Knowing what can go in a dumpster rental is an important first step to take before confirming a rental. While most waste materials are typically allowed to be thrown in a dumpster, some items are not. So what can you put in a dumpster? The answer is fairly simple, however, there are some allowances. you should be aware of.
The allowance of many materials depends on state regulations, which is also important to be aware of before loading up a dumpster. The last thing you want is to incur any penalty fees or worse, find out that your particular waste cannot be disposed of at a landfill by our drivers.
Related reading: How to Avoid Dumpster Fees
Review the lists below to see what waste materials are allowed, are not allowed, and are sometimes allowed.
What You CAN Throw Away
If you’re asking “What can I put in a dumpster?” this is the section for you. Nearly everything that doesn’t pose a risk to the dumpster you’re renting or the environment is safe to throw away. Here’s a list of items that you can confidently put in a dumpster rental:
Common household garbage is acceptable to toss in dumpsters. Household trash is composed of any non-hazardous household materials, like furniture, regular trash, and some appliances. Outdoor trash like shingles and siding are also considered to be safe household garbage.
Wooden furniture is safe to throw away in a dumpster. Common wooden furniture pieces include chairs, tables, coffee tables, end tables, stools, bed frames, and shelves. Anything that is made purely out of untreated wood is acceptable at most landfills.
Appliances like microwaves, blenders, coffee brewers, and toasters are suitable for dumpster disposal. The rules and regulations do change depending on which appliance you need to throw away, like refrigerators and washing machines. Smaller appliances are almost always safe to be thrown in a dumpster rental.
Yard wastes like leaves, branches, and sticks are typically safe to throw away in a dumpster rental. Anything organic and non-hazardous should be safe to throw in, even if you have a lot of it.
Dirt disposal is accepted in most cases, however, any kind of contaminated soil cannot be thrown away. You can also see what options you may have within your community for recycling soil rather than dumping it.
Computers and other electronic devices are all acceptable waste items if they are no longer able to be recycled. This does, however, only apply to e-waste thrown away in small amounts. Larger amounts of e-waste generally require a different methods of disposal. Read the specific e-waste rules and regulations on recycling e-waste in Texas.
Alkaline is safe for landfills and dumpsters alike. Thanks to recent manufacturing rules, mercury is no longer used in batteries, making them safe to dispose of with other waste items.
Empty aerosol cans
Aerosol cans can be thrown away as long as they are completely empty. Even the smallest leftover amount could cause an explosion, which is why landfills and trash companies don’t allow any filled aerosol products.
Waste like drywall, plywood, brick, concrete, stone, and tiles can all be thrown in a dumpster. Keep weight limitations in mind, as these heavier waste products add up quickly.
What you CAN’T throw away
There are some limitations regarding what waste is safe to throw in a dumpster rental, for both the environment and the dumpsters themselves.
Refrigerators and air conditioners
Fridges use a toxic refrigerant called Freon. Freon must be completely drained before fridges are safe to dispose of, which often requires the help of a professional. The refrigerant Freon is also used in most air conditioners, making them unsafe to throw away without draining. Even newer refrigerants like Puron are also harmful to release.
Tires are not legally allowed in landfills, making them unacceptable additions to dumpster waste. The hole in their center is known to fill with methane gas and cause chaos in landfills. Instead, take tires to an automobile store or somewhere similar for recycling.
Paint and lacquers
Wet paint and lacquers are not safe for disposal. Empty paint cans with dry remnants are acceptable, but only once all the product has dried. If need be, you can pour latex paints into an absorbant material and wait for it to dry, which then makes disposal acceptable.
For more info read our post on how to dispose of paint in the DFW area.
Adhesives are prohibited from dumpsters. Adding them to a full bin could cause a rupture, leaking glue into the dumpster. Waste could then stick to the walls of the dumpster, a problem we’d like to avoid.
Batteries that use lithium, or anything but alkaline, are not safe to throw in a dumpster. The list of unsafe batteries includes car batteries, large battery packs for boats and RVs, and any battery-powered generators.
These types of batteries can easily emit toxic fumes and chemicals when in a compressed environment like a landfill.
Check all waste items for hazard symbols. If you find any, don’t add them to your dumpster. Instead, see the product’s packaging for how to dispose of the hazardous material. Recycling may be an option, too.
Medical infectious waste
Items like syringes and contaminated materials are not suitable for dumpster disposal. Anything contaminated with blood or other fluids is also not allowed. Check with Texas state resources for medical waste disposal.
Hot water tanks
Hot water tanks, like aerosol cans, have the potential to explode in landfills. Their tank often fills with gases, which makes them difficult to safely dispose of. For that reason, they are not allowed to be thrown in a dumpster rental.
Inks and resins
The reason why inks and resins cannot be thrown away is similar to glue. Ink cartridges can easily break and rupture, spilling their contents and contaminating products.
Oils and fuels
Oils and fuels cannot be thrown away in a dumpster rental. For safe disposal, see what options your state or community has in place.
Household waste and construction debris are only safe to throw away if they are not contaminated by asbestos. Adding contaminated waste to your dumpster will contaminate more waste, creating a large problem. Asbestos must be professionally removed for the safety of you and others.
Household cleaning fluids
Most cleaning products should not be thrown in a dumpster rental. Check the product packaging for guidance on safe disposal. For example, most detergents can be diluted and poured down the drain.
What you can SOMETIMES throw away
The following list requires some knowledge on state regulations in order to determine if you can or can’t throw them away, which a quick Internet search will tell you.
Stumps are unwieldy and heavy piece of waste that is sometimes banned from landfills. The amount of stumps may be the limiting factor, meaning one would be okay, or they may not be allowed at all.
Mattresses are typically not supposed to be thrown in a dumpster rental because of their mixed-material makeup. They often contain wires and springs, which are recyclable and not meant for landfills.
Padded and upholstered furniture items are banned from various landfills. Some do allow it, but it’s important to check beforehand.
A large amount of food waste may not be accepted. Small amounts may be okay, but some states ban food waste altogether. Make sure to check the rules for your state to ensure proper disposal.
If you know you’re going to have a large amount of food, look into using a compost center to dispose of food waste properly. Keep in mind that food waste results in some of the worst gases for the environment (methane) when it sits in landfills. Read more about reducing food waste here.