Waste management can be an important part of hundreds of situations. Perhaps you are making renovations to your home and need to dispose of old tiles and materials, or maybe you are trying to scrap a lot of old furniture in a building that isn’t being used anymore. Whatever the reason, finding the right kind of container for dealing with your home or yard waste is a significant step in the right direction, especially when you are forced into handling more debris than you might have expected.
The two most common containers you might see when it comes to waste management are dumpsters and bagsters. They both aim to do the same thing, but the differences between them mean that they are functionally distinct and unique. Which is better, and why might you choose one over the other?
What is a dumpster?
Most people have seen a dumpster. They are large, metal containers that can be used to hold trash and other project debris in a convenient space, and usually come from a company that will pick up and dispose of the waste after a certain amount of time. Physically, they are heavy enough to require a truck or another large vehicle to transport them, so the customer often has to get them placed in a certain spot and then leave it there until the pick up date. This wouldn’t be a conventional pickup truck, but a larger dumpster-carrying truck.
Dumpster rental services exist almost everywhere, and using a dumpster like this is the preferred option for dealing with most trash and debris. Instead of buying one, dumpster rental companies generally give them to their customers for a set period of time, agreeing to pick up the dumpster and take the contents to a landfill or another disposal site later on. Since they can be deployed on the driveway of the people who need it, getting it to the right location is just a matter of letting the truck drive up there.
The exact design used by each dumpster can vary, but they all serve the same purpose: they are a high-weight container that can hold a large load of materials and debris, making them an excellent solution for everything concerning home renovation, construction, and demolition. You will often see them on a large-scale project for this reason, but they can be hired by anybody who needs them, even if it is only to get rid of some scrapped furniture.
What is a bagster?
A bagster is meant to be a smaller, more portable alternative to a dumpster. This three-cubic-yard bag is generally intended to be single-use, acting as a smaller-capacity dumpster that doesn’t take up quite the same amount of room. In concept, it is very similar to a dumpster, but takes up less room and is generally much easier to handle for a smaller-scale project. This isn’t surprising, given that the name is a shortened way of saying ‘dumpster bag.’
The purpose of a bag like this is the same as a dumpster, and usually has the same rules in which materials can be placed inside it. The only difference, other than the capacity of the bag and the smaller size, is the fact that the bagsters won’t always follow the same restrictions as dumpster rental agreements. You usually buy a dumpster bag rather than renting one, which changes the way that the process works.
For example, let us say you have a lot of garden trash that needs to be thrown out – enough for a dumpster bag, but hardly enough for a normal dumpster. You can buy a bagster and keep it indefinitely, meaning that you have plenty of time to gather up the trash and place it inside at your own pace. By contrast, a dumpster often needs to be picked up at a set time, regardless of whether or not it is full yet.
Bagster or Dumpster?
Choosing between a bagster and a dumpster isn’t easy, especially not with difficult projects that might end up veering off course in ways that you could not predict. However, you can usually try to figure out which option suits you best beforehand, narrowing down your options based on price, the area you are working in, or even the type of work you will be doing. Here is a full comparison of both options, what they offer, and how you should use them relative to one another.
A bagster is similar to a dumpster, but not identical. They both aim to solve different problems using the same kind of premise (a container that you can throw debris into), but there will be many cases where one option is superior to the other in almost every way. First of all, try to think about the work you will actually be doing, as well as the scale of the project you are working at.
Most bagster options, such as the WM Bagster, come at a set size of three cubic yards. This means that you have roughly three cubic yards to fill with trash and debris, which can be more than enough for smaller projects. This smaller size means that they can technically be easier to move around, although a full bagster still generally needs to be lifted by a small crane. This limited area means that they can struggle to support larger projects unless you have alternate ways of dealing with some of the debris, though, which obviously points to a dumpster being the better choice for extended projects.
While the dumpster bag is good for smaller work, a regular dumpster rental can be amazing for handling mid-size or large projects, usually giving you over three times the area of a bagster with no immediate downsides. The cost of renting one can be higher, but if you just need to remove a lot of old materials, then it can be a very reliable option. Since they are much more solid, you also don’t need to be as concerned about them splitting or breaking suddenly.
