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Initial Origins

The word dumpster originates from the man who invented the object—George Dempster. He realized the need to store solid waste, particularly from construction sites. In 1935, the Dempster-Dumpster became the first large, portable dumpster bin. This eliminated the need for sanitation workers to shovel dirt, garbage, and other debris into a flatbed. It also eliminated the need for a driver to leave the truck and physically haul the dumpster to a landfill. At this point, just one truck could empty several dumpsters in between trips to the disposal location. Dumpsters also reduced the amount of labor necessary to move debris by 75 percent.

Roll-Off Dumpsters vs. Roll-Off Containers

The invention of this dumpster inspired other dumpster designs, such as roll-off containers and roll-off dumpsters. The difference between the two is that roll-off containers use a cable hoist to pull a dumpster onto a truck. A roll-off dumpster uses teeth in between the rails, and the system’s double-acting cylinder allows the container onto docks at frame level without the need for gravity. In fact, George Dempster was also one of the roll-off dumpster inventors. Meanwhile, roll-off containers became very popular in the scrap metal industry.

Dumpster Popularity Takes Off

From that point, dumpsters ended up supplying various equipment, such as hydraulic crushers and pontoons. Large organizations such as the U.S. Navy also began to use them. As others saw the demand skyrocket for the product, many sought to design other types of dumpsters; however, none have had the type of impact that Dempster’s inventions had.

Of course, today dumpsters have expanded to several new types and applications. Many restaurants carry small front-loading dumpsters, and large roll-off dumpsters feature their own compacting system. So, the next time you see a dumpster, you can thank George Dempster for creating the object that has revolutionized waste management, even all these years later.

Dumpster Rentals for Your Commercial or Residential Project

Century Waste Management carries a variety of roll-off dumpsters to make your home renovation project easier. From 10- to 40-yard roll-off dumpsters, we’ve got you covered. View our dumpsters here.

Category: General

Cheap Dumpster Rentals without compremising service…Count on
Century Waste Management for the best in affordable dumpster rental solutions!

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Century Waste Management is a dumpster rental company located in Metro Detroit’s Sterling Heights, MI 48310
serving Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Wayne County: Allen Park, Belleville, Canton Twp, Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, Detroit, Ecorse, Flat Rock, Garden City. Gibraltar, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe, Hamtramck. Harper Woods, Highland Park, Inkster, Lincoln Park, Livonia, Melvindale, Plymouth, River Rouge, Riverview, Rockwood. Romulus, Southgate. Taylor, Trenton, Wayne, Westland, Woodhaven, Wyandotte

Macomb County: Armada, Anchor Bay, Bruce Twp, Center Line, Chesterfield Twp, Clinton Twp, Eastpointe, Fraser, Harrison Twp, Lenox Twp, Macomb Twp, Memphis, Mount Clemens, New Baltimore, New Haven, Ray, Richmond Twp, Romeo, Roseville, St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights, Roseville, Utica, Shelby Twp, Warren, Washington Twp

Oakland County: Addison Twp, Auburn Hills, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Twp, Brandon Twp, Clarkston, Clawson, Commerce Twp, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Fenton, Ferndale, Franklin, Hazel Park, Holly, Huntington Woods, Keego Harbor, Lake Angelus, Lake Orion, Lathrup Village, Madison Heights, Milford​, Novi, Oak Park, Oakland Twp, Orchard Lake, Ortonville, Orion, Oxford, Pleasant Ridge, Pontiac. Rochester Hills, Rochester, Royal Oak, South Lyon, Southfield, Springfield Twp, Sylvan Lake, Troy, Waterford, Walled Lake, West Bloomfield, White Lake, Wixom


You’ve just rented a dumpster based on your current needs, and you may be wondering how manufacturers arrive at the measurements that constitute dumpster sizes. There are no universal standards for measurements—there are common principles that affect how dumpster size is determined in most instances.

Below is the typical chart for dumpster sizes and dimensions:

Dumpster Sizes

SizeCommon Exterior DimensionsMaximum Volume
10-yard dumpster12 ft. long X 8 ft. wide X 3.5 ft. high10 Cubic Yards
20-yard dumpster22 ft. long X 8 ft. wide X 4 ft. high20 Cubic Yards
30-yard dumpster22 ft. long X 8 ft. wide X 6 ft. high30 Cubic Yards
40-yard dumpster22 ft. long X 8 ft. wide X 8 ft. high40 Cubic Yards

Cubic Yards Explained

Cubic yards are a measure of volume. One cubic yard consists of space that is 3 feet long by 3 feet wide by 3 feet high.

Using the dimensions of a dumpster (in feet), you can calculate the amount of debris a dumpster can hold in cubic yards. Multiply the length by width by height to determine total cubic feet. Divide total cubic feet by 27 to get the number of cubic yards.

Many companies represent dumpster dimensions in feet and measure from the outside of the container. But if you’re using the exterior dimensions of the dumpster, the above formula will slightly over-estimate volume. In that case, you’ll want to subtract about six to eight inches from each exterior measurement to better determine interior volume. For example, an 8-foot exterior width becomes about 7 foot, 4 inches interior width.

We hope this gives you a better understanding of how dumpster size is determined. If you don’t know what size dumpster is right for you, we have a guide that will help you. Whether you’re a homeowner or a contractor, Century Waste Management is the gold standard when it comes to dumpster rentals in the greater Detroit area.

Category: General

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Call us to find out about our special rates and what CENTURY WASTE MANAGEMENT can do for your Company 


Call us to find out about our special rates and what CENTURY WASTE MANAGEMENT can do for your Company 

Cheap Dumpster Rentals without compromising service...Count on
Century Waste Management for the best and affordable dumpster rental solutions!