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Dumpster Rental vs. Junk Removal: Which Is Better For Your Bay Area Project Needs in 2020

Perhaps you are getting ready to tackle a DIY renovation project or new construction project, cleaning out an estate or home, removing furniture, or clearing out another type of waste or debris.

You’ve got junk to dump, and you need a place to put it. At times like these, you have a few different options: rent a dumpster/dumpster bag or hire a professional junk removal company. But what are the benefits and drawbacks of each in the Bay Area, and which choice is right for you and your project?

Here’s what you need to know:

Dumpster Rentals vs. Junk Removal in the Bay Area: 3 Primary Options

There are three options when it comes to junk removal in the Bay Area: a roll-off dumpster, a dumpster bag, or hiring a junk removal company. Here’s a breakdown of each:

1. Disposal Option #1 – Rent a Roll Off Dumpster 

Dumpster rentals are a little bit like your city-issued trash can, but way bigger. These are large metal dumpsters delivered by a truck equipped with a built-in lift system. The dumpster is dropped off at your property (usually in the street or driveway) for a set period. While the timelines are flexible, people typically rent them for about two weeks.

For your common construction sites and remodels, roll-off dumpsters hold many materials and are best suited to short-term use during home improvement projects or events. These dumpsters come in an assortment of sizes – from 10 yards to 40 yards. Thanks to their large capacity, they can hold a variety of large items, including some furniture, building materials, and more. The drawback is that it’s up to you to get all those materials into the dumpster. 

At the end of the rental period, the same company that dropped the dumpster off will come back and pick it up again, taking the dumpster and everything inside it to the local landfill. 

2. Disposal Option #2 – Rent a Dumpster Bag

If you’re looking for a place to put your junk, but you don’t need 40 yards of capacity, you can look into dumpster bags. This disposal option is perfect for smaller jobs that don’t need the same capacity as a full-sized dumpster, such as small remodels and backyard projects. 

While they’re smaller than a roll-off dumpster, these bags are still large enough for household use, usually measuring about 8 feet wide, 2.5 feet high, and 4 feet deep. When full, they can hold up to 1.5 tons of material. This compact footprint also means they’re an excellent fit for most driveways. However, while dumpster bags are more modest in size, they do still need to be placed in areas easily accessible by the retailer’s pickup crane. That means they must be placed an area with an 18ft overhead clearance and within the 16ft reach of the crane.

If you want to use a dumpster bag, you will need to buy the bag from a retailer first. Because you own the bag, you can keep it for as long as you need it. Once you’ve filled it, you simply book a pick-up appointment, and the retailer will come to get the bag and take it to the dump.  

People tend to like dumpster bags because they’re affordable (about $30 to buy one). Keep in mind, though, that the purchase price does not include the pick-up and disposal costs, and that you have to fill the dumpster bag all by yourself. 

Additionally, you can’t dispose of large items, electronics, appliances, and some building materials in dumpster bags. Finally, everything you include in a dumpster bag goes straight to the landfill – no sorting or recycling included. 

3. Disposal Option #3 – Hire A Professional Junk Removal

Hiring a professional Bay Area junk removal company is the most accessible and most straightforward option for anyone with a large amount of items or debris to get rid of. Professional junk removal companies specialize in removing unwanted items from homes, commercial buildings, and properties, and they will quickly remove whatever you have lying around while taking care of all the labor and heavy lifting.

Because professionals staff them, junk removal teams in the Bay Area are typically licensed and insured and ready to handle whatever you can throw at them. 

Which Option is Best? The Pros and Cons of Each

So, which junk removal option is right for you? Here are a few things to be mindful of:

Roll-Off Dumpster and Dumpster Bags


When you rent a roll-off dumpster or a dumpster bag, you have to do the work yourself. This means all the heavy lifting and loading. In addition to being labor-intensive and time-consuming, this can also place you at risk of injury. 

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, “over 36 percent of injuries involving missed workdays were the result of shoulder and back injuries. Overexertion and cumulative trauma were the biggest factors in these injuries.”

