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A Roll-Off Dumpster

In North America, a roll-off dumpster is almost always a dumpster with an open top that uses wheels to aid in rolling the dumpster into place. Two types of delivery trucks can hold the dumpster — hook lift and roll-off bins.

The roll-off dumpster is often used to collect demolition and construction waste. Roll-off containers come in various sizes determined by the amount of junk they can hold, measured in cubic yards.

Typical sizes of containers are:

  • Ten cubic yards
  • 15 cubic yards
  • 20 cubic yards
  • 30 cubic yards
  • 40 cubic yards

While the roll-offs may be rented by volume, there may be weight limitations. Weight limits may be necessary to ensure compliance with road use and safety laws and regulations.

Most roll-off providers will have a weight limit for each container size. Containers loaded with more weight than allowed typically will not be hauled away due to safety reasons.

Overloaded containers can damage the roll-off truck and the road it drives on. The maximum weight is specified at the beginning of the job. In cases where the material to be disposed of is especially dense, such as dirt, rock, or concrete, a container with lower sidewalls is used.

What Can (and Can’t) You Put Into a Dumpster?

It’s a pretty popular question — “what can I (and can’t I) put into a dumpster when I’m cleaning out my property?” If you keep in mind the rule of thumb that if your waste materials can go to the dump, you should be safe in adding materials and items to your dumpster load.

Items in a Dumpster

Items that can go into a dumpster include:

  • Household trash
  • Wood tables
  • Wood chairs
  • Wood bookcases
  • Upholstered couches
  • Upholstered recliners
  • Upholstered chairs
  • Boxsprings
  • Old knick knacks
  • Clothing
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Pots and pans
  • Papers or old documents
  • Microwaves
  • Stoves
  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Keurig machine
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Treadmills
  • Water heaters
  • Electronic devices that can’t be recycled
  • Printers
  • Fax machines
  • Old DVDs and CDs
  • Other devices that aren’t powered by batteries
  • Alkaline batteries
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Broken household items that can’t be sold or donated
  • Small appliances
  • Lawnmowers (all gas drained)
  • Event waste including:
    • Cups
    • Napkins
    • Tablecloths
    • Wrapping paper
    • Paper plates
    • Disposable utensils
  • Construction debris, including:
    • Non-hazardous coated wood
    • Non-hazardous painted wood
    • Wood products
    • Roofing shingles
    • Single-ply TPO
    • PVC material
    • EPDM rubber
    • Spray foam
    • Modified bitumen
    • General roof coverings
    • Insulation
    • Asbestos-free drywall
    • Nails, screws, fasteners of any sort
    • Metal that isn’t worth taking in a separate load to be sold
    • PVC plumbing pipes
    • Plastic
    • Porcelain fixtures (toilets, sinks, etc.)
    • Sheet or tile vinyls
    • Wall coverings
    • Carpet
    • Plaster
    • Glass
    • Tiles
    • Empty paint cans (may have dried paint remnants left)
    • Stainless steel sinks and other materials
    • Decking
    • Exterior house cladding (vinyl siding, cement sheet siding, composite siding, stucco)
    • Concrete
    • Asphalt
    • Marble
    • Cinder blocks
    • Sand
    • Stone
    • Bricks
  • Yard waste materials including:
    • Dirt
    • Sand

Items that can’t go into a dumpster include:

  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Air conditioners
  • Humidifiers
  • Electronics including:
    • Old TVs
    • Computers
    • Cell phones
    • Computer batteries
    • Lithium-ion batteries
    • Lead-acid batteries
    • Rechargeable batters
    • Silver oxide batteries
  • Fluorescent lamps and bulbs
  • Mattresses
  • Asbestos
  • Tires
  • Lead acid motor vehicle batteries
  • Household cleaning fluids
  • Wet paint
  • Stain
  • Lacquers
  • Adhesives
  • Inks and resins
  • Non-alkaline batteries
  • Oil and fuels
  • Propane tanks
  • Any products that contain mercury
  • All hazardous materials (check for a hazard symbol on the container)
  • Medical infectious waste (syringes and anything contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids)
  • Contaminated soils and absorbents
  • Corrosive waste (drums, barrels)

Items that can go into a dumpster only if the load goes to a compost disposal facility:

  • Tree and bush stumps
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Brush
  • Vines
  • Logs
  • Branches
  • Sod
  • Clean dirt

Who’s Responsible For What’s in Your Rented Dumpster?

