The term “dumpster" is actually just a brand name, just like kleenex is for tissues.

The term “dumpster" is actually just a brand name, just like kleenex is for tissues.


Dumpsters are something we rarely think about until we need one. Everyone uses dumpsters every day, even if we don’t know it. All of the waste we toss into garbage cans and recycling bins is likely to end up in a dumpster for storage until it can be taken to a landfill or recycling center. Plus, when you have a big project such as construction, renovation or a massive house cleaning before moving, chances are good that you’ll be shopping around to rent a dumpster of your own. Our modern lifestyle relies on them.

But where do dumpsters come from?


Once upon a time there was no such thing as a dumpster, and sanitation was much harder, especially in large cities. Trash receptacles were limited in size because a human being needed to be able to carry them. This meant they had to be collected frequently, or else dumped into heaps in the neighborhood until they could be shoveled into a collection vehicle. This was messy, inefficient and annoying.

The Dempster brothers decided to change that. George Roby Dempster and his brothers Thomas and John ran a construction business in Tennessee. They saw how inefficient waste removal from their construction sites was, and in 1935 designed and patented the first large, movable trash bin: the “Dumpster.” Thus, dumpster is actually a brand name of Dempster Brothers, Inc., just like “Kleenex” is a brand name of tissue.