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What Can You Throw in a Dumpster?

Learn What Can Go in a Dumpster and How to Dispose of the Rest

You can put almost anything in a dumpster, but that doesn’t mean you should. There are a few items you can’t throw out in a dumpster due to safety hazards and local restrictions. If you’re not sure you can put a particular item in a roll off dumpster, check the list below or give us a call at 1-866-284-6164. We’re happy to help. 

What Can Go In a Dumpster

What Can Typically Go in a Dumpster

General household items like housewares, personal items and clothing can all go in a dumpster. Remodeling debris, such as drywall, lumber, flooring, cabinetry and siding, is also accepted. Take a look at the commonly accepted items below.

Please keep in mind that some service areas have local waste ordinances that prevent us from disposing of certain items that we normally accept. Contact Budget Dumpster at 1-866-284-6164 to get the specific disposal guidelines for your area.

Appliances

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Most old appliances can go in a dumpster, unless otherwise stated. Appliances like microwaves, stoves, and dishwashers can generally be thrown away, but refrigerators typically are not accepted. Be aware that local disposal regulations may require our haulers to apply separate charges to certain appliances.

Get more information on how to dispose of appliances in your area. 

Electronics

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In some areas, you can throw electronics away in a dumpster. This usually includes TVs, computers, printers and other personal electronics in small quantities. Some landfills or transfer stations may charge a nominal fee to dispose of these items. In areas that require e-waste recycling, there is an additional charge per item to cover recycling costs. In other areas, we cannot accept any electronics due to local and landfill regulations.

Even if you can throw your TV in the dumpster, you might be able to donate or recycle it first. Discover the various ways to dispose of electronics and find the right destination for your old tech.

Furniture

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Wondering if you can throw your couch in the dumpster? Wooden furniture is always accepted, but upholstered furniture is not accepted in all locations. Be aware that throwing away furniture may carry an additional fee in some areas due to local disposal regulations.

Not sure if you can put your old furniture in a dumpster? Learn everything you need to know about how to dispose of furniture.

Yard Waste

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Yard waste can go in a dumpster in most cases. In some areas, you can put tree limbs, shrubs and other yard waste in a dumpster, while other areas are limited to just a few bags of grass and similar debris. Tree stumps are generally prohibited from landfill disposal.

You can also use a dumpster for dirt disposal in some service areas. But keep in mind that in other areas a dumpster is considered 'contaminated' if it contains dirt. Check before you dispose of dirt to avoid being charged extra fees.

Brick, Asphalt, Concrete

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Heavy materials such as brick, asphalt and concrete, can be disposed of using heavy debris dumpsters. Budget Dumpster offers specific dumpsters for heavy materials in areas where we accept them.

Aerosol Cans

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Empty aerosol cans can be put in a dumpster. However, full or partially full cans have the potential to explode. Any aerosol cans with liquid still inside should not be put in a dumpster. 

Items You Cannot Put in a Dumpster

While the rules may vary on some materials, there are certain items you cannot throw in a dumpster. This is usually because the items in question are potential contaminants, pose a significant safety hazard or could damage the dumpster. Most of the items listed here can be disposed of through your local sanitation department, as well as local recycling services.

Mattresses

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You cannot put a mattress in a dumpster unless it is allowed in your service area. In some cases, you will be charged extra for each mattress that you throw in a dumpster. This is to cover the additional cost of mattress disposal before it is either recycled or landfilled.

If a dumpster isn’t an option in your area, check out the various other ways to dispose of a mattress.

Refrigerators

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Refrigerators typically cannot be put in a dumpster because the refrigerant they contain is toxic. Refrigerator disposal is usually provided by local sanitation departments as part of their bulk debris pickup schedule. However, in some areas, you may be able to throw away your refrigerator using a dumpster if it has been properly evacuated by an HVAC professional.

Tires

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You cannot throw tires in a dumpster since most landfills in the U.S. do not accept them. Tire disposal is usually handled by local municipalities or counties. Auto parts stores and tire dealerships will also offer to recycle your old tires when you buy a new set. In most cities, you can also find local recyclers who will take your old tires and use them to make asphalt and other industrial applications. Check Earth911’s recycling search database to find a tire recycler in your area. 

Paint Cans and Lacquers

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In general, you cannot put full paint cans in a dumpster. This includes paint thinners, lacquers or wood stains. However, in most municipalities you can dispose of dry latex paint so long as you wrap up the dried paint in a plastic bag. Empty paint cans are also accepted.

Adhesives

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Adhesives such as glue or epoxy should be disposed of with regular household trash or recycling, rather than a dumpster. Loose adhesives can damage the container or cause waste items to become entangled and hard to remove.

Car Batteries

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Car batteries, as well as lithium batteries, cannot be put in a dumpster. These types of batteries can leak chemicals that are harmful to the environment. You can take old car batteries to a local recycler, such as an auto shop. Lithium batteries, like those found in laptops, can be recycled at most big-box electronics stores. General-purpose alkaline batteries (AA’s, AAA’s, D’s) can go in a dumpster.

Hazardous Materials

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Hazardous materials and liquids cannot go in a dumpster. Examples of hazardous waste include asbestos, pesticides, contaminated soils or absorbents, motor oil, other automotive fluids and medical waste. Special care should be taken when disposing of medical waste, as it can be infectious. Its disposal is regulated on the state level and will differ based on your location. 

Learn how to dispose of medical waste safely in your area.

Food Waste

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Most rental companies prohibit putting food waste in roll off dumpsters since it can attract vermin. If you have to dispose of large amounts of food waste, consider using municipal trash services or sending the waste to a local composting center.

Household Cleaners

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Chemical cleaners or solvent should not be thrown away in a dumpster. However, empty containers are okay to dispose of as long as they do not contain any residual chemicals.

Ink & Resins

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Ink used in pens and printers, as well as resins, can damage equipment and stain the interior of dumpsters. These are best disposed of through recycling centers or retailers with drop-off locations.

Oils, Fuels, and Propane Tanks

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Disposing of propane tanks, fuels, oils, and other flammable materials using a dumpster is a serious safety hazard. These substances are highly combustible and disposing of them improperly is illegal in most areas. You should contact a propane company, your local fire department or hazardous material collection center for further disposal information.

Railroad Ties

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Since many railroad ties are treated with harmful wood preservatives, they aren’t allowed in our dumpsters. However, most landfills will accept intact railroad ties. They can also be recycled and reused by organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, or even local businesses looking for landscaping supplies or parking lot bumpers.

Have more questions about what you can throw in a dumpster? Read our tips on how to dispose of bulk waste. You can also call our dumpster rental experts at 1-866-284-6164 to ask about individual items.