Using Dumpster Bags – the Perfect Solution
By Sarah Green Carmichael
One thing I’ve learned about home renovation projects: they generate a lot of trash. A lot. And yet my husband and I have managed to renovate both our kitchen and bathroom without ever renting a dumpster. How? Two words: dumpster bags.
I’ve been daunted by the idea of a big, metal dumpster for three main reasons:
- Dumpsters can cost hundreds of dollars – even the cheapest model is going to cost at least $500 before any additional taxes and fees. And it’s sort of like renting a moving truck – you know there will be taxes and fees!
- Rent a dumpster, and the clock is running. If you’ve got it for five days, say, you’d better get all your demo and waste generation done in that time period. For DIYers like us, who are doing most of our renovation work over multiple weekends, that tight timing just doesn’t work.
- My garden. I’m a big gardener, and I hated the idea of a giant metal dumpster tearing up my yard!
Dumpster bags the Perfect Solution
Dumpster bags were the perfect solution to all of these problems: they’re affordable, flexible, and much easier on the landscape. We went with Greenbagpickup.com, which has a slightly cheaper pickup fee than some of the other dumpster bag companies (they’ll pick up competitors’ bags, too). My husband was also impressed by their pledge to sort and recycle as much of our trash as possible – he is the sort of person who objects when I forget to compost an eggshell, so responsible waste disposal was especially important to him! For my part, supporting local business is important to me, and I liked that they are a New England-owned company headquartered in the next town over from us – and also that they employ local haulers wherever they are picking up trash in the 48 continental states.
Dumpster Bag Cost and Capacity
Greenbagpickup.com’s dumpster bag costs about $39.95, and is reusable up to three times – something that was really useful for us during our renovation. We could spend a weekend filling up the dumpster bag, schedule a pickup, and then put the project on hold for a week or two if life intervened. We’d just stuff the empty bag into a corner of our garage until we had another free weekend. Each bag can handle three cubic yards of waste, or up to 3,300 pounds, and each pickup is only $149, at least $30 less than the other guys. Even if you used the bag all three times, it would still be cheaper than a dumpster! (And note that the smallest dumpster generally available only includes 2,000 pounds of waste removal, even if the total cubic yardage is larger.)
Dumpster Bag Contents
So, what can you put in a dumpster bag? Almost anything you can put in a dumpster. Toilets, drywall, old lumber, sinks, furniture, clothes, cabinets, flooring or roofing materials – you can even add really heavy stuff like brick and asphalt shingles (if your local regulations allow) as long as you don’t fill the bag to more than 3,300 pounds. (They recommend filling the bag halfway if you’re putting in really heavy stuff.
Just make sure you set up the bag where they can grab it with their crane – we chose a convenient spot in the side yard, right by the road – and obviously, situate the bag where you’ll want to leave it before you start filling it up with junk. When the bag is full, schedule your pickup – Greenbagpickup.com makes it easy to do online – and you’re done. You don’t need to be home to wait for the hauler.
Reasons To Use a Dumpster Bag
So, to recap, here are the reasons we like dumpster bags, especially those from Greenbagpickup.com, and have become the exciting dinner party guests who tell all their friends about the best way to dispose of junk:
- Really affordable – much cheaper than a dumpster, and more cost effective than other dumpster bag companies.
- Time flexible – we can complete our projects on our own schedule, not a schedule dictated by a dumpster company.
- Space saving – bag stores easily when we’re not using it, and even when we are using it, fits easily into an empty spot in the side yard.
- Easy on the garden – doesn’t tear up the grass or crush my shrubs!
- Environmentally friendly – Bags are reusable up to three times, and Greenbagpickup.com recycles/composts as much of your waste as possible.
- Convenient – easy to schedule pickups online or by phone, and no one has to be here to monitor the pickup.
And, of course, you can throw a lot of stuff away! And as my husband will attest, nothing makes me happier than throwing stuff away.