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Considerations for Installing a Dumpster-Area Fence

A wood fence
An open dumpster can be unsightly, not to mention a breeding ground for vermin and rodents. Whether set in a school, business premises, or industrial setting, open dumpsters also present safety and health risks, which can expose you to costly liabilities.

Building a solid enclosure around your dumpster is a cost-effective way to comply with local ordinances, mitigate risks, and improve the outward aesthetics of your premises.

Several considerations go into selecting and installing the right dumpster enclosure for your needs. Here is a guide to help you make the right decision.


Dumpster fences or enclosures are available in different materials. Common choices include wood, vinyl, metal, and chain link.

Wooden fences are comparably inexpensive but wood has a shorter lifespan and may require plenty of maintenance. Although vinyl fencing has a relatively higher sticker price, it is maintenance-free, weather resistant, and long-lasting.

Metal options include aluminum, iron, and steel. These are durable, corrosion resistant, and visually appealing but the ornamental types may not offer much privacy.

Chain link is a popular choice for dumpster enclosures due to its durability and budget-friendly purchase and installation costs.

Your choice of fence material will depend on your budget and the prevailing environment. However, be sure to check with your local building department, which may only permit certain materials.


When sizing for a dumpster enclosure, consider accessibility and ease of use. A fence with barn type doors is a good choice but such a door will require a wider span for easy opening and closing.

The fence opening should be wide enough to allow a truck to haul garbage or move entire dumpsters in and out of the enclosure. Adequate door space ensures safety, saves time, and protects the gate against collision damage, which can necessitate costly replacement or repairs.

Consider installing a fence with more than one passage to offer easy access to dumpster users. This way, people will not have to open the main gate, which can mitigate injuries and the risks of operating a large gate.


A high-quality fence might have a higher price markup but pays for itself in the long run. High-quality fences have a longer service life, fewer maintenance requirements, and better protection against rodents and other intruders.

The hinges bear the most strain during the opening and closing of garbage enclosures. Fences with weak, low-quality hinges pose a safety risk as the gates can fly out easily.

Opt for a fence with strong, robust hinges to support the fence for longer and to mitigate safety hazards, especially if you opt for a metal enclosure.


While dumpster-area fences do not need to beautify an area, consider selecting or painting the fence in a color that matches the surrounding environment. This allows the enclosure to blend in with the buildings in the vicinity.

Add visual appeal by pairing the gate with a different color from the fence's paneling. This also helps users and garbage truckers to identify the entryway easily.


Plenty of design considerations and planning go into constructing a safe and practical dumpster-area fence. Installation factors to consider include ground clearance to keep rodents out while ensuring easy opening and closing of the gate, the gaps in between panels, and the gate's swing span.

You may also need to flank the enclosure with pins or curbs to safeguard the gate against damage from vehicle collision. Leave the installation of your dumpster enclosure to a qualified professional.

The condition of your dumpster area speaks volumes about you and your business. Securing this area pays off in improved customer perception and minimal safety-related liabilities.

For quality fencing products in Indianapolis, call the experts at Duke Fence Co., Inc. We have the solutions that meet your specific needs.