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Guidelines for building a proper corral

A dumpster enclosure or corral provides a secure structure around your dumpster or container. This serves as a safety measure to protect your dumpster from outside elements, and can also help with the aesthetic appearance of the dumpster too.

It’s important that your dumpster corral is built to the correct size and standard. If it’s too small, it can result in damage to garbage trucks, an inability to collect your waste, damage to property, or a risk of injury to those interacting with the container. If improperly constructed, when trucks collect your garbage, you run the risk of cracking the pavement in front of your dumpster.

To ensure your build your corral appropriately, below is a breakdown of how to construct one successfully. GFL is happy to provide an on-site inspection to guide the construction of new corrals, or identify the best location for container placement.

Proper container sites:

  • Access by customer, relatively close to where garbage is generated
  • Direct and open access for the collection vehicle: A minimum of sixty (60) foot approach is required. Evaluate the following:
    1. Safety (overhead wires, limbs, drains, eaves, underground tanks)
    2. Traffic flow into, around and out of the area (at various times of day)
    3. Parking areas (limit parking within six (6) feet on each side of corral)

Pad and corral:

Concrete pad – considerations:

  • A minimum of fourteen (14) feet wide by nineteen (19) feet deep
  • Six (6) inch reinforced concrete (minimum of 3000 PSI), extending four (4) feet in front of the gate
  • Concrete pad and approach must be on the same plane

Corral – construction materials:

  • Metal fencing is most effective
  • Wooden slats are also suitable


  • Three (3) to four (4) hinges recommended
  • Metal gate stabilizers (steel rods that raise and lower into a recessed hole) are needed to hold the gates open and closed. Recessed holes (reinforced with metal sleeves) are needed in the pavement.
  • Soldier posts are recommended for the back of the corral to prevent the container from being pushed into the rear of the corral. They should be high enough for the container lid to rest upon them when open.

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