Size isn’t the only factor that matters here, of course. In some cases, you will want one or the other purely because of how easily it can be placed. WM waste management bagsters can be placed closer to your home than dumpsters since a typical dumpster needs to be left by the side of the road. This won’t be an issue if your front door leads right onto the street, but it can be a pain if you have to carry an old bed all the way down a driveway just to scrap it properly.
What is a bagster best for?
Use bagsters if you are dealing with smaller amounts of debris and materials, regardless of what they actually are. They can be much easier to move around in the short-term, and the price of buying a bag can usually be cheaper in the long run than full dumpster rental. As long as you don’t think you will reach and exceed the capacity of the bagster, it can be a great way to move debris and trash out of your home and into a spot where it can be properly managed. Each bagster is also surprisingly strong, and won’t suddenly burst from too many old bricks or pieces of wood.
Groups like WM produce bagster designs that are meant to be the best possible combination of materials, often using them as a replacement for regular dumpster choices entirely. However, on small-scale projects, even a basic waste management bagster can work well.
What is a dumpster best for?
Dumpsters are the exact opposite of the bag dumpster: larger, harder to move around, and much more forgiving in terms of capacity. A decent dumpster could end up holding every single piece of debris you create in a renovation project, meaning that all of your trash ends up in a single place rather than being scattered into multiple containers. While they often can’t be moved by the customer once placed, a dumpster is also usually small enough to fit on the side of a street without blocking traffic, taking up a single parking space without blocking the road.
Higher-quality dumpsters are often used by professionals for a very obvious reason: they are large and durable. The price of hiring a dumpster is well worth the benefits, especially when you are handling a lot of debris that you want to move out of your home and into a disposal container.
Another major part of renting dumpster models and buying bagster options is the way that they will get picked up later on. Most waste management companies offer a pick up service in some way, either included as part of the rental price (dumpsters) or as a separate charge following the purchase (generally bagsters). Each company will have its own rules on how their bagster and dumpster rentals or purchases can work, but you can usually get a more specific answer to any questions you may have from their customer service team.
When working with a dumpster, you often have a set time limit. On the last day, the company will come with a truck to pick up the dumpster and dispose of the debris inside, whether or not you are actually finished using it. This can sometimes be included in the price, but in other cases, you might need to pay an extra collection fee that scales with how much weight has been placed inside the dumpster. Expect to pay more if the debris goes above the top limits of the dumpster, too.
With a bagster, things can be slightly different. Buying a WM bagster to use for a home renovation idea might give you that container indefinitely, allowing you to keep it for as long as you need it. However, once the bag is full, you will need to have it emptied: for a small collection fee, a bagster waste management company can come and collect the bag, taking the debris away and dumping it – usually with the bag – into a disposal site. You don’t usually get the bagster back, although you might, depending on the state of the bag itself. Most of the time, the bag is sealed up to help with disposing of the debris efficiently.
As you can tell, a dumpster often has a set time limit for how long you are able to keep it, while a bagster is a more long-term option despite the smaller size of only three cubic yards (compared to ten cubic yards or more). Either way, you will eventually need to have them emptied, and that is when you will have to consider pick up ranges and cost details. Pickup charges can increase the price of a long project, and the pickup range means that you might only be within the limits of certain companies.
Not all pick up situations are handled by waste management companies. Certain home improvement stores like Home Depot can schedule pick up times for any WM bagster you buy from them, for example. This service copies the same idea as those offered by a more niche company, so the end result should still be the same.
Bagster or Dumpster pickup?
Bagsters are lighter and often easier to load onto a truck, making them generally easier for a company to handle during pickup and delivery. However, they aren’t a perfect solution for every situation, and some bags will need to be placed away from your home so that they have the clearance necessary for removal. Dumpsters are similar, but their larger size can sometimes work in their favor: people are less likely to park near them if they are on the side of the road.
When scheduling a bagster pickup, remember that the company might not have your details on hand. You could need to give them your zip code so that they have some idea of where you are located: if you decided to rent a dumpster from them, though, it is likely they have your zip code on file.
