What Can You Throw in a Dumpster?

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What Materials Are Accepted and Prohibited?

Dumpster rentals simplify cleanups because you can put all your trash and debris in one place. That said, there are certain items you can't put in your dumpster due to safety hazards or local regulations. Not sure if you can put a particular item in your roll off container? Check the list below, or give us a call at 855-747-5943 to find out what’s accepted in your area.

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Please keep in mind:

Some service areas have local waste ordinances that prevent us from disposing of certain items that we
normally accept. Contact Budget Dumpster at 855-747-5943 for your area's specific disposal guidelines.

What Can You Put in a Dumpster Rental?

Household junk and debris from construction or home improvement projects are typically allowed in a dumpster. This includes remodeling debris such as drywall, metal, lumber, flooring, cabinetry and siding, as well as general household items from decluttering projects.

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Household Junk

Considering a residential dumpster for your home cleanout? You can put most household junk in a dumpster, including chairs, blankets, clothing, toys, pots, pans and more. Certain appliances and electronics can often be put in a dumpster, but not always — it’s best to call ahead before throwing these items away.

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Wooden Furniture

Wooden furniture, such as tables, chairs and bookcases, is almost always accepted. However, you should ask about upholstered furniture such as couches and recliners, as these items are not accepted in all locations. (See the Upholstered Furniture section below for more details.)

Be aware that throwing away furniture may result in an extra fee in some areas due to local disposal regulations.

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Brick, Asphalt & Concrete

Heavy materials such as brick, asphalt, broken concrete, pallets and cinder blocks can be disposed of using heavy debris dumpsters. Budget Dumpster offers specific dumpsters for heavy materials in certain areas.

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Construction & Home Improvement Debris

Debris from building, demolition and home improvement projects can almost always be thrown away in a construction dumpster. This includes drywall, flooring, wall tiles, insulation, carpet, toilets, subfloor materials, old countertops and more.

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In most cases, you can put untreated lumber and other wood from construction projects into a dumpster, including two-by-fours and studs.

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Storm Debris

Our dumpsters can be used for storm debris removal and cleaning up uncontaminated and non-hazardous materials. We usually accept damaged building materials and yard waste as well, as long as the items do not fall within the given service area's restrictions.

Check out The Essential Guide to Planning for Severe Weather to learn how to prepare your home for and safely clean up after a big storm.

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Shingles can go in a roofing dumpster in most all service areas. Renting a dumpster is a great way to get rid of all kinds of roofing debris including underlayment, tiles, plywood and any other construction waste you may create during your project.

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These Materials Can Sometimes Be Put in a Dumpster

Certain items, such as upholstered furniture, appliances, electronics and mattresses, are allowed in a dumpster in some areas. If they are accepted, they may result in an additional charge. Because waste regulations can vary from state to state, and even from city to city, this is not the case everywhere. Always call ahead to see if the following items are accepted in your area.

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Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered furniture, such as couches and recliners, can be put in a dumpster in many areas, but not all. If you have upholstered items to dispose of but a dumpster isn’t an option in your area, find a furniture disposal alternative that works for you.

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Yard Waste

Yard waste can go in a dumpster in most cases. In some areas, you can put tree branches, shrubs and other debris in a yard waste dumpster, while other areas may be limited to a few bags of grass or leaves. There may be an additional disposal fee per stump in some locations.

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Most appliances can go in a dumpster, unless otherwise stated. We can haul away grills and lawn mowers as long as they don't have gas in them. Appliances such as microwaves, stoves, vaccuums and dishwashers are generally accepted, but refrigerators typically cannot be thrown in a dumpster.

Additionally, water heaters are not allowed in dumpster rentals, as they can collect gases and explode once they reach the landfill. There may be an extra fee to throw away certain appliances, depending on your local disposal regulations. Get more information on how to dispose of appliances in your area.

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In some areas, you can throw electronics away in a dumpster. This usually includes TVs, computers, treadmills, printers and other personal electronics in small quantities. In areas with mandated e-waste recycling, there is an additional per-item charge to cover recycling costs. In some locations, we cannot accept any electronics due to local regulations.

Even if you can throw your TV in the dumpster, you might want to consider donating or recycling it first. Discover the various ways to dispose of electronics and find the right destination for your old tech.

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You can use a dumpster for dirt disposal in some service areas. If dirt is not accepted in your area, be sure to research responsible dirt disposal options near you. Contaminated soil, or dirt that has been polluted with chemicals or other unnatural waste, cannot be put in a dumpster. It must be taken to an approved soil treatment center.

