What Can You Throw in a Dumpster?
Learn What Can Go in a Dumpster and How to Dispose of the Rest
Most common household and remodeling items can go in a dumpster, making a dumpster rental the easiest method of waste disposal for most situations. However, there are a few restrictions on what you can dispose of. To make it easy to tell what you can throw in a dumpster, we've put together a list of items you can quickly double-check when in doubt.
What Can Typically Go in a Dumpster
There are plenty of items that you can throw in your dumpster. General household items like housewares, personal items and clothing are all allowed in a dumpster. Remodeling debris like drywall, lumber, flooring, cabinetry and siding are also accepted. Below, we’ve listed some of the major categories you might have questions about.
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.
You can use your dumpster to dispose of most old appliances, 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.
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.
Brick, Asphalt, Concrete
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.
In some areas you can throw away TVs, computers, printers and other electronics in small quantities. 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 regulations.
You can throw various types of furniture away in a 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 regulations.
Regulations on yard debris removal vary by location. 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 your 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.
Items That Are Not Allowed in a Dumpster
While the rules may vary on some materials, there are certain items that are never allowed in a dumpster. This is usually because these materials contain toxic chemicals or could cause damage to the dumpster. Most of the items listed here can be disposed of through your local sanitation department, as well as local recycling services.
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, 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) are permitted in a dumpster.
You cannot throw away a mattress using a dumpster unless it is expressly allowed in your service area. In most 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.
You should never throw hazardous materials in a dumpster. Examples of hazardous materials 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 about how to dispose of medical waste safely in your area.
Though food waste can be landfilled, we do not allow for its disposal in our dumpsters due to its potential to attract vermin and spoilage. 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.
You shouldn't throw any type of chemical cleaner or solvent in a dumpster. However, their containers are okay to dispose of once the bottle is empty and clear of all cleaning chemicals.
Ink & Resins
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.
Refrigerators usually cannot be thrown in a dumpster because the refrigerant they contain is toxic. Refrigerator disposal is usually provided by local sanitation departments as part of the bulky 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.
Oils, Fuels, and Propane Tanks
Disposing of propane tanks, fuels, oils and other flammable materials using a dumpster is a major 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 a local hazardous material collection center for further disposal information.
Paint Cans and Lacquers
In general, you cannot throw away paint, paint thinners, lacquers, or wood stains in a dumpster. 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.
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.
You cannot throw tires in a dumpster since most landfills in the U.S. will 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 for asphalt and other industrial applications.