Thieves steal almost anything they find useful or valuable, and that includes dumpsters and garbage receptacles. If you are hiring a dumpster, you should take a few steps to ensure it doesn't get stolen under your watch. Here are some tips to help you:
1. Set up the dumpster in a safe, well lit area.
When you rent your dumpster, put it somewhere safe, secure and well lit. For example, if you are renting a dumpster for a large project at your home, don't put it in the dark alley behind your house. Instead, place it on your front lawn, where it's clearly visible from your home and to all your neighbors.
If you have a fence, put the dumpster inside of it if possible. That helps create an additional barrier to stop thievery. In addition, also train a motion-activated light on your dumpster so that anyone attempting to steal it is bathed in light and hopefully deterred.
2. Minimize the amount of time you have the dumpster.
In addition to setting up the dumpster in a safe place, reduce temptation and minimize the amount of time you have the dumpster. If possible, have all of your garbage ready to load into the dumpster before it arrives. Then, load it and return it as fast as possible. The less amount of time it's in your possession, the less you have to worry about being responsible for thefts.
3. Anchor and lock your dumpster.
Regardless of how long you have your dumpster, consider making it immobile by locking it to something on your property. Most dumpsters have a "handle" along their sides or a metal ring located somewhere on them. Find this element and feed a chain through it. Then, loop the chain through or around something sturdy on your property. A tree or a fence post can work perfectly. Finally, lock it all in place with a large padlock.
4. Track the dumpster.
Unfortunately, even if you lock the dumpster, the chain could be cut with heavy duty wire cutters so you may want to take additional precautions as well. If you have a portable GPS tracker on your boat, car or other equipment, consider moving it to your dumpster during the dumpster rental period.
Don't stick the tracking device in the dumpster, or it will get covered in trash. Instead, put it in a magnetic box -- many GPS tracking devices come with these boxes -- and attach it to the underside of your dumpster.
If you don't have a GPS tracker, this may be a great time to treat yourself to one. These tracking devices allow you to track the movement of anything, from a stolen dumpster, to your child, to your car. To see what you are tracking, you sign into a web-based app, and it uses GPS technology to direct you to your items, regardless of where they are. Just remember to remove the tracking device from the bottom of the dumpster before the dumpster company picks it up.
5. Investigate your liability and minimize it.
Unfortunately, regardless of how many steps you take to avoid theft, in some cases, it is unavoidable. If the worst happens, you need to know who is going to have to pay to replace the dumpster because they are worth a lot of money. Before renting the dumpster, ask the company what happens if the dumpster is stolen. Does the company cover the loss, or are you liable? If you are liable, ask the company if they offer any programs to protect you -- for example, some garbage companies have customers pay a one time fee that covers any damage (beyond normal wear and tear) that happens to their garbage cans, but others don't have this type of program.
Also, contact your homeowner's insurance and see if your contents coverage will reimburse you if a rented item like a dumpster is stolen from your property. Alternatively, contact your credit card company. Creditors typically offer some insurance coverage if you pay for a rental car with your credit card, and they may extend that offer to other types of rented items like dumpsters.
Want to learn more about keeping your dumpster safe while it's in your possession? Then contact a company that rents out dumpsters, like Tri-State Disposal. They will be able to answer your questions and provide helpful advice.