The Guide to What You Can Put in a Dumpster

What is okay to throw in a dumpster? Here is the guide to What you can put in a roll-off dumpster.

Just like your own residential trashcan, there are things you can and can’t throw away in your rented dumpster. These rules are in place so that they follow local, state, federal regulations.

In order to ensure proper disposal, you want to discuss what you are throwing away with the rental company. They can let you know if what you are throwing away follows all the rules and regulations.

What can go in a dumpster?

Most of the time, anything that is nonhazardous will be allowed into a dumpster. Items like trash, wood, concrete, bricks, roofing, yard waste and flooring.

Household junk

Most household items like couches are typically allowed in rental dumpsters.


Almost all types of furniture will be allowed in a dumpster. The only time they may not be allowed, is if the local landfill doesn’t allow it. Some local landfills do not accept upholstered furniture and some mattresses, and others may allow it, but it will cost you a little more money. It all depends on the city’s regulations.

You should always check with your dumpster rental company to ensure what you are putting in the dumpster is safe and legal to throw away.
Appliances that do not have freon or any hazardous materials may be safe to put into a dumpster.


There are a majority of general household appliances such as a washing machine, dryer, microwave, fridge and AC units that are allowed to be thrown in a dumpster, but all hazardous material, like freon, must be removed before dumping.

To get rid of a freon-containing appliance, you would need to hire a professional to remove the refrigerant before disposing of it. These professionals can be HVAC or appliance specialist.

Keep in mind that there are also additional appliance disposal services that could help save you money. For example, some local utility companies have programs to recycle old appliances. This program involves allowing a recycling company to collect your old, energy wasting appliances in exchange for a bounty or rebate. The rebate can be applied if you purchase updated ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances. You have to contact your utility provider, to see what they offer.

Electronics like televisions, DVD players or computers are typically accepted.


TVs, computers, printers, and other electronic devices are typically allowed to be thrown away. But if they are in large quantities, like from an office clean out, you will most likely be required to recycle them. If they do have to be recycled, there may be a small fee per item to cover for any recycle costs.
In some city regulations, they do not allow electronics to be thrown in dumpsters at all, so it is important to check with your dumpster rental provider and ask if your local laws allow it.
Yard waste since its environmentally friendly typically can go in dumpsters

Yard waste

Green waste such as trees, branches, brush and grass are allowed in most dumpsters. However, in some locations, may be limited to the amount of green waste you can bring to a landfill, while in others, you can fill a dumpster to its limit. So, it is important to let your dumpster rental company know what you are throwing away, so they can let you know what is possible.

Tip: Some dumpster companies will offer discounts on “clean-load” dumpsters. “Clean-load” dumpsters are dumpsters that contain one specific type of recyclable material into the dumpster, like concrete and yard waste. These materials are then recycled and redirected from the landfill saving you money.

Nonorganic trash like carpeting and paper products are okay to throw away.

Toys, curtains, rugs, papers, cardboard, and similar non-organic trash are all safe to be thrown into a dumpster too.

Construction debris

Concrete, bricks, stones and asphalt are okay to be thrown away.

Concrete, bricks, stones and asphalt

Debris such as Concrete, bricks, stones and asphalt can be thrown in most dumpsters, but some companies require a specific dumpster that can handle the heavy material. Also, if you are only throwing away a single type of material, look into a clean load dumpster.


Asphalt roofing shingles are a common heavy item to be thrown away. But there is sometimes a fee that’s associated with shingle disposal, so make sure to ask the dumpster rental company if they charge extra for roofing shingle disposal.

Construction waste

Construction waste such as drywall, wooden materials, siding, and other demolition debris are able to go in dumpsters.

Dumpster weight is important when it comes to heavy debris. There are weight limits that each dumpster has. If you exceed the amount, then you may have to remove some debris, or pay additional fees. This can be more expensive than you had anticipated. If you want to learn more about dumpster weight limits, and how to avoid any surprise fees or other issues.
Finding the right size for the money.

We have a dumpster guide that can help you learn about dumpster sizes and pricing. If this is your first-time renting, see our guide to help you decide what is best for you. Depending on the size of your project, and the type of material you are throwing away. You may only need the smaller dumpsters like a 10 or 20 cubic foot. If you have a large project like doing whole home remodel, then a 30 or 40 yard dumpster will suit you needs better. is the quickest and most convenient way to find top rated dumpster rentals in your area. You can browse the options, read company profiles, see reviews from other customers about their services, and contact dumpster companies directly for a quote. All this is possible in one easy to navigate site.

