How to Build a Dumpster Enclosure in 6 Steps

wooden dumpster enclosure


Dumpsters play a crucial role in the upkeep of businesses and commercial properties, but they should be hidden from the public to prevent unwanted activity. Whether you have a dumpster at an office building or restaurant or even your home, building a trash enclosure can help you avoid problems such as attracting animals and illegal dumping.

What is a Dumpster Enclosure?

A dumpster enclosure, also known as a dumpster corral or trash enclosure, is a fenced-in area that hides dumpsters from public view and limits access to the container.

These large trash receptacles help maintain orderly appearances, helping keep your property clean and protected. They also help you avoid contamination and overage fees by keeping strangers from illegally using your dumpster.

You can either hire a professional to build your trash enclosure, or you can save money and build it yourself. Some enclosure types, such as concrete enclosures, will need to be built by a professional.

DIY or Professional Enclosure Installation

Type of FenceDIYProfessional
Chain linkX
Metal X

Before You Start:

1. Check Local Trash Enclosure Requirements

Many cities have regulations that require property owners to conceal dumpsters from public view, as well as required heights and materials for garbage enclosures. Make sure to consult local codes when building your corral to ensure you comply with the rules of your city.

2. Plan and Prepare for Building the Corral

Before getting started, make sure to:

  • Measure the dimensions of the dumpster and determine the appropriate size for the enclosure. It should be big enough for the dumpster and have enough extra space for dumpster servicing.

  • Review local building codes and regulations

  • Choose a suitable location for the enclosure that allows easy access for dumpster servicing.

  • Purchase or collect all tools that will be needed for the corral build.

Typical Minimum Enclosure Dimensions

Height8 feet
Length14 feet
Width/Depth19 feet
Gate Opening15 feet
Gate Swing More than 90 degrees
Overhead Clearance20 feet
Truck Approach Length60 feet

Building A Trash Enclosure for Your Home or Business

dumpster enclosure types

Step 1: Choose A Material

For dumpster enclosures, the material is key. The material you select will impact the enclosure's durability, maintenance, and visual appeal. The most common enclosure materials are vinyl, wood, concrete, and chain link.

When selecting a material, consider factors like security, aesthetics, climate, and maintenance. This will help you choose the most suitable type of enclosure for your business's dumpster. Our article on dumpster enclosure types can help you decide what type of material is best for your needs.

You should also consider if you want to DIY the enclosure or hire a professional. Some material types, such as concrete, need a professional to install them.

digging post holes for trash enclosure

Step 2: Marking and Digging the Post Holes

  • Use stakes and strings to mark the boundaries of the enclosure.

  • Dig post holes at regular intervals along the marked lines. The depth and diameter of the holes will depend on the materials and design chosen, but they should be about 3 times larger than the size of the posts.

Step 3: Installing the Posts

  • Set the posts into the dug holes and brace them upright using 2x4s. Ensure they are level and plumb using a level.

  • Pour quick-set concrete into the post holes, allowing it to set and secure the posts firmly. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the appropriate curing time.

Attaching panels to posts for dumpster enclosure

Step 4: Attaching the Rails and Framework

  • Attach horizontal rails between the posts to create the framework for the enclosure.

  • Secure the rails to the posts using screws, bolts, or other appropriate fasteners.

Step 5: Installing the Panels or Fencing Material

  • Attach the selected panels or fencing material to the framework using screws, nails, or other recommended methods.

  • Ensure the panels are level and evenly spaced to provide a secure enclosure.

dumpster enclosure gate door

Step 6: Adding Gates and Doors (if applicable)

  • Install gates or doors to allow convenient access to the dumpster when needed.

  • Ensure proper alignment, functionality, and security of the gates or doors.

  • Add locking mechanisms such as a passcode to open the doors.

Pro-Tip: Make sure to always follow the directions provided by the manufacturer when setting up your enclosure.

Maintenance Tips for a Long-Lasting Dumpster Enclosure

Regular maintenance helps extend the longevity of your dumpster enclosure. Proper cleaning, sanitation practices, regular inspections, and repairs will keep your enclosure in excellent condition.

