The unwanted junk and debris are piling up, and you need a solution to get rid of them without making multiple trips to the local landfill. You’ve seen roll off dumpsters and dumpster bags, sometimes known as Bagsters, at other homes around the neighborhood, but what’s the real difference between them? And more importantly, how do you know which one is right for your project?

The answer depends on both the scope of your job and your budget. Check out the comparisons below to decide which disposal option is right for you.

What Is the Difference Between a Dumpster Bag and a Dumpster?

Dumpsters and junk removal bags are both containers you can place on your property, fill up with junk and debris, and have hauled away when you’re finished. However, they differ in some key features:

Dumpster Bags
Roll Off Dumpsters
Sizes:One bag size available that holds 3 cubic yards of debris with a 3,300 pound weight limit.Come in 10, 15, 20, 30 and 40 cubic yard sizes, each with its own weight limit.
Dimensions:8 feet long by 4 feet wide by 2.6 feet high.Vary by size. Typically 8 feet wide, 10-20 feet long and 3.5-7 feet high.
Placement:Must be placed within about 18 feet of the street.Should be placed on a flat area, such as a parking lot or driveway. You may also be able to place your container in the street pending your city’s street permit regulations.
Pickup:Dumpster bag pickup is not offered in all locations where bags are sold. If it’s in your area, you can call or schedule your pickup online.Go online or call to schedule your pickup on or before the last day of your rental period.
Durability:The bag is made of tarp-like materials with handles. To keep its shape, it’s best to fill at the edges first. Overfilling may cause tearing.A roll off dumpster is made of heavy-duty metal and will not lose its shape or tear.

When considering a disposable dumpster bag, you should always double-check that pickups are available in your area with the company who offers the service. Your dumpster bag must be five feet away from any vehicles or structures. Once you are done filling your bag, you can go online to schedule a three-day window for your pickup.

You should also be aware that you’ll need to place the bag within an 18-foot reach of the truck’s hydraulic arm, or else the pickup of your dumpster bag will not be possible. If the truck cannot get to your full bag, they may leave it and still charge a pickup fee for making a trip to your home.

When considering a dumpster rental, estimate the weight of your debris so that you can choose the container size that best matches your needs. Your container will be delivered to your home or job site, and each roll off dumpster features a door that allows you to walk heavy or bulky items inside the container safely. If you’re using a wheelbarrow to collect debris, you can simply roll it inside the bin using the loading door and dump it out.

Comparing Roll Off Dumpster vs Bagster Costs

One of the main draws of dumpster bags are the low prices—as low as $29.95 for some brands – and they can be purchased in-store at Home Depot and Lowes, or online at But before you make your purchase, it’s important to know that this price covers only the bag itself. An additional fee is charged for pickup and disposal.

The dumpster bag pickup cost for one bag loaded with 3 cubic yards worth of debris, and a 3,300-pound weight limit, averages $142.99 on top of the $29.95 for the bag itself. This brings the total to about $173 per bag. (This number may be higher or slightly lower depending on your location and which company is offering the service.) You may also receive a discount for the pickup of multiple bags.

Use this chart to compare cost estimates for each option in various situations.

Dumpster Bags vs Dumpster Rental Costs

Here, you can see that a collapsible dumpster bag is a reasonable choice for small-scale cleanouts or minor home improvement projects with less than 10 cubic yards’ worth of debris. To compare, 3 cubic yards, the size of one dumpster bag, would fit about 30 gallon-sized trash bags. However, for any project with 10 cubic yards of debris or more, renting a roll off dumpster will almost always keep your costs lower.

The Verdict: Buy a Dumpster Bag or Rent a Dumpster?

The concept behind the dumpster bag is an intriguing one. It puts a new spin on an old cleanup method, and can be a convenient and economical option for DIYers undertaking very small-scale projects. But for larger jobs, the bag doesn’t match up with the affordability and all-inclusive services of a roll off dumpster. Plus, as a sustainability consideration, a traditional dumpster can be used over and over again, while a single dumpster bag is only good for one use.

“A dumpster bag would be a more economical choice for your cleanup in the instance that you don’t have room to fit a roll off dumpster or you’re working on a very small cleanout or remodel.”

Nick Mausser | Budget Dumpster

So, if you are trying to decide whether to buy a dumpster bag or rent a dumpster, the practical solution for all but the smallest jobs is likely to be renting a dumpster.

Rent a Dumpster for Your Cleanup Today

A 10 yard dumpster would be fitting for a small attic or garage cleanout, while a 40 yard container would work for most demolition debris. A member of our helpful team will help you choose the right size container based on the scope of the project and type of debris you will be tossing. Contact us or get a free quote on your project today.