Bagster Review (Waste Management’s Alternative to Dumpster Rental)

July 15, 2010 | by Kim (email) |

We here at OPC just had the opportunity to try out a great new dumpster-alternative put out by Waste Management.  It’s called the “Bagster,” and it’s available at many local home improvement stores.

What is it?

The Bagster is a cheaper, smaller alternative to renting a dumpster – for when your project accumulates enough trash that you would otherwise need to borrow someone’s truck for a dump-run (if you’re fortunate enough to have friends who loan out their trucks) but not enough trash to justify renting one of the larger metal dumpsters.  It’s a huge green bag that can hold up to  3 cubic yards or 3300 pounds of construction/project debris.  As you can see below, it can also hold Fred.  With lots of room to spare.  🙂

Bagster Dumpster in  a Bag

How does it work?

  1. Purchase the bag at your local home improvement store or other vendor.  Not sure who carries it?  Check WM’s handy source link Where to Buy a Bagster.
  2. Set it up out by the curb where the WM truck can easily retrieve it, and fill it up with all your home project junk.  Here’s ours, not quite full.  We went with a modification of the old cliché and stuffed in everything including the utility sink.
  3. Go online and arrange a pick-up date.  Waste Management will send out a crane truck that literally just picks it up by the handles and takes it away.  We didn’t get a picture of that because they came so early in the morning that we weren’t out of bed yet.

Bagster Full of Home Construction Trash

How Much Does it Cost?

The Bagster bag sells for about $30 at your local home improvement store.  Then you pay a collection fee to Waste Management at the time you schedule your pick up.  The fee for our area was $129.  You can check your own local collection fee with the Bagster Local Collection Fee link.

Having just paid to rent a 20 yard dumpster about a month ago, I can testify that this is a whole lot less expensive for your smaller jobs than renting a metal dumpster.

The Bottom Line

If you’re doing a huge job that results in a lot of debris, metal dumpsters are the way to go.  But if you’re just renovating a small section of your home, this 8′ x 4′ x 2 1/2′ bag can hold whole sheets of drywall or plywood and most other things you’ll encounter in household construction.

We highly recommend it!

34 Responses
  1. Liz says:

    I had no idea this even existed! So great!

    • alma preston says:

      1st how they advertise it is wrong. You cannot put it on the street. You cannot park anything on the street unless it has a license plate. Then you need to place the bag with 5 feet of clearance on each side. So you need at least 18 feet of driveway width. That alone eliminates half of their market. Then they will charge 50$ to just come AND SEE IF THEY CAN PICK IT UP. It is a racket. I will not recommend it to no one. And I will watch at the store anyone who may be looking to use it.

      • Ethan says:

        Hi Alma,

        We’ve used two bagsters and both of them have been picked up from the street and no problems. With the price of the bag and pickup, it’s just under $200 in our area. I think bagsters are great.

      • LynnvB says:

        I have trying to get my bagster picked up since Nov 17th. I was asked to move it closer to the street, I did that, in spite of the fact that the bag was well within the 16 ft limit requested on the placement faq. I unloaded it and did so. Sent second request for removal. Got an email that the bag had picked up and it was still there two days later. No reason as to why.
        Third request denied and pickup cancelled, was told that they could not use the crane to pick it up from the yard and requested that I move it to the street or the parking area next door, which is not my property, and contrary to THEIR policy. Waste Management says that they can’t use their crane to pick it up from an incline, that it MUST be on street level. Funny, that isn’t mentioned ANYWHERE in their placement policy.
        This is a complete nightmare. No hope in sight for resolving this because I am caught in arbitrary policies of which no mention is made.

  2. Brittany says:

    Thanks for reviewing this product, I had recently saw it advertised elsewhere, but was curious. I’ll definitely have to look into this when we gut our mini-master bathroom!


  3. Lauren says:

    How cool! I imagine this could serve equally well as an apartment-sized version of a dumpster? Best of all – I checked – it’s available in Canada!! A rare treat.

