In the business of Roofing there are several expenses. Shingle disposal is one of them. Since disposal costs are determined by volume and weight, the question is HOW MUCH?

Don’t Get Scared… Math Required

Let’s take a look at the differences in determining how much.

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A couple of the measurement options would be square footage, shingle size, new shingle weight and every other item you could wrap your head around but the way we need to determine weight in a tear off is by Roofing Squares.

Square Footage / 100 = Roofing Squares


Roofing square vs. square footage

One square is equal to 100 square feet. For example, a 2,000 square foot roof is equal to 20 square.

Knowing approximately how many squares of shingles you have to dispose of makes it easier to communicate that info to the dumpster rental company, who can then recommend the right sized container.

What size dumpster do I need for “X” amount of shingles?

Important: know how many layers of shingles will be disposed of; 2 layers will double the number of squares.

Example: 1500 sq. ft. roof / 100 = 15 squares of roofing, (or 30 for two layers of shingles.)

Dumpster size recommendations are as follows:

1-5 squares = 10 cu. yd. dumpster5-15 squares = 15 cu. yd. dumpster15-25 squares = 20 cu. yd. dumpster25 and up squares = 30 cu. yd. dumpster

A 40 yard container is not recommended for shingles as the weight will likely exceed acceptable hauling limits.

Now that we have figured out how many squares of shingles we have and what size dumpster is likely needed, let’s see how much weight to expect. See the table below for 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles.

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3-Tab Shingles Weigh About 300 Lbs Per Square

3-Tab shingles are primarily less expensive than architectural shingles when allows them to be more commonly used. They also have a more consistent appearance so are easier to install. In most cases, your roof tear-off debris will be 3-tab.

# of SquaresApproximate WeightRecommended Dumpster
10 Squares1.5 Tons15 Cubic Yard
20 Squares3 Tons15 or 20 Cubic Yard
30 Squares4.5 Tons20 or 30 Cubic Yard
40 Squares6 Tons30 Cubic Yard



Architectural shingles weigh about 400 lbs per square

Architectural-style roofing shingles are heavier and take up a bit more space compared to 3-tab shingles, so you’ll need a slightly larger dumpster to accommodate the extra bulk.

# of SquaresApproximate WeightRecommended Dumpster
10 Squares2 Tons15 Cubic Yard
20 Squares4 Tons15 or 20 Cubic Yard
30 Squares6 Tons30 Cubic Yard
40 Squares8 Tons30 Cubic Yard

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