  • Cleaning and Sanitation:

Regularly clean the interior and exterior of the dumpster enclosure to prevent a build-up of debris, dirt, and odors. A pressure washer works great for removing grime.

When cleaning pay special attention to areas prone to buildup, such as corners, hinges, and latch mechanisms.

  • Waste Management Practices:

Properly disposing of your waste will keep your enclosure in good condition for a longer period of time. Make sure your trash stays inside the dumpster and does not overflow or spill out of the enclosure.

Make sure to regularly schedule waste pickups or emptying of the dumpster to maintain a clean and functional enclosure.

  • Inspecting and Repairing Damages:

Regularly inspect the dumpster enclosure for any signs of damage or wear. Cracks, dents, rust, loose bolts, and other structural issues can compromise the integrity of the enclosure.

Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to replace panels, repair welding, or reinforce weakened areas. Use appropriate materials and techniques recommended by the manufacturer or consult a professional if necessary.

  • Rust Prevention and Treatment:

If your enclosure is made of metal, you'll need to take precautions to prevent rust formation. Apply a rust-resistant coating or paint to protect the metal from moisture and oxidation.

Dumpster Enclosure FAQs

The primary purpose of a dumpster enclosure is to provide a designated and secure space for dumpsters, enhancing both safety and aesthetics. Enclosures serve several key functions:

  1. Containment: Enclosures help contain waste materials within a defined area, preventing debris from spreading and ensuring a cleaner environment.

  2. Security: By enclosing dumpsters, unauthorized access is restricted, reducing the risk of vandalism, illegal dumping, or theft.

  3. Odor Control: Properly designed enclosures include features like ventilation to manage odors, promoting a more pleasant surrounding environment.

  4. Aesthetics: Dumpster enclosures contribute to the visual appeal of a property by concealing unsightly dumpsters and waste containers.

  5. Regulatory Compliance: Many municipalities have regulations mandating the use of enclosures to meet safety, environmental, and aesthetic standards.

  6. Safety: Enclosures can enhance safety by preventing accidental contact with waste materials, reducing the risk of injury.

Overall, dumpster enclosures are a practical and regulatory-compliant solution for managing waste disposal in a way that is safe, secure, and visually pleasing.

The size of your dumpster enclosure depends on several factors, including the number of dumpsters you plan to use and the space available. It's essential to consider the dimensions of the dumpsters, leaving adequate room for waste removal trucks to access and maneuver easily.

Local regulations may also provide guidance on the required dimensions for dumpster enclosures. Checking with your local municipal or city authorities will help you ensure compliance with any specific guidelines in your area. Additionally, consider the volume of waste generated by your project to determine the appropriate size that accommodates your disposal needs without compromising efficiency or safety. Tailoring the enclosure size to fit both regulatory requirements and the practical demands of your project will contribute to a well-organized and compliant waste management solution.

The dimensions of a compactor enclosure can vary based on the specific compactor model and local requirements. Generally, these enclosures are designed to accommodate the compactor's size, leaving ample space for safe operation and routine maintenance.

For accurate dimensions, it's recommended to consult the manufacturer's specifications for your compactor model. Additionally, check local building codes and regulations, as they may provide guidelines on the minimum and maximum dimensions allowed for compactor enclosures in your area. This ensures compliance with safety standards and facilitates proper waste management.

The specific distance a dumpster needs to be placed from a building can vary and is typically determined by local regulations. Common considerations include setback requirements, ensuring there's enough space for waste removal trucks, adhering to fire codes to minimize fire risks, and addressing health and sanitation concerns. To get the accurate guidelines for your location, it's best to check with your local municipal or city authorities. They can provide specific information on dumpster placement regulations in your area, keeping your surroundings safe, accessible, and in compliance with local standards.

Yes, in many areas, obtaining a permit is required to build a dumpster enclosure. Local building codes and zoning regulations often dictate the need for a permit to ensure that the enclosure is constructed safely, adheres to set standards, and meets aesthetic and environmental considerations. It's advisable to check with your local municipal or city authorities to determine the specific permit requirements for building a dumpster enclosure in your area. Failure to secure the necessary permits may result in fines or other legal consequences, so it's essential to comply with local regulations before proceeding with the construction of a dumpster enclosure.

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