Permits & Cost

There are some logistical aspects to consider with dumpster rental. First of all, many cities in the Bay Area require permits to place bins on streets, and you have to purchase the entire roll-off dumpster/dumpster bag (typically they come in 10, 20, 30, or 40-yard sizes), rather than just buying what you need. If you don’t need all the room, you’ll wind up paying for the entire thing, anyway, including any additional weight fees.


If you need MORE room than the dumpster you rented offers, you can’t simply swap it out for a new one. Instead, you’ll be stuck waiting for the company to pick the dumpster up before you can have a new one placed. 

In some cases, it can take 5-7 days for the company to pick up their dumpster or dumpster bag. If you’re working on a construction job with a set timeline, this can throw a real wrench into the system. Professional junk removal services, on the other hand, offer on-demand services. This means you can get your items removed quickly – without waiting. 

Environmental Concerns

Everything you put in a dumpster or dumpster bag is taken to the landfill. None of the items within these containers get sorted. This means that everything you put in the dumpster winds up as trash – even if much of it could have been recycled. If you don’t sort it, it doesn’t happen. Considering that U.S. residents generated 267.8 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2017, this is a significant concern. 

Illegal Dumping

When you rent a roll-off dumpster or dumpster bag, you risk people illegally dumping their items in your container. Our customers at Nixxit call us about this all the time! Neighbors or strangers throw their things in their dumpsters, which leaves the person who rented the dumpster reliable for footing the bill. 

Extra Fees

The companies that rent dumpster bags and roll-off dumpsters are notorious for tacking on additional fees. This means you could be spending a pretty penny at the end of the day (not to mention your time spent loading). For example, these companies may add extra fees to your rental price for any of the following: Ordering over the phone, keeping your dumpster for more than the contracted number of days, placing prohibited items in your dumpster, or loading too much weight into your dumpster.

Professional Junk Removal


When you hire a junk removal company, you simply just show them the items you want to be picked up, and they can remove your items from anywhere. This means, they can remove items from garage, backyards, side yards, attic, basements, and more! This is beneficial, especially if you have larger and heavier pieces to get rid of. The junk removal company you hired will arrive at your property with all the trucks and equipment needed to move your items, so you don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting. This means you have more time (and energy) for whatever your next project is. 

More Disposal Options

You don’t want to worry about what you can and can’t get rid of with your junk removal option of choice. Fortunately, junk removal companies will take an assortment of items that you can’t put into dumpsters or dumpster bags. These things include tires, mattresses, TVs, major appliances like refrigerators, e-waste, and construction debris. 


Bay Area junk removal companies charge based on volume. This means you only pay for the amount of stuff you need to be hauled away – nothing more, nothing less. You won’t waste money on extra weight fees, space you don’t need, or anything else. It’s junk removal tailored to your needs.

Recycling and More

If you use an eco-friendly junk removal company, like Nixxit to get rid of your unwanted items, a team will sort, recycle, and even donate items in good condition. This makes professional junk removal a more eco-friendly way to get rid of the things you don’t need.  

Professional Bay Area Junk Removal Services: Better Than Dumpster Rental

If you’re looking for junk removal services in the Bay Area, you have several options, including renting a roll-off dumpster or a dumpster bag. Ultimately, however, these are both DIY options. That means that all the work, heavy lifting, and sorting required for good junk removal lies on your shoulders. 

If you’re looking for a more streamlined solution, professional junk removal services are your go-to. Designed to make junk removal simple, safe, affordable, tailored, and eco-friendly, Bay Area junk removal is a smart option whether you’re remodeling, doing some yard work, or just downsizing. 

Here at Nixxit, our team will remove your unwanted items from anywhere inside your home, including your garage, basement, side yard, and attic. Plus, we’ll sort your unwanted items and donate or recycle anything in good condition. It’s a more environmentally-friendly way to get rid of your excess belongings. Let us handle the hard work, so you can focus on completing your next big project or spent more time doing the things you love. 

Ready to learn more about our in-home pickup services? Contact us today. 

Need Help with Junk Removal in the Bay Area, CA?

Nixxit Junk Removal can help with your junk removal needs in the Bay Area.

  • Full-Service Junk Removal and Sorting
  • We Do the Heavy Lifting and Loading
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Donation and Recycling
  • Same Day Appointments Available!
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