling project. Contractors will appreciate the flexibility of a 15-yard bin for large-scale renos and community initiatives. 

2) Remember: Not everything belongs in the dumpster

You may think it’s easy to shove in everything you’ve got. But doing this will almost certainly result in extra fees. As your project progresses, consider each piece of material before tossing it in your bin. Some things may be recycled, sold or even donated. Other materials, such as paint and electronics, may not even be allowed in your container. 

Don’t be tempted to use your dumpster for more than what it was intended for. For example, if you’re renting a bin to clean out the shed -- resist dumping old appliances and yard waste in there, too. Unless you’ve planned for this ahead of time, upgrading to a larger bin is usually the more cost-effective option. 

3) Keep the rain out

Always cover your bin when it’s raining. Debris weighs a lot more when it’s wet. And things may not dry out completely (if ever!) before your dumpster gets hauled away. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 600 lbs of garbage can weigh over 1,200 lbs when wet. 

Place your dumpster in a covered area, such as a carport or large garage. If this isn’t possible, place a tarp over the bin when not in use.

4) Avoid long-term rentals

Generally speaking, dumpsters tend to get heavier the longer you keep them. It’s natural to chuck things in there as you’re walking by, simply out of convenience. Also, the longer it sits -- the more susceptible it is to rain, and other people using it to illegally dispose of their trash. 

Most companies will offer container rentals on a week-to-week basis. So unless you’re undergoing a massive reno, avoid keeping it for more than a week or two at a time. 

5) Understand the company’s policies

One of the best ways to avoid overage fees is to read the fine print before you rent. Make sure you have a good understanding of these basics:

Another thing to understand is that some cost calculations are based on volume. Nashville, for example, operates in a tonnage market. This means your container costs will be determined by the amount of space your material is taking up in the bin, as opposed to its actual weight. Make sure to clarify this point when renting as this small differentiation can impact your overall costs. 

VaVia is one of America’s leading providers of affordable waste solutions. With over 2 decades of experience, both homeowners and contractors have come to appreciate our simple (yet sturdy!) containers. Our bins can fit into tight spaces with minimal impact to your project site. With easy delivery and pick-up options, clearing out the trash never looked so good!

For more information on renting a dumpster, call VaVia at 1-833-GO-VAVIA or contact us here.