Dumpster Rental in MA: Frequently Asked Questions

Got a big load to dump?

If you’re in the Bay State, and you need to rent a dumpster, you may be faced with a bunch of questions that don’t have any simple answers. Never fear: We’ve got a handy FAQ that sums up what you need to do and what you can expect when renting a dumpster.

Do I Need a Permit to Rent a Dumpster?

While this can vary from town to town in Massachusetts, as a rule, yes. The permit is usually issued by the town’s Board of Health, requires you fill out a basic form explaining where the dumpster will be and what you’re using it for, and usually costs a nominal processing fee of $10 or so.

How Long Can I Have a Dumpster on My Property?

Most dumpster permits in Massachusetts are good for thirty days. If you need it for a longer period of time, you’ll need to apply for an extension on your permit. You may be able to get an extension pre-approved depending on your needs, but speak to the Board of Health about that.

Where Can I Put a Dumpster on My Property?

A dumpster will need to be located in such a way so that it doesn’t interfere with public business, so usually anywhere on your public property is fine, provided that area can take the weight of the dumpster. However, depending on the situation, you may be able to get approval to put a dumpster in the street. Check with your town’s Public Works department to see if that’s a viable option.

Fill ‘er up.

What Can I Put in a Rented Dumpster?

This depends on the policies of both your dumpster rental company and your town, but a good rule of thumb is this: Organic waste like food scraps should only go into a dumpster if they’re in trash bags and you are absolutely certain you will empty the dumpster that day, and even then only if absolutely necessary. Note that this does not include trees. Waste that may be a potential health hazard, like toxic chemicals or cans of paint, should not be thrown in a dumpster at all; contact your town’s public works department to discuss removal of these materials.

How Long Does It Take to Deliver a Dumpster?

Many companies guarantee next-day delivery once you sign the rental agreement, but it’s highly recommended if it’s not an emergency that you plan a few weeks ahead and arrange a pre-determined delivery date. That way, you won’t have to deal with any unforeseen circumstances or permitting issues the same day.

How Long Does It Take to Pick Up?

As a rule, you can schedule a pick-up date in advance with your dumpster rental company, or you can contact them and let them know it’s ready to go and book a time with them then. Next-day or two-day service is generally available in most areas.

Will I Need to Lock My Dumpster?

Most temporary dumpsters are used for tasks like remodeling and will not need to be locked. Dumpsters are mostly locked to prevent animals from scrounging for food scraps and being a public nuisance.

How Much Will My Dumpster Rental Cost?

While this varies from company to company, most companies will charge the following fees: Pick-up, drop-off, fuel surcharge, tonnage, and daily rental. There may also be other fees depending on your situation; be sure to contact the company ahead of time and discuss your needs.