commercial trash dumpster enclosures

Part of your exterior branding and protocol is to make sure that you keep your business clean, safe, and organized. Your customers, employees, or tenants will appreciate the professionalism a commercial dumpster enclosure or a trash corral provides and still ensures you comply with local regulations and keep unsightly waste out of sight.

But What Exactly is a Dumpster Enclosure?

It’s an outdoor structure that encloses a dumpster and provides organized and secure access for employees to safely dispose of their trash. It hides your dumpster from public view and ensures your property remains clean and aesthetically pleasing. Dumpster enclosures serve many purposes, including:

  • They prevent strangers from illegally dumping their trash in your dumpster – a common problem that businesses face.
  • Keep animals away from the area and prevents them from getting into the dumpster.
  • Keep litter from blowing around and creating an eyesore.
  • It helps keep your business in compliance with local ordinances and regulations.

Building a dumpster corral requires careful planning and consideration of the local codes and regulations. If it’s too small, it’ll be difficult to get a dumpster in and out of the enclosure, which may result in damage to property or garbage trucks and it is also a risk to those who use it. If it’s too large, you may have to sacrifice valuable space on your property or have to pay for unnecessary extra materials.

how to build a dumpster enclosure with fence and brick walls

General Guidelines for Building a Dumpster Enclosure

Dumpster enclosure site:

Choose a site for the enclosure that is as close to the dumpster pickup area as possible. This will make it easier for waste removal companies to access the area. The site should be easily accessible by users and relatively close to where waste is generated. It should also be well-drained and have enough space to accommodate a dumpster truck lift, with a minimum of 60 feet approach for the truck. Ensure there are no overhead wires, eaves, trees, or other obstructions, with at least 20 feet of overhead clearance. The concrete pad should allow the truck driver to easily, access the dumpster and back out without getting stuck or tangling with other obstructions on your property.

Concrete pad considerations and size requirements

You will need to build a concrete pad that is large enough to accommodate the dumpster, typically 14 feet wide by 19 feet deep. The fence (walls) should be at least 8 feet high to prevent unauthorized access, and the pad should be slightly sloped to direct water away from the area. It will need to have a minimum of 6 inches of reinforced concrete with a minimum of 4″ thick footers for the posts. These measurement dimensions can work for most standard-size dumpsters, but it may vary if you have a custom-sized dumpster.

You should also leave a 3-foot clearance around all sides of the pad to prevent damage from the dumpster truck. The pad should also have some kind of non-skid surface on it to ensure the safety of everyone who is using the enclosure.

Fencing and gates:

Fencing deters unauthorized access and helps keep the area aesthetic. It’s important to use high-quality fencing that is durable and withstands inclement weather. Chain-link fencing is a popular choice as it’s strong, cost-effective, and can be easily installed. The fence should be at least 8 feet tall with a self-closing gate to prevent access when the dumpster is not in use.

The gate opening should be wide enough to accommodate the dumpster truck, typically 15 feet. It should also be fitted with metal gate stabilizers, 3 to four hinges on both sides, and a latch or lock for additional security.

Material and design:

When selecting the material for your enclosure, it’s important to consider its durability and how it will hold up in different weather conditions. The most common materials for enclosures are chain-link with slats, concrete or brick, wood, vinyl, and metal.

You should also consider the design of your enclosure based on the function and aesthetics you want to achieve. For example, if you’re looking for a more decorative corral, you could opt for wood or vinyl fencing. On the other hand, if your goal is to keep things secure and simple, a more industrial metal corral would be ideal.

  • Vinyl is a popular option as it’s easy to install and comes in many colors but it is expensive, less durable, and cannot be repaired if damaged.
  • Chain-link fencing is the most cost-effective and easy to install or repair, but it’s not as aesthetically pleasing. Stray animals such as raccoons and skunks can easily climb it and access the dumpster, so you may want to consider adding slats to the fence for additional security.
  • Concrete or brick fencing is considered to be more durable and can add a nice aesthetic touch, however, it’s the most expensive and labor-intensive and requires a professional to install.
  • If you want a DIY option, wood fencing is a good choice. It’s relatively easy to install and can be painted or stained for a more custom look.
  • Metal fencing is a good option for businesses that are looking for security and durability. It’s an expensive material, but it will last longer with little maintenance required.

Once you’ve decided on the material and design, be sure to check with your local municipality for any zoning regulations or permits required for an outside enclosure.

trash corrals can have metal gates like this one

Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Dumpster Enclosure

Building a dumpster enclosure is relatively easy and can be done with either pre-made materials or custom-made from scratch. Note that materials such as metal, concrete, and chain links will require professional installation and should be done by someone who is familiar with the process.

If you are not a skilled builder, it is best to purchase the dumpster corral as a kit with everything you need to be included. The kit comes with an interlocking framing system, mounting hardware, pre-drilled panels, and detailed instructions. The system stands out for its remarkable design, versatility, and ease of assembly.

You will most likely build your dumpster enclosure on a parking lot or other concrete areas, which is economical because you don’t have to worry about installing a foundation for the concrete pad from scratch. The only difficulty is drilling holes in the concrete for the mounting hardware.

1. Drill post holes

  1. Measure the dumpster and create a plan that fits the size as well as the constraints of your area. Mark out the boundaries on a plan and determine where the post holes will be drilled.
  2. For each post hole, mark where the center will sit.
  3. Draw a circle for each post hole with a diameter of about 8 inches (for posts with a 4″ width).
  4. Drill small holes one inch apart around the circumference of each circle, then enlarge them with a hammer drill bit.
  5. Remove the broken concretes with a chisel, and use a post-hole digger to dig the holes 24″ deep each.
  6. To optimize drainage, fill the holes with a few inches of gravel.

2. Set and level posts

Set the posts in the holes and make sure they are level with a spirit level. Brace them upright with a 2×4 and fill the holes with concrete. Secure them into place by filling each hole with concrete mix. Let the posts sit until they are completely dry. For extra stability, you can add 3-4 feet of concrete footings around the outside. 

3. Attach rails

Assemble the metal frame in place by attaching the rails to the post with screws. If you are using wood, use lag screws that are at least 3 inches long and galvanized for outdoor use. Install hinges and framework for gate system and ensure everything is vertical and level.

4. Install fence panels

Attach the fence panels to the posts, making sure that all are level. If you are using pre-made panels, screw them into place according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For a more custom look, you can use wood or vinyl panels, which can be stained or painted to match your dumpster.

5. Finishing touches

Finish the dumpster enclosure with any additional touch-ups like bolts, handles, locks, or hinges. Make sure everything is in place and secure before use.

Now you have a dumpster enclosure that is both attractive and secure. With this dumpster corral, businesses can keep dumpsters and debris out of sight, protected from theft or vandalism, as well as promoting a clean and organized business environment. With little maintenance required, dumpster enclosures are a great way to improve curb appeal and maintain a clean environment.

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