How Do You Secure a Dumpster?

How Do You Secure a Dumpster?

When renting a dumpster for a home renovation or cleanup project, it’s important to take steps to properly secure the dumpster while in use. Adequately securing your dumpster helps prevent issues with pests, unauthorized use, and accidents.

Effective ways to keep a rented dumpster secure include:

Use Locks

Many dumpster companies provide customers with either combination or key-based locks to fasten the lids shut and restrict access. Always keep dumpsters locked shut when not in direct use.

Place in a Fenced-In Area

Ideally, position the dumpster fully inside a fenced area with a locked gate to establish a perimeter barrier for added security and protection.

Block with a Vehicle

If no fence is available, use a car, truck,k or another vehicle to partially block direct access to the dumpster entrance and prevent drive-by dumping.

Install Motion Lights

Mounting exterior motion-sensor lights on nearby walls or poles will illuminate the dumpster area at night and deter trespassers.

Use Security Cameras

Set up security cameras, like floodlight webcams, pointing at the dumpster area to monitor unusual activity and discourage abuse of the unit.

Post Warning Signs

Place signs on the dumpster that warn against prohibited materials and unauthorized use to make people think twice before dumping illegally.

Chain/Padlock Lids Closed

For heavy-duty security like protecting building materials, use hardened chains and padlocks to firmly keep dumpster lids shut.

Contact Authorities

If people repeatedly dump prohibited items in your secured dumpster, file a police complaint to have it documented and request increased patrols.

Store Off-Site When Possible

The best protection is to have the dumpster rental company keep the unit secured at their facility, delivering it only on the dates needed for loading trips.

Securing Different Dumpster Types

  • Rolloff dumpsters – Use trailer wheel boots, blocks under wheels, and chained lidFront-loaddd dumpsters – Lock the openings on both the top lid and collection hatch.
  • Residential carts – Use straps to restrict lid opening size or chain to fixed objects.

Securing Tips by Location

Public street – Avoid if possible. If necessary, place reflective caution cones around.

Driveway – Use motion lights and video cameras.

Side or back yard – Build enclosures from wood or chain link fencing.

Commercial site – Position against a building and install spotlights.

FAQs on Dumpster Security

How do I prevent people from going in my dumpster?

Use a combination or key locks on the doors provided by the rental company. Additional deterrents are fencing, lights, signs, and cameras.

What kind of lock comes with a dumpster rental?

Rental companies generally provide customers with either a combination lock or cylinder key lock to secure the lids, with the key or combo code provided upon delivery.

Can I chain and padlock a dumpster shut?

Yes, hardened chains and padlocks are an effective way to tightly secure a dumpster that contains valuables or hazardous debris. Just communicate with the rental company.

Who do I call if someone is dumping illegally in my dumpster?

File a police report about any unauthorized dumping or theft taking place at your dumpster. Increase lighting and cameras to deter future abuse.


With locks, fencing, signage, and lighting, dumpsters can be properly secured to prevent unauthorized use and illegal dumping. Take sensible precautions to safeguard your rented dumpster based on location and application. A secured container helps avoid legal liability or hazardous contamination.


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