A Convenient Guide to What You Can and Can’t Throw In A Dumpster
Knowing what you can throw in dumpsters is confusing, especially when you have larger items.
There are clear regulations for disposing of items such as furniture, mattresses, and other waste.
In this post we will cover in detail what you can and cannot throw in a dumpster.
Yes, you can throw furniture in dumpsters.
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Yes, you can throw a mattress in a dumpster.
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You can’t throw hazardous materials, tires, or paints.
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Like with rules regarding what you are able to throw in a trashcan, rented dumpsters have guidelines of what you can toss in them too. The rules are there for environmental reasons, along with state and local regulations in relation to the disposal of waste. You should discuss the type of waste or debris you will be disposing with the rented dumpster you’re provided. This will ensure you fully understand what is allowed to be put in the dumpster, and what is not.
What Can I Throw In A Dumpster or Roll Off Container?
For the most part, most debris, junk or nonhazardous waste is allowed. The following is a short list of permitted items: trash, wood, roofing shingles, furniture, construction and demolition debris (C&D debris), appliances (with exceptions), yard waste, and flooring.
Furniture: Tables, Chairs, Couches, nearly any type of furniture is allowed in dumpsters. But, there are locations where mattresses or upholstered furniture are not permitted within landfills, while some locations allow mattresses and other furniture in the dumpsters. Then there are places that charge extra for disposing of those type of items, it all depends on your local regulations.
You should always check with the provider of your dumpster rental regarding the type of furniture permitted in the containers.
A/C units, washers, dryers, and refrigerators, for most of your general household appliances, you are permitted to toss them in the rental dumpster, but they must first be emptied of all hazardous components and fluids, such as Freon.
If you have an appliance that contains Freon, you’ll need a professional such as a HVAC or appliance repair specialist to dispose of the refrigerant prior to tossing it out.
Note: Alternative disposal options are available for appliances which could save you money. For instance, local utilities sometimes sponsor “bounty programs” which are incentives for recycling your appliances. These programs enable recyclers to gather old appliances, in exchange for the ‘bounty’.
There are also some programs which provide discounts on updated ENERGY STAR products, which is another option to consider. You can contact your electric provider to ask if there’s a local bounty program.
Computers, TVs, printers and various other electronic devices are often accepted in dumpsters, however if there is a large amount of electronics, such as cleaning out an office it is likely you will be required to recycle the e-waste. This often means additional fees for e-waste recycling.
There are areas where local regulations deny electronics to be put in dumpsters, so you will want to ensure this with your dumpster rental provider.
For the most part, trees, grass, branches, brush, and other green waste are permitted in dumpsters. But, your local regulations may not allow your dumpster company to accept yard waste. There are other areas that limit the amount of green yard waste that can be sent to a landfill, and others you can fully fill the dumpster.
Pro Tip: There are companies that provide dumpsters at a discounted price, using a ‘clean-load’ option. This means you agree to only put one type of recyclable material in the dumpster, such as yard waste, concrete, etc. These materials then get recycled instead of ending up in a landfill. This helps save you money, and the environment.
Non-organic trash, such as curtains, toys, old documents, carpeting, cardboard, etc. are all able to be placed in dumpsters as well.
Stone, Brick, Asphalt, Concrete
Heavier debris, such as asphalt, concrete, and brick are able to be tossed in most rental dumpsters. However, because of the weight, there are companies that require using certain types of dumpsters just or heavier materials.
Another heavy debris that you can put in dumpsters include asphalt roofing shingles, but there are fees sometimes attached. You should ask your dumpster rental provider about any additional fees for shingle disposal to get quotes, this will help you determine the best option for you.
Wooden materials, drywall, siding, and other types of construction and demolition debris are allowed in dumpsters too.
When it comes to heavier debris, the important factor is the weight limits. In the event you go over the quoted weight limit, you will have two options. You will be able to remove the extra weight, or pay the overage fees, both being annoying.
What Is Not Allowed In A Dumpster?
There are certain things not allowed in dumpsters, including hazardous materials, such as oil, wet paint, large amounts of electronics, sealed drums/tanks, asbestos, some furniture, and tires. Below is more information. Leaving furniture by dumpsters is illegal and should be taken to the dump, placed outside for the city’s bulk trash pickup, or placed in a dumpster you’ve rented.
Stains, Paints, and Lacquers
These are items you are not allowed to place in a rental dumpster, including paint thinners, wood stains, lacquers, etc. However, latex paints are an exception. Simply allow any leftover latex paint you cannot use to solidify (pour in box and mix with cat litter or shredded paper). When hardened and dried, you can place it in the dumpster.
The empty paint containers can then be recycled with materials in your curbside bins.
As most landfills in the United States does not accept tires, you are not able to place them in dumpsters. There are ways to dispose of tires properly, such as taking them to a local tire dealership or auto part store.
Also, you could find a local recycler that converts tires to rubber or asphalt mulch.
Pesticides, Asbestos, motor oil, and various other automotive fluids, household cleaners, propane tanks, resins, medical waste, absorbents or contaminated soils are things that you should never place in a dumpster. Usually, a scheduled community collection program is in place where people are able to take hazardous wastes to properly dispose of it.
There are also areas which allow you to arrange to receive a household hazardous waste kit for recycling them. You can then easily pack your waste, mail it and have it disposed of responsibly.
Dry-cell and car batteries are unable to be placed in a dumpster due to the risk of leaking chemicals which are dangerous to the environment.
The proper approach is to recycle ar batteries by taking them to your local auto part store or any store that sells car batteries should be fine. There are often bins found in stores that are designated for dropping off old dry-cell batteries, such as AA, AAA and lithium batteries.
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