As the rental party, you are responsible for what you put into your dumpster. Dumpster rental companies will have clear guidelines to give you exactly what can and cannot be placed into the dumpster that’s on your property.

It’s up to you to read the guidelines carefully and comply with them fully. If the dumpster company notices that you’ve thrown in items that don’t follow their rules, they will refuse to remove the dumpster from your site until you’ve removed the offending articles. This will cost you more in rental fees and more work “dumpster-diving.”

Various Items in a Dumpster

Some people may break the rules of what can be included in their dumpster load and hide the items underneath the load so the rental company can’t see them. But once the dumpster is unloaded at the landfill site, these things will be noticed, and the rental party could face fines and other penalties.

Recycle if You Can

With all the recycling places available in Chicago and Chicagoland these days, we encourage you to recycle everything you possibly can before you put them in your rented dumpster.

Recycling is one of the best ways to reduce the amount of junk and clutter that can end up in a roll-off dumpster. By recycling, you can keep items out of landfills and help protect the environment. Additionally, many materials can be reused or repurposed, giving them a second life.

Recycling Various Items

When it comes to recycling, several different materials can be recycled. Paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, and clothing are some of the most common materials that can be recycled. In addition, electronics such as computers, cell phones, televisions, and other electronic devices can also be recycled. Many cities have designated recycling centers where these items can be dropped off for safe disposal.

Contact your local recycling center for more information if you are unsure about what can be recycled. They will be able to give you specific instructions on what types of items are acceptable for recycling. Additionally, many cities have programs in place that provide curbside pick up of recyclables.

By taking the time to recycle materials rather than tossing them into a dumpster, you can help keep our planet green and reduce waste in landfills. Recycling is a great way to do your part in making sure our planet remains healthy for generations to come.

How to Pack Your Rented Dumpster

When you rent a roll-off dumpster, you want to ensure that you are packing your materials correctly to maximize space and prevent damage. Here are some tips on how to best pack your materials into the dumpster.

  1. Break down large items: Break down large items such as furniture, bed frames, and other bulky items into smaller pieces. This will help create more space in the dumpster, allowing you to fit more materials in it.
  2. Pack heavier items first: When loading the dumpster, start by packing heavier items, such as appliances, furniture, and electronics, at the bottom of the dumpster and lighter items, such as boxes and bags of clothing, at the top. This will help keep everything evenly distributed in the dumpster and prevent heavy items from crushing lighter ones.
  3. Place sharp items carefully: When packing sharp items such as mirrors and glassware, be sure to wrap them in cardboard or other protective material before placing them in the dumpster. This will help protect both the items and the walls of the dumpster from getting damaged.
  4. Load evenly: When loading the dumpster, spread the material evenly so that it does not become unbalanced or cause any damage. If needed, use boards or other flat objects to help even out the weight distribution of your materials.
  5. Get into the dumpster and load like a Tetris puzzle: Hopefully, someone on the team loading the dumpster likes Tetris puzzles and can help to make sure there are as few gaps and air space between items as possible. Stack lumber together, roll carpet and sheet vinyl tightly, and compress as much as possible into the dumpster.
  6. Don’t overfill the dumpster: Waste should never be piled past the top edge of the dumpster walls. You should always check with your local regulations when it comes to weight.

Generally speaking, however, a typical roll-off dumpster can safely handle around 2 tons of material. This equates to 4,000 pounds or approximately two pickup truck loads. Be sure to spread the weight evenly when loading up your dumpster.

A Roll-Off Dumpster Rental

Remember that exceeding your dumpster’s weight limit could cause serious damage to the vehicle and even put drivers at risk. If you’re unsure how much weight your dumpster can take, consult a professional or contact your local waste management provider for advice.

  1. Make sure the doors (or gate) can still close: It’s happened before. Some people are so committed to getting the absolute most they can pack into their dumpster they fill it to the point where the doors don’t close completely and safely. If at any point during the ride to the landfill site, the doors swing open and part of your load rolls out, there is every chance of causing a serious accident, injuring others, fines, and even criminal charges.

These tips should help ensure you properly pack your materials in a roll-off dumpster and make the most of your space. If you have any questions about packing your materials, feel free to contact your local waste management company for additional guidance.

Roll-Off Dumpster Rentals

There is any number of places to rent a roll-off dumpster in Chicagoland.