    • Carly says:

      In Canada, yes, but not everywhere. I live in Windsor, Ontario and there is no pickup service here. The closest one is London, Ontario. Or I could haul my trash over to Detroit – there’s plenty of pickup there!

  4. Kellie says:

    I have used Bagster and was pleased with the size and functionality of the product, however, trying to get Waste Management to pick it up was ridiculous. There is a three day window from the date you schedule the pickup and it could be anytime from 6:00 am – 8:00 pm. It was 6 days, after several phone calls to the company and manager, before they picked up my Bagster. They arrived @ 5:45 AM on a Saturday morning. The manager offered to credit my card 10% for the inconvenience but that never happened. For those who want to try the Bagster and it’s convenience (lack thereof) Good Luck!

  5. Kim says:

    @ Kellie – wow, thanks for leaving your comment. Our experience was a good one, but yours is important for other readers to see as well! Hopefully WM works out whatever kink caused your bad experience.

  6. Sheila says:

    Buyer Beware …

    It’s a great idea, in principal. However, even though you may well find the bagster at your local Home Depot or wherever, it doesn’t mean WM have a pick up service availablein your area … I can buy one at all my local HDs, but WM won’t pick up from anywhere near my home. Their collection zones are still very limited. Also, if you want to use it for landscaping work, check that they will take yard waste first …

    • Alex says:

      This program is a complete ripoff. I did t even get asked to move mine, which I would have. It was 6 days late picking up and on the sixth day they sent an email saying it was just cancelled. They charged $99 just for driving by my house and I’m now stuck with their bag in my driveway. Customer service won’t or can’t do anything and there is no accountability whatsoever. Do not use this program

  7. BoulderOlder says:

    It appears the bag is not reuseable, not recycled and not biodegradable. It seems absurd to highly recommend any product that is so environmentally unfriendly. Try calling Waste Management and find out what happens to the bag after pick up, and how long it takes to decompose if it’s buried at the landfill.

  8. Hank says:

    Hey BoulderOlder, take your radical environmental hippie crap somewhere else.

  9. PArebuilder says:

    Why is it “radical” to be concerned about the environmental implications? Seems more radical to bury your head in the sand along with the garbage and expect it won’t matter.

  10. Ray says:

    A dumpster bag not being environmentally friendly?? That’s like debating the safest way to drink poison. I guess the 3000 pounds of old sheet rock, lumber, busted toilets, tile and nails are irrelevant once you include the little baggie holding it all. Geez, radical environmental hippie crap is right.

    I got a bagster to get rid of debris after tearing out the old bathroom from a 1954 house. I took my time, several days, demolishing the bathroom, and continuously adding more debris from around the house. It sucked having it take up my parking space for over a week, but what a brilliant idea!!

    Now I’m line looking to schedule a pick up and found this site, and felt like leaving a comment. Hope the pick-up is as easy as everything else has been. I expect the inventor should rapidly be approaching millionaire status because these things the greatest thing to home improvement projects since the Home Depot.

  11. Tim says:

    I am currently tearing apart a half bath and my bagster is filling up quick. How important is it that the yellow handles meet eachother for the pick up?

  12. Kim says:

    @ Tim – they ask that you not fill above the top of the bag (level with the top is fine). If you keep within that, you’re fine.

  13. NeilC says:

    Whether Waste Management will pick up your bag or not is completely dependent on the whim or driving skills of the driver. I was a little dubious when I bought my first bag so I didn’t fill it full of heavy stuff just in case. I was around when they came to pick it up so I asked the driver if where I placed the bag was ok. He said the spot was no problem. So I placed a second bag in the same spot and filled it up. Now they won’t pick it up. The second driver says our driveway is too narrow even though it’s 20 feet wide and the same company has delivered full size 15 yard dumpsters in the past. So it’s just dependent on the driver and whether he can be bothered.
    The customer service line was unable to provide an address to which I could send a complaint

  14. HANDYMAN51 says:

    Dumpsters are cheaper in the Midwest, and, with some planning, neighbors can coordinate projects and share. 🙂

