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Bagster vs. Dumpster: Which Is Better for your Project?

Bagster vs. Dumpster: Which Is Better for your Project?

If you’ve heard of Bagsters, you know that they are a fairly new alternative to traditional dumpster rentals. Dumpsters and Bagsters are both designed to handle waste from large cleanup projects, but there are several key differences that set them apart.

The main difference between Bagsters and dumpsters is their size and weight. Bagsters are much smaller than most roll-off dumpsters, and they are made of a tough canvas-like material instead of metal or plastic.

Bagster vs. Dumpster: What’s the Difference?

Both Bagsters and dumpsters have their advantages and disadvantages. When choosing which container is best for you, you’ll need to consider your property’s size, location and other unique project details. Read on to discover the key differences between Bagsters and dumpsters and learn how to obtain one for your next project.

Bagster Dumpster Best Option
Container Size Max volume of 3 cubic yards Multiple size options ranging from 10 to 40 cubic yards Dumpster
Weight Limit Holds up to 3,300 pounds Weight limits vary by size (2,000-8,000 pounds) Dumpster
Cost Costs $30 to purchase and $160 on average for pickup Prices range from $250 to $1,800 and vary by size and region Bagster
Permitted Materials Electronics and appliances not permitted. Check local requirements. Home electronics and drained appliances permitted. Check local requirements. Dumpster
Placement Place 5 feet away from other objects and leave18 feet of overhead clearance Best on hard, flat, easily accessible surfaces like driveways or yards Bagster
Pickup Schedule WM picks up the bag within 3-5 business days after calling for pickup Schedule a pickup and drop-off time and date in advance Dumpster

What Is a Dumpster?

Dumpsters are large metal containers used for residential and commercial waste disposal. They come in multiple sizes, and there are three main types: commercial, construction and residential dumpsters. While some property owners purchase their own dumpster to keep on-site, renting a roll-off dumpster is a popular option for temporary construction and remodeling projects.

Yellow dumpster filled with furniture and other debris

What Is a Bagster?

A Waste Management (WM) Bagster is a durable single-use bag used to hold and transport waste. Bagster bags can hold up to 3 cubic yards of debris, and they are a popular choice for small remodeling and residential cleanout projects. Unlike roll-off dumpsters, Bagster bags are made from durable woven material and must be purchased before use. Once you fill a Bagster with debris, you can schedule a time for WM to pick it up for you.

Bagster bag filled with black trash bags

Key Differences to Consider

While dumpsters and Bagsters serve the same purpose, there are a few key differences to consider before choosing one or the other for a cleanup project.

Container Size


Dumpsters come in multiple sizes and styles. If you’re looking to rent a roll-off dumpster, 10, 20, 30 and 40 cubic yards are the most common options. Dumpsters can typically hold more than Bagsters, but they may take up more space on your property.


Bagsters can hold up to 3 cubic yards of debris, making them a good choice for small cleanup projects and minor landscaping jobs. They are closest in size to a 4 yard dumpster, and their tarp-like material makes them lighter and easier to move when empty.

Weight Limits


Weight limits for dumpsters vary depending on the size you choose. While some types of dumpsters can handle more weight than others, the most common sizes typically have the following weight limits:

  • 10 yard: 1 ton (2,000 lbs)
  • 20 yard: 2 tons (4,000 lbs)
  • 30 yard: 3 tons (6,000 lbs)
  • 40 yard: 4 tons (8,000 lbs)


A Bagster bag can hold up to 3,300 pounds of waste. Bagsters only come in one size, so you may need to purchase multiple bags or rent a dumpster if you have a large amount of waste.

Pickup Cost


Your location and proximity to the facility can impact how much it costs to rent a dumpster. As a general rule, the larger the dumpster, the more you can expect to pay. In Chicago, for example, a seven-day rental costs $359 on average for a 10 yard dumpster, $444 for a 20 yard dumpster, and $550 for a 30 yard dumpster.


Single-use Bagster bags cost $30 up front to purchase. The collection fee is not included in the purchase price, and the cost varies depending on where you live. In most regions, it costs around $160 to pick up and empty a Bagster, but you will have to visit the WM website and enter your zip code to get an estimate.

Permitted Materials

Thins you can put in a Bagster, things you can put in a dumpster


Dumpsters are durable enough to handle everything from old furniture to demolition debris. Some hazardous materials are not permitted in standard dumpsters and need to be safely disposed of by a professional waste management company. Some materials — like cement, dirt and concrete — may also require a specific type of dumpster, so it’s important to ask the rental company what you can put in a dumpster ahead of time.


Bagsters can generally handle the same materials as standard dumpsters, but they have a few additional restrictions. While you can throw household electronics and drained appliances in a dumpster, these materials are not allowed in Bagsters. You also have to lay items flat while filling a Bagster to ensure that the bag keeps its shape, so placing large or oddly shaped items inside can be difficult.



When a driver delivers a roll-off dumpster, they deposit it on your property and leave it there for the duration of the project. Driveways are the most convenient location for residential properties, but you can also place dumpsters on dirt, gravel or grassy areas. The area just has to be hard, flat and easily accessible.


WM uses a crane attached to a truck to pick up Bagsters, so there are a few additional placement requirements to consider. You must place a Bagster at least 5 feet away from vehicles and buildings and leave at least 18 feet of clearance above it. WM also recommends that you place the bag as close to the curb as possible on flat, stable ground.

Pickup Schedule


When scheduling a dumpster rental, customers choose a pickup and drop-off date and time in advance. Some companies allow you to add extra days later to accommodate for project delays, but you may have to pay an additional fee.


WM requires you to purchase the Bagster bag in advance, so you don’t have to schedule a pickup time right away. After you fill the bag, you can call or go online to schedule a pickup date. WM will typically pick up the bag within 3-5 business days after you call.

How to Purchase Dumpsters and Bagsters

Renting a dumpster is a fairly straightforward process. Once you’ve chosen the right size for your project, you can find a local retailer and contact them to inquire about prices and availability. You can also get a quote, view product details and rent a dumpster online in most areas.

If you’re interested in purchasing a Bagster, you should check WM’s website to confirm that you live within one of their service areas. Once you’ve entered your zip code, you can choose from a list of retailers, view the estimated price and schedule a pickup time and location.

The waste container that works best for one project may not work for another. If you need help deciding which container size is best for your project, check out our dumpster size comparison guide or contact a retailer in your area to get a quote.

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