How Many Tons Can a 20-Yard Dumpster Hold?

There are a lot of times when a business or homeowner has waste that their regular trash service can’t take. For those times, a residential or business dumpster rental is the best solution. In fact, depending on where you are, it might be the only legal solution.

What’s a Roll-Off Dumpster and Why Should I Rent One?

When you rent a roll-off dumpster, the rental company delivers it by truck with a hydraulic bed. The truck rolls the dumpster onto the designated surface, usually a driveway. Rectangular in shape, the dumpsters have open tops that make it easy to transfer waste into them. Some dumpsters have doors that allow walk-in access for safely depositing especially large or heavy items.

Further down, we’ll go into more detail on the types of jobs a 20-yard dumpster is ideal for, but a dumpster is necessary when you have to get rid of the trash that your standard trash service won’t take. Say, for example, you’re cleaning out your basement, and you need to get rid of an old couch, among other things. You can’t put that couch out on the curb for regular pickup. All the other debris may be too much for your bin to hold.

Or maybe you’re a contractor hired to do a bathroom renovation. That generates a lot of waste that’s hard to haul away and will cost you a lot of extra time.

So that leaves you with some options that aren’t so great. If you have a vehicle that can accommodate the waste, you can make multiple trips to and from a landfill to get rid of everything, and that’s going to get old really fast. Or, with smaller debris, you can leave it sitting around and get rid of it little by little through your regular trash service. That’s inconvenient and might be hazardous. Your trash service might offer a special pickup, but that will cost extra, and the times or requirements might not work for you.

The problem’s even worse if you don’t have convenient access to a landfill.

That’s why a rental dumpster is a way to go. Plus, when you’re done, the rental company retrieves the dumpster and takes care of the rest. You’re done!

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Why Do Dumpsters Have Weight Limits?

One of the challenges with renting a dumpster is choosing the right size. You don’t want to pay for space you don’t need. Not having enough space is an even bigger problem.

A lot of attention goes to how much volume a dumpster can hold, and that’s important for sure, but sometimes people overlook weight limits. There are strict rules regarding weight limits, some set by law and others by the rental companies, and you have to follow them, so you don’t incur fees for going over those limits.

There are two main reasons for these rules:

  • First, as a matter of function and safety, a dumpster can’t weigh more than the truck hauling it away can lift and safely transport.
  • Second, when the dumpster rental company takes your debris to the landfill, it gets charged by weight. Even if it’s below the dumpster’s capacity, establishing a strict weight limit prevents the company from incurring fees that can quickly get out of control. Those limits help the company set its own prices so its customers can know what they’ll be paying in advance.

How Much Can a 20-Yard Dumpster Hold?

When we talk about a 20-yard dumpster, we mean that it can hold 20 cubic yards of trash and debris. While the actual dimensions of a 20-yard dumpster may vary by provider, any dumpster of that size will hold 20 cubic yards of waste and debris. However, the dimensions may affect what can actually fit.

If 20 cubic yards sounds a little vague, here are a couple of helpful comparisons:

  • Up to 130 33-gallon trash bags
  • Six fully loaded pickup truck beds
  • The average kitchen stove is about one cubic yard, so imagine 20 of them going into a dumpster.

RGH Waste & Disposal 20-yard dumpsters are 11’L X 7’W X 3’6” H.

As to weight, a 20-yard dumpster may range from 2 to 8 tons for weight limit. The company you’re renting from will tell you what the limit is.

Here’s an example of why it’s always essential to know in advance:

A garage cleanup might generate a fair amount of bulk, but it doesn’t exceed the weight limit. On the other hand, a roof replacement for a large home might surprise you. The shingles and other debris might not take up as much space, but they will weigh a lot more. So you might need a larger bin even if you won’t fill it to the top.

What Kinds of Projects Does a 20-Yard Dumpster Accomplish?

The 20-yard dumpster is the most popular rental size for homeowners doing DIY projects and for contractors working on small and medium residential and commercial jobs. It would be impossible to make a complete list, but here are some typical applications:

  • Cleaning out a basement, attic, or garage
  • Decluttering a home
  • Clearing out before a move
  • Flooring replacement
  • Kitchen or bathroom renovation
  • Yard cleanup after a major storm

Rent a Dumpster from RGH Waste & Disposal!

RGH Waste & Disposal provides service and value that can’t be beaten for a residential or commercial dumpster rental in Orlando.
When you contact us and request a rental dumpster, you’ll get same-day or next-day delivery to your site, and your dumpster will be clean and ready to use. Specify how long you need it for, and then fill the dumpster at your own pace. Once the rental period is up, we’ll return to your site, pick up the dumpster, and haul it away for disposal. Just like that, all that waste is out of sight and out of mind for you.

The price we quote you is the price you’ll pay; unlike some other companies, we won’t quote you a super-low rate and then surprise you with hidden fees that jack the price up.

To rent one of our 20-yard dumpsters for your project, just call us or request a quote online today!


Lisa is the General Manager of RGH Waste and Disposal LLC. After many years of working in waste management, Lisa has ‘seen it all’ and then some! She knows the 'ins' and 'outs' of waste disposal and has a wealth of experience from years of working with first-time dumpster renters to seasoned commercial clients.