What can’t you put in a dumpster?

In most cases, you cannot put any type of hazardous material in your rented dumpster. Material like oil, gas, paint, tanks, asbestos, tires and certain furniture like mattresses may not be allowed.

Paint, tires, hazardous waste, and batteries cannot be thrown away.

Paint, Stains, and Lacquers

It is illegal to throw away hazardous material like paint, paint thinners, lacquers, or wood stains in a dumpster. An exception of that list can be latex paint. If you have to throw away any paint from leftover projects, you can open the can of paint and let it solidify by pouring it into a box with kitty litter or shredded paper. After a few hours it will dry, and you can toss it in a dumpster.

If you have empty, dry paint cans, they can be recycled with other materials in your curbside bin. But if you are not able to, you can find a place to drop off your leftover paint.


Most landfills in the United States do not allow for tires to be dumped, so most dump rental companies do not allow for them to be tossed either. Even still, there are different ways to properly dispose of any scrap tires. You can take your old tires to your local auto parts store or tire dealership, and they will be able to recycle your tires for you. Another option you can find a local recycler who will take the tires, and then convert them into asphalt or rubber mulch for playgrounds or turf fields.

Hazardous waste

Any hazardous waste like asbestos, pesticides, herbicides, rat poison, motor oil and other automotive fluids, tanks, household cleaners, typically any chemical liquid and medical waste should never be put into a dumpster. In most communities and some landfills, there are scheduled collection events where you can go and drop off any hazardous waste for proper disposal. This also sometimes includes paints, stains and lacquers.
Some trash companies have a household hazardous waste recycling kit that can be sent directly to your home. This allows you to conveniently pack up all your hazardous waste and mail it in for disposal.


Car batteries and dry-cell batteries contain chemicals that can leak out and harm the environment, so they are not allowed to be placed in a dumpster.
You can instead, recycle car batteries by returning them to any auto parts stores that sells car batteries. Sometimes they do charge a small fee. You can also drop off old small batteries, like lithium, AA, and AAA, in designated bins in some stores.

Here are some tips on how to get rid of what isn’t allowed in dumpsters:
You can donate TVs and appliances to local charities.

E-waste, like cell phones, tablets, computers, and printers can be donated or recycled at some places. Search for an

e-waste recycler near you.
Take your used motor oil to a local oil change facility or to a auto parts store for proper recycling.

Car batteries can be taken to auto part stores, and sometimes, you can get a deposit for returning it to the place where you bought it.

Tires can be brought to a tire changing facility for recycling.

Dumpster Rental Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can you throw away a TV in a dumpster?
A. It can depend from each company. Some dumpster rental companies may be able to accommodate in disposal of televisions, if you make arrangements with them beforehand. It is possible you may be charged additional fees for the disposal. It won’t hurt to ask, and if they do accept them, do not dispose the TV in a dumpster. It should be kept separate from the other wastes, junk and debris.

Q. Can you throw furniture in a dumpster?
A. Yes, most furniture is considered to be acceptable waste. Some of those items are chairs, sofas and tables. Sometimes there may be a limit to what certain furniture can be used for dumpster disposal, such as upholstered furniture, chairs with electronics, or even some beds. You want to check with your dumpster provider if you have furniture that has any electrical components. Alternatively, if the furniture is still usable, it may be less of a hassle to donate it to local charitable organization.

Q. Can you throw tires?
A. No, it’s illegal for tires to be thrown away. However, you can bring any used tires to a tire shop, and they should be able to recycle the tires for you.

Q. Can you put a mattress in a dumpster?
A. Not in all areas. Some cities may charge a fee for you to dispose your mattress, so dumpster rental companies in those cities’ areas will typically not allow you to throw a mattress in the dumpster. If they do, they may charge you an additional fee to cover that expense. If you have mattresses to dispose of, notify the rental company so you can be aware of any additional chargers.

Q. Can I mix construction debris or roofing shingles with other trash and junk?
A. Most dumpster rental companies will prefer you to have construction debris separate from household junk and trash so they can be recycled. The same goes for roofing shingles, concrete and yard wastes. Some cities require that most construction material to be recycled. In those cases, dumpster rental companies will require the dumpster to be loaded with only one type of debris. So mixing construction debris, concrete, yard debris, or roofing shingles with other wastes cannot be done.


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