It’s probably difficult to believe now, in the dead of winter, that summer is just around the corner. But it is, I promise. It’s likely to be another hot one, going by all the prognostications. It was certainly hot and muggy last summer, wasn’t it? How many times did you and your family sit in your sweltering backyard at the height of the summer heat wishing you had a pool of cool water to dip into? Running through that lawn sprinkler again this summer just doesn’t seem to be all that appealing, right?
Well, here’s an idea for a DIY, low-cost backyard water feature: convert an ordinary dumpster into a swimming pool. Does the idea of swimming in a dumpster leave you scratching your head? It shouldn’t. A purchased dumpster or a dumpster rental can easily be converted into a pool for your backyard, and it won’t cost you much, either.
Your Basic Dumpster Pool
The cost depends on the size of your dumpster, whether it is bought outright or rented, and the type of surrounding you choose. The least expensive and most expedient option is to rent a dumpster (22 ft. x 8 ft., or a smaller 22 ft x 4 ft. version). You can have it delivered to your location, then put in a 6 mm professional pool liner, add water and chlorine, and you’re ready to jump in.
This is your very basic, dumpster rental, dip-in-the-bin pool. Since it is a rental you won’t be able to make any permanent modifications to it, such as caulking the seams, installing a filter and a ladder, or laying tile inside. For more permanent dumpster pool ideas, check out these amazing projects.
The Perfect-for-a-Small-Garden Model
This dumpster pool follows the basic set-up method, but the homeowner who purchased this bin added a ladder and had the interior lined with aqua tiles. The sloping wall of the dumpster just begs for a sun and water worshipper to recline on it, simultaneously enjoying the warmth of the sun and the coolness of water.
The Upgraded Model
This pool may have started the current trend for dumpster pools! It was famously created by New Orleans-based architect Stefan Beese. Beese obviously did not go the dumpster rental route—with all these deck additions and modifications, a dumpster rental company would probably object! Beese bought a used 22 ft. x 7 ft. steel refuse container for around $2500. He made his pool box quite sophisticated with foam insulation inside and extensive Japanese-style decking surrounding it.
The Industrial Oasis Model
An industrial lot in Brooklyn, New York was transformed into an urban country club oasis with 3 dumpster pools and extensive decking. These pools were made by first sealing the seams of the dumpsters, then smoothing their interiors, adding sand at the bottom, applying a pool liner, and installing a filtration system (visible in the second picture).
The Urban Public Pool Model
Dumpster pools are apparently a big trend in urban centers, which get pretty hot in summer! This New York public pool uses a dumpster stationed below a pier, with decking and fences built around it for safety. Looks like an old dumpster got a second lease on life, giving hours of fun and pleasure to New Yorkers, instead of filling up a landfill site as refuse!
These are all amazing dumpster pools, but they may require a bit more cash outlay and space than you’re willing to designate. If you have a small backyard, or your budget is is pretty tight, dumpster rental may be the way to go. All you need to do is to line the inside with a professional grade pool liner, then add water and chlorine. Once summer is over, and you’ve had your fill of water fun, you can just call your dumpster rental company to come and take it back!