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2 Additional Dumpster Rental Fees You Might Be Able To Avoid

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During a home renovation, you might be more focused on the cost of those new granite counters or your paint budget than you are about the cost of your dumpster rental. However, as your project moves forward, your finances can be spread thin—making every extra expense painful. Here are two additional dumpster rental fees you might be able to avoid, so that you can make every renovation dollar count:

1: Tonnage Fees

As soon as that dumpster is placed on your property, you might start getting ideas about how to use that convenient bin. After you toss all of that old drywall, you might be tempted to clean out the attic or throw away those unsightly landscaping boulders. After all, as long as it fits within the confines of the container, it shouldn't matter, right?

Unfortunately, because heavy bins can damage city roads, waste management companies typically charge extra if you go over the weight limit. These charges, also referred to as tonnage fees, can cost as much as $30 to $100 per additional ton of debris. Because these fees are tallied after your bin is emptied, you might not know about extra weight until it is too late—and you are faced with a bill. Fortunately, you might be able to avoid incurring tonnage fees by following these tips:

  • Side With A Larger Container: Dumpster rentals can be expensive, which is why a lot of people try to rent as small of a bin as possible. However, renting a small bin might mean that your dumpster fills up fast, which could lead to an extra tonnage fee. Instead, try to choose a larger bin than you think you need. Although it might take up more space in your driveway, a larger bin will accommodate more debris and won't have to be emptied as often.  
  • Avoid Heavy Materials: Try to avoid filling your bin full of dense, heavy materials such as gravel, concrete, metal, or tile. If you have to dispose of heavy items, try to estimate the weight of each armful. Do a little math to calculate the added weight inside your bin. For example, if you know that you are capable of lifting about 50 pounds, and you made about 10 trips to the dumpster, keep in mind that you just added a quarter ton of weight to that bin.
  • Don't Nest Items: To make it easier to estimate the current capacity of your bin, don't nest items together. For example, don't fill empty buckets with loose drywall, or that old refrigerator full of drywall scraps. If you can't see heavy items, you won't be able to estimate the tonnage.

As you use your dumpster, keep in mind that there might be a little turnaround time for a waste management company to replace your full bin. Instead of waiting until your dumpster is jam-packed, try to call your waste management representative early. If you are close to capacity, waiting an additional day could put you over the limit.

2: Hazardous Materials Fines

To protect the environment, most waste management companies have a list of prohibited items that you aren't allowed to toss into your dumpster. If you are caught breaking the rules, you might be subjected to hazardous materials fines of $350 or more per infraction. Here are a few things you should never throw away and why:

  • Paint: In addition to containing flammable solvents, paints also typically contain oils that are bad for the environment.
  • Electronics: Computers, printers, and old television sets can contain heavy metals like mercury that can pollute water and injure wildlife.
  • Batteries: Car batteries contain high levels of corrosive acid, which can be dangerous for waste management employees to handle.

Before you start using your dumpster rental, ask your waste management company for a list of prohibited items. By following their guidelines to the letter of the law, you might be able to keep your disposal fees to a minimum. For more about this topic, talk to your waste management company; they just might have some more recommendations for you on avoiding extra fees.