Bin There Dump That

Bin There Dump That offers walk-in, double-door dumpsters that are easy to load. You can except to the dumpster to be delivered within 24 hours of your call.

They promise to place the dumpster exactly where you need it after first putting protective boards under the bin to protect your property. They also sweep up after the job and ensure no harmful debris like nails is left on your driveway or wherever the dumpster is left.

Bin There Dump That

Bin There Dump That offers a large range of dumpster sizes, from a four-yard dumpster the size of a mini-van to a 20-yard dumpster. Even if your access point is tight and narrow, the company uses smaller equipment to get their dumpsters into hard-to-reach spaces and narrow areas.

Call: 847-957-3777


A City Suburban Dumpsters

A City Suburban Dumpsters have fast and reliable roll-off dumpster rental services. You can even rent a dumpster the same day you order one at no extra charge.

“Whether you have landscaping trash, mover’s debris, construction waste, or just need a dumpster to get rid of household trash,” City Suburban Dumpsters can take it all. They can supply you with dumpsters in four sizes: a 6-cubic yard, 10-cubic yard, 15-cubic yard, 20-cubic yard, and 30-cubic yard.

A City Suburban Dumpsters

The website lists the type of materials you can throw into their dumpsters. Items listed include:

  • Concrete
  • Dirt
  • Bricks
  • Roof shingles
  • Decking

Call: 773-295-0303 Chicago

Call: 708-689-9933 Suburbs

Email: is a national company that rents roll-off dumpsters in Chicago and the surrounding areas. Their dumpster rental prices typically range from $315-$601 in the city. Prices do vary depending on what you place into the dumpster, but they’re happy to give you a quote based on your needs.

The rental rate includes delivery and pickup costs for a set weight limit and all local taxes and disposal fees. They’ll try to get you a dumpster within five business days of your call or email. Dumpster Rental

You’ll only need to get a permit for your dumpster rental if you plan to have the dumpster placed on a public right-of-way, like a street or sidewalk. Most of the dumpster loads they pick up in Chicago are taken to the River Bend Prairie Landfill at 801 East 138th Street.

Call: 312-281-2178

Get a free quote: Free quote

Order online: Order form

Elgins Dumpster Rentals Chicago

Elgins Dumpster Rentals Chicago provides roll-off dumpsters for big and small projects. Their dumpsters range in size from small 10-yard containers for light use to large 40-yard containers for heavy materials.

Elgins Dumpster Rentals

They specialize in both residential and commercial dumpster use. Residential use includes house cleanout, attic cleanout, garage cleanout, garden or yard cleanout, as well as home improvement or renovation projects. Commercial use includes roof replacements, hotel refurbishment, office building refurbishments and upgrades, shop fitting, and major cleanouts.

Call: 773-648-8360

Email: greg@elginswasteremocalschicago

Message online: Message online

If you rent a dumpster dedicated to yard and landscaping waste, it will likely end up at Midwest Compost. This is also a great facility if you have a similar load that doesn’t require a roll-off dumpster.

Midwest Compost

Midwest Compost is an “IEPA-permitted disposal facility for yard waste and clean wood waste materials.” They accept these materials, which may be mixed, at their site:

  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Brush
  • Logs
  • Branches
  • Sod
  • Clean dirt

Midwest Compost has two sites, located at:

1195 West Washington Street

West Chicago, IL 60185

Office: 630-876-8900

Fax: 630-876-0719

Open: Mon-Fri 6 am to 4 pm

Open: Sat 6 am to 12 pm

1320 Spaulding Road

Elgin, IL 60120

Office: 847-931-2900

Fax: 847-931-2871

Open: Mon-Fri 7 am to 4 pm

Open: Sat 7 am to 12 pm

And as always, if you want to simplify your junk removal, we’re here for you. Call or text us at 312-800-1940 or book online.

We’re happy to help!


Joe Weidman

Joe is a Chicago native, born and raised in Elmhurst. He founded Junk Relief more than 10 years ago and has worked with more than 20,000 homeowners and businesses throughout Chicagoland. His passion for starting a business in junk removal stemmed from seeing the need to do things differently. He prides himself on his company's model to provide unexpectedly professional service.


If you’ve got junk in Chicago or the Chicagoland Suburbs, we can help. CALL US or TEXT US at (312) 800-1940.


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