What can I put in a dumpster?

What can I put in a dumpster?

Whether you are doing a bit of remodeling or moving and getting rid of unwanted items, a roll-off dumpster may be just what you need. You can easily apply for a permit for dumpster rental at your Department of Public Works permit counter. Additionally, with a variety of sizes to choose from, you could fit almost anything in a dumpster. However, there are some materials you that are absolutely prohibited.

The easiest way to determine if an item can go into a roll-off dumpster is to check it for warning labels. If the label contains a poison, chemical or biohazard symbol, it needs to be disposed of according to the instructions on the label. If there are no disposal instructions, you can call your local sanitation department to find out how to properly dispose of these dangerous materials.

What can be thrown into a roll-off dumpster?

Common household items including clothes, various personal items, and housewares can be thrown into a dumpster. If you are renting a dumpster because of a remodel, most of the debris including lumber, drywall, flooring, siding, and cabinetry can be placed in it.

Other items that are acceptable are:

  • Appliances. Unless otherwise stated appliances like microwaves and washers are typically accepted. Refrigerators are prohibited.
  • Furniture. Wooden furniture is always accepted. Check local restrictions on upholstered pieces.
  • Yard Debris. Yard debris is usually accepted. In some locations, you may be able to dispose of tree limbs, bush trimmings, and shrubs in a dumpster. Other locations may only allow a few bags of leaves. Stumps are not accepted.
  • Asphalt, Brick, or Concrete. May be disposed of in dumpsters specially designed to hold heavy materials. 

What cannot be thrown in a roll-off dumpster?

There are a number of items that should not be disposed of in a dumpster. Most of these items have the potential to contaminate the environment or pose a health hazard. Some of these prohibited items include:

    • Automotive
      • Tires
      • Oil
      • Fuel and fluids
      • Batteries
    • Home & Office
      • Pharmaceuticals
      • Cleaning products
      • Partially full aerosol cans
      • Mercury containing bulbs
      • Refrigerators
      • Hot water tanks
      • Mattresses
    • Building Materials
      • Paints, lacquers & stains
      • Adhesives, glues & epoxy
      • Inks/resins
      • Refrigerants & refrigerant containing products
      • Asbestos containing products & materials
    • Site Waste
      • Stumps
      • Pesticides
      • Contaminated soil or absorbents
      • Railroad ties
      • Industrial drums & manufacturing by-products
      • Petroleum refining & chemical manufacturing wastes
    • Other Hazardous Waste
      • Food waste
      • Biohazardous or infectious waste such as medical needles & bandages
      • Highly flammable products or accelerants
      • Toxic and corrosive waste
      • Radioactive waste


When disposing of electronics, pharmaceuticals or refrigerators, check with your local sanitation department. Check out your city or town’s recycling programs that make disposing of these items easy, and usually free.

Do you have questions about what you can put in a dumpster? Contact us today for more information!

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