The overall process for a pickup is the same: a vehicle arrives, collects the container, and then takes it to dispose of the trash. Functionally, the customer doesn’t need to do much except make sure that the container is accessible, which shouldn’t be difficult if the area has been kept clear of vehicles and other debris.
Dumpster rentals can be expensive, especially when you can’t give a clear answer for how much debris you will be placing inside. Even with some idea of what answer to give the company, the price on collection can be increased purely because you have added more trash than they expected. Many companies also have restrictions on certain items, such as not allowing particular materials beyond a certain amount, and breaking these limitations can increase the price even further.
Bagster purchases can be more lenient and don’t cost as much overall, but also come with a reduced size in cubic yards. Similarly to dumpsters, bagster rules can increase the cost if you damage the bag or fill it with things that aren’t meant to be added. If you have a question about any of this, you can get an answer from the site or representative that is offering the bagster to you.
Other than that, the price mostly comes down to your personal limits. You might find that a single-use WM bagster is too wasteful for the price, while other people might see the cost of renting a dumpster inferior to the cheaper price of a bagster that they get to personally own. It all comes down to the cost you are personally willing to pay, as well as how important the pickup service and waste disposal process is to you.
Remember that the cost of either option can scale up if you get two or more at once. The rental price of getting two dumpsters back-to-back can easily cost as much as multiple bagsters that you own at the same time, so try to plan things out in the most efficient way possible. Some customers might find it easier to pay more upfront, while others may want to stagger out their payments by only buying or renting a single container at a time.
Pickup pricing changes from company to company, as well as in different areas of the world, so there isn’t a single baseline to follow. Certain cities might even have vastly different prices to other cities in the same country, so it can be difficult to recommend an exact amount that you might want to aim for in terms of costs.
Permits can be quite a roadblock in a lot of renovation work, but you don’t always need them. In general, if you are having a dumpster or bagster placed on your own property and renting or buying it directly from a licensed company, they will take care of the permits. If not, they will make sure that they point you towards the easiest and fastest method of getting a permit yourself. Whether or not you need a permit can depend on the situation, so getting an answer from them can be a vital part of the process.
In most instances, if you are having a dumpster or bagster placed in an area that is supposed to let pedestrians have right of way, such as an open sidewalk or an area that is technically owned by the city, you will need a permit. Even if the property is your own, a bagster or dumpster that blocks traffic might also require a permit. However, you can always look up your local area for a proper answer, especially if the bagster company can’t give you the answer you need.
If you misuse a bagster in a way that harms others, you can be held responsible for it: however, you likely won’t have to answer to the WM bagster company that originally made the bag since you own it. Rented dumpsters are much less forgiving: you will have to answer to the WM company that owns it since, unlike the bagster, you are only renting it from them. If you significantly damage the dumpster before the pickup service has arrived, it might increase the cost of the overall rental so that the company can cover the repair work.
Other Important Questions
Neither bagsters nor dumpsters are better than the other option, because they both fill different roles. Because of this, there are some top questions that you might need an answer to at some point, more so if you need something like a bagster for urgent home repair work. Every answer here can vary depending on the situation and the company that you are using as your disposal service, so be sure to ask them for a more detailed answer if you can.
How do I make sure the company can pick up their bagster/dumpster?
Clear the area around the drop-off and pickup site, regardless of how much work that might take. If there isn’t enough clear room, it can be almost impossible to place it down, especially in streets or places where alternative drop-off points are highly limited. Be sure to avoid having it dropped off on soft ground, too: even a bagster can start to sink if the bag is loaded with a lot of debris, making it harder to retrieve.
How do I avoid restricted materials?
Each WM company has their own rules on what can and can’t be placed in a dumpster or bagster bag. Before you pay for their service, check to see what these rules are: in general, items like paint, chemical waste, propane tanks, and hazardous materials are never going to be allowed in a bagster, including ones that could corrode the bagster bag directly.
Is a bagster cheaper?
A bagster bag service is often going to be the cheaper option when it comes to a WM service, especially when that WM service operates within a limited range. The cost of buying a bagster can seem high compared to a large conventional bag, but this cost matches up with the strength of the bag itself: a bagster isn’t just a weak canvas and is designed to hold all kinds of materials that a normal bag can’t.