If you’re on a cleaning spree and are disposing of a lot of garbage around your house, the obvious solution is to rent a dumpster. But what can you put in a dumpster? Everything that is trash, right?

However, waste segregation is not that simple, and plenty of rules need to be followed when you’re using a dumpster, also known as a container, to dispose of your trash.

 

What can you throw in a dumpster?

You can safely dispose of most of your non-hazardous waste and junk into a dumpster. Here are a few general categories:

  • Wooden Furniture

    Wooden household furniture like couches, tables, and chairs — almost all types of furniture are accepted in dumpsters.

  • Yard Waste 

    Yard waste like trees, branches, and other green waste are allowed in waste containers in most cases. In a few areas, you might be asked to limit the amount of green waste you can send to a landfill.

garden-clean-up-putting-green-waste

 

  • Construction and Home Improvement Debris 

    Almost all the heavy construction debris like concrete, asphalt, and brick can be thrown into dumpsters. Renovation debris like drywall, siding, and wooden materials can go into the dumpsters too. But keep in mind the dumpster weight limits when disposing of this heavy debris.
    Construction debris like asphalt roofing shingles can be disposed of in the dumpsters too, but there might be a fee attached to shingle disposal.

rubbish-at-construction-site-thrown-in-a-dumpster

 

  • General Trash 

    Any general trash like toys, carpets, old documents, cardboard boxes, and other non-organic waste can be disposed of in the dumpster.

  • Wood 

    You can safely dispose of wood leftover from construction projects into a dumpster. But bear in mind that treated wood like railroad ties is rarely allowed in the dumpster.

  • Alkaline Batteries 

    Alkaline batteries — regular ones like AAA, AA, C, D, button cell, and 9 volts can go into the dumpster in every state other than California. But a better idea would be to recycle these batteries by bringing them to your local municipality’s recycling center.

hands-holding-various-alkaline-battery

These Materials Can Sometimes Be Put in a Dumpster

Local disposal guidelines are unique for every area, and that’s why you should cross-check if these items can be disposed of in a dumpster.

  • Upholstered Furniture 

    Though you can put furniture into the dumpster, you will have to check with your local disposal guidelines if you can get rid of upholstered furniture in the same way.

upholstered-furniture-thrown-out

 

  • Household Appliances 

    Your electrical appliances like refrigerators, AC units, washing machines can be thrown into the dumpster, but only after all hazardous fluids and components like Freon are removed. You might have to contact a specialized professional to take these components off before disposing of them.
    Appliances like microwaves, stoves, and dishwashers are accepted too, but water heaters aren’t allowed. It’s best to read up on local disposal regulations before disposing of household appliances.

  • Electronics 

    In most cases, electronics like TVs, computers, and printers are accepted in most dumpsters, but it is best to check with your local disposal regulations before disposing of them. Alternatively, they can be given to charities like Habitat for Humanity or recycled as e-waste.

electronic-components-that-can-be-thrown-in-a-dumpster

 

  • Mattresses and Box Springs 

    Only a few local waste disposal guidelines allow mattress disposal. In some cases, there might be a fee attached to cover the cost of breaking down a mattress before it is recycled.

mattress-thrown-on-street-in-front-of-a-dumpster

 

  • Food Waste 

    Sometimes you can put small amounts of food waste in your dumpster. However, disposing of food waste is prohibited in some areas. You can instead check with your local composting area to get rid of your organic waste.

food-waste-thrown-in-garbage-bin

 

  • Aerosol cans 

    You can dispose of empty aerosol cans in a dumpster. Partially full or full aerosol cans shouldn’t be disposed of in a dumpster as they have the potential to explode and cause harm.

colorful-spray-paint

What can’t you throw in a dumpster?

There are a few items you can’t put into a dumpster. Check with your local waste disposal guidelines to know what you can trash in a dumpster versus what you should avoid. To avoid additional fees or a delayed dumpster pick up, you should avoid throwing these items into a container:

  • Hazardous Materials 

    You can’t put chemicals, household cleaning products in a dumpster. This also includes any corrosive or acidic chemicals, including paint thinners, stains, or varnishes. Hazardous chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, varnishes, Freon, fuel tanks, and neon light ballasts should not be disposed of in a dumpster. The rule is if you can’t pour it into the ground, you can’t put it in a landfill.

workers-separating-hazardous-waste-from-dumpster

 

  • Flammable Materials

    You can’t throw away flammable liquids like gasoline in the landfill. Look for a ‘flammable hazard’ symbol on the containers of chemicals that might be flammable. When in doubt, assume the worst and treat unknown chemicals and liquids as potentially flammable.

  • Certain Building Materials 

    Certain building materials contain hazardous waste like asbestos cannot be tossed into dumpsters. Other building materials like concrete and bricks are usually allowed but have weight restrictions.

  • Medical Waste 

    Medical waste like rags or cloths contaminated with body secretions, needles, sharps, and medications are not allowed in a landfill.

medical-garbage-thrown-in-a-bin

 

How do you throw away items that can’t go in a dumpster?

If you want to throw away a lot of junk that can’t be placed in a dumpster, contact the local sanitation department to find an appropriate method of disposal. The sanitation department may direct you towards a recycling center or a private entity that manages the waste disposal in your area. Or there might be additional fees for the disposal of that kind of waste. Do your research before segregating items into the container.

Your disposal process widely depends upon the size and type of dumpster you rent. Talk to a professional to make sure your waste is being disposed of properly. Contact a professional dumpster rental company to better guide what you can put in a dumpster and what you can’t. Compactor Management Company offers rental services and waste management solutions across the United States.