What Not to Put in a Dumpster (And What Junk is Totally Dumpster-Worthy)

junk removal

Though you may think of roll off dumpsters as a free-for-all junk removal service, there are actually many materials that dumpster rental companies cannot accept.

If you’re cleaning out a garage or working in construction, you never know what materials you might encounter.
Before you start tossing whatever you can’t keep, be sure that you’re not tossing any of the following items without permission:

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Do NOT Use Dumpsters to Dispose:

    • Chemicals and solvents, like herbicides and pesticides
    • Paints
    • Flammable liquid fuels, like oil, gasoline, diesel, and propane tanks
    • Biomedical wastes
    • Toxic materials, radioactive materials, nuclear or fissile materials
    • Liquids in general
    • Freon
    • PC monitors, T.V.s, and microwaves
    • Batteries
    • Tires
    • Appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and water heaters

Disposing these materials can result in dangerous conditions for dumpster removal workers, or it can get a company in trouble with the law. If you’re thinking of renting a dumpster, be sure to research the proper way to get rid of your particular junk first.

What You CAN Throw Away in a Dumpster:

Junk removal companies commonly serve temporary events that will require increased disposal options, like fairs, construction sites, moving projects, and more. Even though there are some limitations to what you can toss, the following items are, in most cases, 100% acceptable in dumpsters:

  • Wood furniture
    • Toys, basic electronics, old household objects
    • Construction debris, like plywood or broken cinder blocks
    • Yard cleanup junk, like branches, logs, and old mulch
  • Home project debris, like old shingles, siding, or drywall

Items to Ask About Before Hiring Junk Removal Services

Unfortunately, like any industry, dumpster rental services have “gray areas” of items that certain companies or districts allow and forbid. Be sure to ask a company directly about the following conditional items:

    • Mattresses
    • Electronics
    • Extremely dense or heavy items, since dumpsters have weight limits
    • Recyclable materials
    • Food waste
  • Railroad ties

Alternatives for Tough-to-Dispose Items

In 2016, an estimated 19% of all local government meetings nationwide addressed the topic of solid waste problems. Though roll off dumpsters can help get rid of junk, there are alternative ways to get rid of dumpster-forbidden items that can help support your community.

If you’re struggling to find a way to get rid of unusual items, take some time to do a little research. Many items can be recycled or donated. Donate working TVs, microwaves, and other appliances to Habitat for Humanity or any other local charity that might accept household items. You can consider taking biodegradable waste like food scraps to your local composting center. Car batteries, tires, and electronics can also sometimes be recycled, so try looking up recycling services near you before throwing it all in a dumpster!