  15. MK says:

    I’m just investigating this idea, but so far I’ve seen more negative reviews than positive. Seems like they don’t want to pick up the bag after you’ve purchased and filled it. I’m skeptical…

  16. Lorna says:

    what a bummer this product was/is ! In calling WM found out they’d charge $180 to pick the dang thing up, so with the cost of the bag itself that’s $210 shot to hell. They go on and on in the conversation about not filling it past the top part, nothing verboten to be put in or otherwise a surchage .’s a bit misleading to say they carry 3300 lbs.So many rules and reglations AND if they come out and fnd t’s overloaded you’re clear out of 460. ad no pickup We ere terribly disappointed in this product. I dont see why anyone readng these revews bouttat wpi;d ever wamt tp waste sp ,icj $ pm tje [ocl[ incl Maaaaaaaaaaaaa

  17. Rich says:

    In my area it’s a scam, you pay for bag no problem, by me it was over $200 to pick up. I put it by the street for boom truck to pick up,guess what no boom truck they sent 1-888-got junk truck two guy’s get out & start shoveling all the garbage back out of the bagster & into the truck getting plaster all over my driveway & they drove off.Turns out they don’t use boom trucks in my area, contracted out to got junk co. Make sure they use boom in your area they lied to me.

  18. Tony says:

    I ordered one of these the other day and it cost me $160 to empty. I think the price varies depending on where they have to dump it and the associated fees they incur. I had no problems and would probably use it again. Found a coupon code too that I used. 100wmsal-178374.

  19. Icarus says:

    Its good to have an alternative to metal containers

  20. Patricia says:

    The pick up was the worst of all. Was told pick up will came on Friday ( was at home all day) then on Monday, finally on Tuesday. One lie after another about the pick up. Bag on grass ( was never on grass) bag to fare from street ( put bag we were told) powerline to low (standard power lines). Took a WEEK to pick up. Was promised some discount – never happened instead was told I should be happy they do not charge a second time for coming out (never came out two times). The driver that came on Thesday morning was asking what all the ^&%^$^& is about. Powerline- fine, place of bag – fine, ……..never again

  21. Bill says:

    All the website says is that the handles have to be able to touch, but the comments here concern me about the no pick ups. I am slightly over the top of the bag but I tied the handles together with rope. I hope I am there when they show up because I am complying with all of their written rules. When I scheduled the pickup the person explained that I could be charged extra if they can’t pick it up. When I asked her what the reason were she was very noncommittal. Bag full, handles touch…they better pick it up.

  22. justin says:

    are there any other waste bags other than bagster?

  23. alex says:

    STAY AWAY!!!!
    On purpose. Didn’t like the wood in the bag. No notice, it was very embarrassing…

  24. dean says:

    Some of your comments have me a little worried. I knew the price going in so even though I think it’s high, it’s better than taking it to the dump for me. I didn’t fill past the top and I tied the handles together. It’s right next to the curb with no electrical wires or anything else to block a boom truck. I’m on my 2nd day of waiting for pick up so we will see.

  25. Dean Wolf says:

    Update – they sent an email yesterday that it would be picked up today. They picked it up at 5:15 this morning. A bit early but I’m glad it’s gone. Overall, I have no complaints. It worked as I had hoped.

  26. David says:

    I have one in my driveway now I gutted a 5’x 8′ bathroom they said its overloaded and wouldn’t take.. I’ve already paid them cause you pay when you book pickup
    $264.20 plus $30 for the bag Total $294.20 and they wouldn’t take it ! should have gotten a 10uyrd dumpster for $400 then I would have extra room for household junk too! NEVER AGAIN this bags a joke !

  27. GL says:

    Like others mentioned, the pickup is a huge hassle. We had three bags picked up from behind the garage with no problem, and now they won’t pick up the fourth bag, with one excuse after another. First time told that the alley is too narrow (so how did they pick up the first three bags?) and then that there is a tree in the way. There are no trees in the alley or parking area at all. Very frustrating!

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