What Can I Put in a Dumpster?

A dumpster rental can ensure a cleaner, safer work site. It's a good investment for any job, from small renovations to full demolitions. But not everything can go in your dumpster. Before throwing things away, ask yourself these important questions.

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What's The Law?

Before shopping for a dumpster rental, check your state and local disposal laws to see what can and can't go in. This can vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, with some allowing you to throw almost anything in a dumpster and others being tightly restrictive. Your local city authority should have a detailed list, which you should brief your work crew on. Never take this list for granted. The laws even a town or county over may be very different depending on a number of environmental factors.

Is It A Chemical?

As a rule, if it's a chemical, whether it's paint, solvents, automotive fluids, pesticides, or even household cleaning agents, it cannot be thrown into a dumpster. Generally this is due to environmental concerns or potential fire hazards. Cleaning chemicals, paints and other fluids on a work site can interact, causing a chemical fire in your dumpster. Or rain might fall, causing toxic leakage out of your dumpsters. Either of these situations will often cost you more than just a dumpster rental fee, as your work site might be shut down while the situation is dealt with, and you might be fined by inspectors.

The rule doesn't generally apply to empty containers that have held these items. But before you throw paint cans or cleanser containers in your dumpster, be familiar with local law, which may also forbid container disposal. Also, make a point of cleaning them out thoroughly so there's no run-off or risk of fire. If you know you'll have these chemicals on site, consult with your dumpster rental company about disposal options.

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Is It Large or Bulky?

One problem many crews run into while renovating homes or cleaning out a demo site is "large trash." These are things like tires, mattresses, oversized pieces of furniture, CRT televisions, appliances such as refrigerators, and other bulky items. These might either require a separate hauling fee from your removal company or might even require separate removal altogether, depending on the item and your jurisdiction. For example, refrigerators will need to have their doors removed and may need to be taken elsewhere to have potentially dangerous chemicals drained from them. Upholstered furniture and mattresses may be home to any number of animals or insects you don't want on your work site.

Televisions, computer monitors, and similar electronics trash should also be handled with extreme care. Cathode ray tube, or CRT, devices are an explosion risk and can severely injure or even kill crew members if they're mishandled.

Get Help Finding The Best Dumpster Rental

The most useful guide to whether something can go in a dumpster rental, though, is the law and common sense. Provide your workers with a list of items that cannot be throw into the dumpster to ensure a safe environment. If you're ready for safer, cleaner job sites, contact us. We can help get you a dumpster rental in your area today.