renting the right sized dumpster

Renting The Right Sized Dumpster For A Roofing Shingles Job

Renting the Right Size Dumpster for That Roofing and Shingles Project

Are you wondering about renting the right sized dumpster for a roofing or shingles project? Well, this post will give you all of the information you need. Making sure that the dumpster that you rent is the right size is a crucial part of any roofing project. So let’s move on and get right to it!

Learning The Basics

Before you start on the dumpster rental project, you’ll need to learn the basics of sizing up a waste receptacle. Your basic 3-tab shingle roof lasts ten to twenty years. Architectural (or Dimensional) shingles, more durable and preferred for regions with tougher weather, will last approximately 15-20 years.

In a homeowner’s lifetime, they will probably be faced with replacing a roof at one point or another. Some homeowners will opt of a junk removal expert to handle the cleaning up while others will opt to do the job completely on their own.

Whether you are going the DIY route or you hire a demolition contractor to replace your roof, you need to dispose of the old shingles and underlayment. You might find yourself wondering, “what size dumpster do I need?” 

So, what to do when it comes to renting the right size dumpster for that roofing and shingles project?

Dumpster Sizes

First, let’s get familiar with dumpster sizes that most dumpster rental companies offer. Dumpsters most often come in 10-yard, 20-yard, 30-yard, or 40-yard options. Different companies may rent smaller or larger dumpsters as well. To help you get a visual, a 10-yard dumpster can hold approximately 3 pickup truck loads of rubbish. 

Here’s a breakdown of how much a few different sized dumpsters can handle:

10-yard3 pickup truck loads/1500 s.f. shingle roof/small kitchen or bath reno
20-yard6 pickup truck loads/2500 s.f. shingle roof/large attic/ garage reno
30-yard9 pickup truck loads/over 3000 s.f. shingle roof/garage demo
40-yard12 pickup truck loads/commercial projects
here’s some guidance for your dumpster rental project

Weight Matters Too

Shingles and their underlayment are heavy and dumpsters can come with a weight allowance. A 10-yard dumpster may come with a weight limit of 4,000-6,000 pounds (or two to three tons). If you go over, you could get hit with an overage charge. 

When determining weight, it helps to think in terms of “squares”. One square of shingles will cover 100 square feet of roof. If your roofer mentions bundles then it will be helpful to know that one square is generally equal to 3 bundles. A safe weight estimate is 250 to 400 pounds per square. 3-tab shingles will be in the 250-pound range, while architectural shingles are heavier and come in closer to the 400-pound end of the range.

Dumpster Rentals Example:

For a 1500 square foot 3-tab shingle roof, you would have 15 squares (1500 s.f. roof divided by 100 s.f. square)

15 squares x 250 lbs = 3,750 pounds

This is the minimum because remember, the range is 250 to 400 lbs. 

If you have architectural shingles, it will look more like this:

15 squares x 400 lbs = 6,000 pounds

Round up to account for unexpected scraps, and add in any plywood or other materials which might apply to your situation. 

Other Factors to Consider

Multiple Layers

Sometimes a new roof is put down right on top of an old roof. It’s important to know how many layers of shingles you will be removing before you rent that dumpster. If you take our first example above and double it for a second layer of shingles, you will be at a minimum of 7,500 pounds. If your weight allowance is 6,000 pounds you’re now over by 1,500 pounds.


When you reserve your dumpster rental, ask if it will have a swinging gate. A swinging gate will allow you to walk your shingles and other rubbish straight into the dumpster. This is much easier than trying to throw all those heavy shingles up over the sides. Even better, if you have a wheelbarrow or wagon you can roll that heavy debris right in there and dump it.

When in Doubt, Size Up

If you have done your math and you are close to the size or weight limit for your dumpster, size up. This will save you time, headaches, and money in the long run. If you can’t fit everything in, you will have to dump two loads which will cost you both money and time. If you go over in weight you may be charged an overage. Either way, it will be easier, faster, and cheaper on you in the long run if you size up in the first place when you rent a dumpster

Still not sure? Gather as much information about your roof as you can, contact your local dumpster rental and ask. They will be happy to help.

We highly recommend N. Vitale Disposal Inc. if you are located in Northern New Jersey. Their customers love them and they are very popular among residents of the Garden State.


We hope this post has been helpful and that it has thoroughly answered all of your questions. If it has not, it’s not a problem. Just hop on the phone with N. Vitale Disposal Inc. and contact them regarding anything you might need to know.

We hope you have enjoyed our post. Please let us know if you need more information on renting the right sized dumpster for a roofing and shingles job.

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