What Can I Put in My Dumpster?

August 21, 2023

When you set out to tackle seasonal decluttering, remodeling, or clean out projects, dumpster rental is the way to go to avoid piling up garbage and debris that might otherwise be tricky to dispose of. After all, you can only put so much out for the garbage truck every week, and there are plenty of items they simply won’t take. That said, while a dumpster service is ideal for just about every small- and large-scale project you might get into, they have limits too. In this article we’ll get into the details about what you can and can’t put in a roll off dumpster, and a few of the reasons why this matters. 

What Can Be Put In A Dumpster?

Every dumpster rental company or junk hauler will have their own set of restrictions and approved materials that can be put in their roll off containers. So it’s worth checking with the folks who answer the phone when you call to order dumpster delivery. At Pete and Pete Container Service, Inc., it’s no different–we have clear guidelines about what can and can’t be placed in your rented dumpster.

The items that can be placed in your front load containers or roll off containers are, for the most part, the same. These can include:

  • roofing materials
  • some household trash
  • kitchen items and some appliances (non-Freon)
  • furniture and home decor
  • landscaping debris
  • yard waste and other organic materials
  • concrete, dirt, or fill
  • cardboard and paper products
  • metal
  • alkaline batteries
  • outdoor furniture and some outdoor equipment (drained of gas)

Construction debris is the outlier, and is only permitted in roll off containers. It’s also worth noting that regulations can vary by state, city, township, and county, so it’s really vital to make sure that your decision to throw something in a dumpster won’t somehow pose legal issues in the future. A quick chat with our friendly staff will ensure that when you work with Pete and Pete Container Service, Inc., you’re well-informed and following all relevant legal requirements.

What Can’t Be Put in A Dumpster?

Just like there are items that are safe and fine to dispose of in a dumpster, there are also items and substances that pose harm and so are not allowed. Items that can be disposed are generally able to be composted, recycled, reclaimed, or will safely break down over time. Even if they are around for many years in a landfill, safe-to-dispose items generally do not pose a major harm or risk to people, property or the environment.

What makes an item unsafe or hazardous? Simply put, waste is hazardous if it has properties that make it capable of harming human or animal health or the environment, either on its own or through interaction with other factors, like the compressed nature of a landfill. While we often think of hazardous waste as being generated from industrial or commercial sources, there are plenty of household and common construction products that fit the bill.

Items that are commonly prohibited from being disposed of in a dumpster include:

  • Motor oil and any kind of fuel or flammable liquid
  • Propane tanks
  • Electronics (e.g. TVs, computers, televisions, VCRs, DVDs, cellphones)
  • Non-alkaline batteries (e.g. car batteries, computer batteries, lithium-ion batteries, rechargeable batteries, lead-acid batteries, silver oxide batteries, battery-powered generators, button cell batteries (typically used in medical devices, watches, toys, and calculators))
  • Prescription drugs and other medical items
  • Some light bulbs (fluorescent, CFL)
  • Lawn chemicals
  • Hot water tanks
  • Fireworks
  • Asbestos
  • Appliances containing Freon (e.g. refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, humidifiers)
  • Mattresses
  • Tires
  • Household cleaning fluids
  • Paint, stain, lacquer, adhesives, inks, or resins
  • Medical bio-waste (anything contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids)
  • Contaminated soil and absorbents
  • Corrosive or reactive waste
  • Large amounts of food waste
  • Railroad ties and telephone poles

Not only can many of these items pose risk to health and the environment, but because of that they also generally have their own designated processing or reclaiming methods in place. Your dumpster service provider will most often be aware of these procedures and the organizations that handle disposal–talk to your dumpster rental company for more information and recommendations on how to dispose of these items. If you do include prohibited items in your dumpster, they will need to be removed prior to pickup, which can delay pickup and may result in additional fees.

Another factor to keep in mind is weight. Even if the items you are putting in a dumpster are technically approved, if their total weight exceeds what the specific dumpster you chose stipulates, you may need to reconsider. Overweight front load containers and roll off containers can incur additional fees and can even require a secondary dumpster rental if the first is overfilled. You can easily avoid that situation by speaking with our knowledgeable staff who can help you determine the ideal dumpster size for your project. And if you want to hear the official word on local or state guidelines, you can always contact your state office of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Pete & Pete, Cleveland’s Dumpster Service Provider

As you’re bettering your space and clearing out debris and unwanted items, you want to be sure you aren’t dumping anything that can harm the local community or environment. By following the above guidelines, you can ensure that your dumpster rental experience is a smooth one. All the while you’ll be accomplishing goals and working more efficiently to complete your project. 

Do you have lingering questions related to the specific items that you need to get rid of? Please contact us–our skilled team is always ready to help. At Pete & Pete we can help to support you every step of the way, with recycling and construction disposal services and available landscape products. Get in touch with our team today to get expert, personalized suggestions.

Get in Touch!

Roll off dumpster service available in these counties. Front load dumpster service available in Cuyahoga County. Service is provided outside Cuyahoga County, but may be subject to additional charges. Please contact us for a quote.

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