A dumpster is a type of mobile garbage bin designed to be brought and taken away by a special truck. The word is a genericized trademark of Dumpster, an American brand name for a specific design. Generic usage of dumpster is also common in Australia, although Dumpster is not an established brand there.
The word "dumpster", first used commercially in 1936, came from the Dempster-Dumpster system of mechanically loading the contents of standardized containers onto garbage trucks, which was patented by Dempster Brothers in 1935. The containers were called Dumpsters, a portmanteau of the company's name with the word dump. The Dempster Dumpmaster, which became the first successful front-loading garbage truck that used this system, popularized the word.
In British and Australian English, the terms wheelie bin and skip are more commonly used (although they are not perfect synonyms). In some other countries[which?] the more descriptive term frontloader container is often used, either in one or two words.
The main purpose of a dumpster is to store rubbish until it is emptied by a garbage truck and disposed of. Dumpsters can be used for all kinds of waste, or for recycling purposes. Most dumpsters are emptied weekly by a hired rubbish removal service.
Many businesses, apartment buildings, schools, offices, and industrial sites have one or more dumpsters, generally ranging from 2 to 6 cubic yards, to store the waste that they generate. Dumpsters are emptied by front-loading garbage trucks. These trucks have large prongs on the front which are aligned and inserted into arms (or slots) on the dumpster. Hydraulics then lift the prongs and the dumpster, eventually flipping the dumpster upside-down and emptying its contents into the truck's hopper (storage compartment).
Other dumpsters are smaller and are emptied by rear-loading trucks. Mobile construction dumpsters are 6 cubic yard dumpster trailers called Roadrunners, and are commonly used in Dallas, Texas on smaller remodeling jobs or for garage or lawn cleanouts. Roll-off dumpsters are large dumpsters from 10 to 45 cubic yards. These are used at demolition sites, cleanouts, renovations, construction sites, factories, and large businesses. Ninety-five gallon dumpsters (or toters) are used by small businesses and homes where a normal bin would be too small, but a regular dumpster would be too large.
Roll-off/containers/dumpsters/opentop containers are just a few of the names given to these large capacity receptacles. These containers are normally carried by very large trucks with hydraulic arms which load and unload the containers with ease, thus allowing these trucks to place these containers in a relatively unobtrusive position.
Dumpster diving involves persons voluntarily climbing into a dumpster to find valuables, such as discarded metal scrap, or simply useful items, including food and used clothing. It can also be a method of investigation (e.g., looking for discarded financial records, private papers or evidence of a crime). Going through garbage containers that are not strictly speaking dumpsters is nevertheless often referred to as dumpster diving.
- "Dumpster", U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, trademark registration 0743745, filed Feb. 6, 1962, registered Jan. 15, 1963.
- Dempster, George R. "US Patent #2150821". Google Patents. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Beginnings: The Dempster Dumpster". Classic Refuse Trucks DEMPSTER. 6 January 2006. Archived from the original on 20 November 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Front Load Bins". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
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