Avoid overweight fees (and other headaches) on your trash dumpster rental Austin by knowing how to estimate the weight of trash.

Smart contractors “measure twice and cut once” and the same idea applies to loading your roll off container with materials. By using the formulas below to measure the weight of your rubbish, you can avoid running into problems.

A not so obvious example to some people is that concrete weighs about 2,000-pounds per cubic yard. Two cubic yards of concrete in a 20 yard dumpster is 10-percent of the volume capacity, but likely 100+ percent of your weight capacity. You need to know your weight before you load.

If you fill a 20-yard dumpster with concrete, it will weigh 40,000-pounds. No dumpster company would be able to lift or legally haul the dumpster rental. That is a big problem.


How big is a cubic yard?

  • 1-cubic yard is 27 cubic feet or 7.5 gallons
  • 27 cubic feet = 3-ft wide x 3-ft deep x 3-ft high

There are 2,000-pounds in 1-ton.

The weight of trash below is measured in tons. For example 1-cubic yard of Ashes weighs 0.54-tons or 1,080-pounds.


Weight of Trash by Material Type (tons per cubic yard)

  • 1.35    Asphalt
  • 0.54     Ashes
  • 0.15     Brush/Branches
  • 0.30     Brush Chipped
  • 2.00    Concrete     (4,000-pounds per 1-cubic yard)  
  • 1.35     Crushed Stone
  • 0.95     Earth, dry, loose
  • 1.68     Earth, wet
  • 0.20-0.40     Garbage, dry                                      
  • 0.62     Garbage, wet
  • 1.28     Gravel, dry
  • 1.68     Gravel, wet
  • 6.07     Iron     (12,140-pounds per 1-cubic yard)
  • 0.10-0.27     Leaves
  • 2.24     Stone, solid
  • 0.75     Paper, solid
  • 0.40     Plywood sheet  
  • 0.22-0.37     Roofing debris 
  • 1.37     Sand, dry
  • 1.65     Sand, wet
  • 0.85     Water

Roofing debris weight estimates:

Check out the FAQ on: Can I put roofing materials in my dumpster?  You will learn how much shingles weigh, and what size dumpster you can put shingles in, and which size dumpster you need according to the measurements of your roof.


Earth, brick, tile, stone debris weight estimates:

The largest size roll off container rental for these super heavy and dense materials limited to a 5-yard roll off, which can be filled full of these heavy earthy materials. The Austin small dumpster rental for concrete, stone, tile, etc. must be filled exclusively with these materials, no miscellaneous waste.  If there is miscellaneous waste in the dumpster, then it cannot be disposed of as recycling clean fill and results in the client being charged per ton of weight of trash.


What does it all mean?

In most cases you don’t need to be concerned with your debris being too heavy. The times when you do need to be extra cautious about the weight of trash is when dealing with:

  1. Earth, brick, stone, tile, etc.
  2. Roofing materials
  3. Steel or metals

If you are just using your waste management rolloff for a household cleanup or construction debris, you are probably going to stay under the weight of trash included in the quoted cost to rent dumpster.


Important: if you are loading heavy materials, be sure to have an explicit conversation with your trash removal company’s representative about the weight of trash. You may find out that they will only let you have a smaller size garbage dumpster, or that they require certain loading procedures.

The waste management pro will tell you what needs to happen for you to have a good experience. They will also make sure their rolloff truck can lift and legally haul the weight of rubbish. For example a single rear axle rolloff truck can legally haul a max of 5-tons of debris, while a tandem axle rolloff truck can haul 10-tons of debris. If you load a bin with more weight than the refuse truck can handle, you will run into the 7 Austin Dumpster Rental Pitfalls to Avoid.