To help you see the difference between the two types of fees, here’s a breakdown:
- Flat rate: A fixed fee, regardless of weight, volume, and usage
- Includes delivery, pickup, tax, and fueling costs
- Charges extra for additional tonnage
- Helps with budgeting
- Variable rate: A fee that fluctuates depending on added fees
- Includes dumpster rental, removal, landfill tonnage, administrative, franchise, and environmental surcharge fees as well as taxes
- Can be harder to determine final cost
Basically, flat-rate pricing bundles all the factors into one clean rate, letting you know your price at the get-go. Plus, it accounts for added tonnage, so you could get rid of heavier debris without necessarily paying more.
But that doesn’t mean variable rates will cost you more money. In fact, because you pay only for what you use, you'll be able to keep an eye on your overall cost.
Bottom line: it comes down to whether you want to set a price up front or if you want a fluctuating rate that is more specific to your needs.
Although dumpster size has a lot of pull in the overall cost, added expenses can easily sneak in last minute, so it’s good to be aware of what these are.
Overload fee: If you hit your dumpster’s max capacity, you’ll be charged for every additional ton. This can be anywhere from $40 to $100 per ton depending on the landfill.
Overflow fee: A fee if any items in the dumpster are spilling over the edge.
Extra days: For every day you extend your rental past the first week, most companies charge a fee anywhere from $5 to $10.
Hazardous waste fee: Dumpster rental companies will charge you extra if there are any prohibited materials in your load (e.g., batteries, chemicals, etc.).
Special item fees: Depending on the state, some landfills charge extra for items like TVs and mattresses.
Tip fee: If your driver has trouble dropping off or picking up your dumpster because something blocks their way, like a parked car or power line, a fee will hit your final price.