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Mattresses & Box Springs

You cannot throw a bed mattress in a dumpster unless it is allowed in your service area. In some cases, there may be a fee for each mattress to cover the cost of breaking them down before they’re 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.

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Tree Stumps & Large Yard Debris

Stumps are permitted in some service areas, but not all. It's important to note that there may be an additional fee charged per stump in some locations. Large branches and stumps may also be limited to a certain diameter. If stumps or other types of landscaping debris are not accepted in your service area, find a yard waste disposal alternative that works for your project.

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Event Waste

If you’re cleaning up after a backyard wedding or neighborhood festival, chances are you may have some food waste to get rid of. In certain areas, you can put small amounts of food waste in a dumpster.

However, in some areas, food waste is prohibited entirely. Throwing food into a dumpster in these locations can result in extra fees, so you should always call ahead to check before throwing food in your dumpster. If event waste is not accepted in your service area, you should find a local composting center to properly dispose of your organic waste.

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Aerosol Cans

Empty aerosol cans can be put in a dumpster. However, full or partially full cans may explode. Aerosol cans with liquid inside should not be thrown in a dumpster.

What Can't You Put in a Dumpster?

While rules can vary for some materials, there are prohibited items you can't throw in a dumpster anywhere. This includes refrigerators, tires, chemicals, glass, car batteries, railroad ties and any other materials that are toxic, pose a significant safety hazard or could damage the container.

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Refrigerators cannot be put in a dumpster because the refrigerant they contain is toxic. You can usually dispose of refrigerators through your local sanitation department’s bulk debris pickup program. In some areas, you may be able to throw away your refrigerator using a dumpster if it has been properly drained by an HVAC professional.

However, if you are simply throwing out one refrigerator, it may be easier to call an appliance retailer to handle it. Some will provide free disposal with the purchase of a new appliance.

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Hot Water Tanks

Hot water tanks are not allowed in dumpster rentals because their void space can collect harmful gases inside landfills. If you need to dispose of a hot water heater or tank, contact your local waste management department or recycling facility.

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You cannot throw tires in a dumpster, as they can damage the landfill structures and equipment. Whole tires are capable of "floating" to the top of a landfill as methane gas builds up inside the tire's inner wall. Most auto parts stores and municipal waste departments will accept old tires to recycle them into asphalt and other industrial applications. Check out this tire recycling database to find a tire recycler in your area.

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Paint Cans & Lacquers

Paints and lacquers are prohibited because they can contain lead or mercury, especially if they were manufactured before the 1990s. Prohibited paints include paint thinners, lacquers and wood stains.

However, in most municipalities, you can dispose of dry latex paint as long as it's wrapped in a plastic bag. Empty paint cans are also usually accepted.

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Adhesives like glue or epoxy should not go in a dumpster as they can bind other materials to the interior of the container. Instead, throw these items out with your regular household trash or recycling.

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Car Batteries

Car batteries, as well as lithium batteries, cannot be put in a dumpster because they 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, such as AA, AAA and D, are allowed in a dumpster.

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Medical Infectious Waste

Infectious waste includes materials that have been used in medicine or come into contact with bodily fluids. Used medical supplies, including needles and bandages, should be handled by haulers with a license for medical waste disposal.

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Hazardous Materials

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. Always make sure to follow the proper procedures in your location and find a hazardous waste collection center near you to handle the disposal responsibly.

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Contaminated Soils & Absorbents

Contaminated soils and absorbents that are mixed with hazardous substances cannot be disposed of through normal waste haulers. They must either be treated or contained per federal Superfund guidelines.

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Household Cleaners

Chemical cleaners or solvents should not be thrown away in a dumpster. Empty containers are usually accepted, as long as they do not contain residual chemicals.

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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.

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Oils, Fuels & Propane Tanks

Disposing of propane tanks, fuels, oils and other flammable materials in 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 a hazardous material collection center for further disposal information.

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Railroad Ties

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 local businesses looking for landscaping supplies and parking lot bumpers.

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Asbestos is a flame retardant found in older homes and various industrial products. It is considered a carcinogen, which has resulted in landfill bans in most U.S. states. If you know your home contains asbestos, contact a licensed asbestos abatement contractor for safe removal and disposal.

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Industrial Drums

Industrial drums contain potentially dangerous byproducts of industrial processes. These should be disposed of through haulers licensed for hazardous waste disposal.

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