Waste You Can’t Throw in a Dumpster

by DisposingAndy

What you can put in the dumpster seems pretty obvious, right?

Truth is, there is actually a range of specific rules on what you’re allowed to get rid of in a municipal dumpster. Mainly for environmental reasons, these regulations forbid the disposal of various hazardous junk and debris. It’s important that you follow the rules and don’t neglect them. Otherwise, you risk facing a fine or another more serious penalty.

Dumpster Behind a Building

Plus, considering how polluted is the environment nowadays, it’s essential that we take even the smallest steps towards a more sustainable and environmentally conscious lifestyle.

So, at Disposal Suggest we put together a list of sources of waste you can put in a dumpster without breaking the law. Read ahead to refresh your knowledge before you throw away anything questionable.

What Garbage You CAN Put in a Dumpster

As long as it’s not hazardous, most waste is permitted to go in the dumpster. But still, read  on for tips.

Household Junk

You’re on to a thorough home clean and there is a lot of stuff to get rid of? Feel free to put most household junk, such as old clothes, toys, curtains, carpets, paperwork, pans, pots, and more. Just careful with volume, as using dumpsters vs junk removal has a fine line.

As glass can’t fit a garbage disposal, there are specific areas where some electronics also can’t go to waste, like old CFL bulbs. But first, check local regulations to be sure and avoid a fee.

Explore How to Separate Your Household Waste!


Wooden furniture pieces like tables, chairs, cabinets, shelves, nightstands, coffee tables, desks, etc. are fit to dumpsters, unless you’d rather use wooden ash in the garden?

When it comes to upholstered furniture like sofas, armchairs, mattresses, and so on, the regulations can greatly vary throughout regions, municipalities, and countries. Some places don’t permit upholstered furniture going to landfill.

Meanwhile, other areas allow you to throw it away in the dumpster, but this comes with an additional charge.


Wonder if you can put your fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, or another unit in the dumpster?

Yes, you can dispose of most of your household appliances this way, but on one condition, comments appliance repairman Dmitri Kara. First, make sure you drain all unsafe fluids and components from them. For instance, hire a professional to drain Freon from your refrigerator. Then, it’s good to go into the dumpster, he adds.

Construction & Home Renovation Debris

Most debris from home improvement, building, demolition, etc. is okay to put in the dumpster, comments

This applies for:

  • Shingles;
  • Bricks;
  • Concrete;
  • Asphalt;
  • Stone;
  • Bathroom fixtures
  • Tiles;
  • Flooring;
  • Subflooring materials;
  • Countertops, and more.

What about especially heavy construction materials? It’s best to toss those in a reinforced dumpster.

Yard Waste

All flotsam from your outdoor areas - branches, leaves, sticks, brush, grass, and storm debris, you can put in the dumpster, says landscaper & handyman Bo Yan.

But there are some neighborhoods, where according to local regulations, there is a limit for green waste thrown in dumpsters. So, it’s best to consult your local dumpster professionals to make sure where red lines end.

Aerosol Cans

If they are empty, aerosol cans such as hairspray, deodorants, non-stick cooking spray, cleaning sprays, and more, are safe to put in the dumpster. If a can you throw is even partially full, there is a risk it explodes in some specific surroundings.

Alkaline Batteries

You probably think alkaline that batteries are mandatory to recycle. But that’s not always the case. In recent years, regular alkaline batteries don’t contain substances toxic to the environment. You should however, recycle rechargeable batteries.

So, it’s a thin line.

What Garbage You CAN’T Put in a Dumpster

Now let’s review what items and materials you’re not allowed to throw in the dumpster, just as you can’t throw glass to a garbage disposal. It’s important that you’re aware of them, so you don’t create any prerequisites for accidents.

Overall, it’s crucial to not throw hazardous fluids or materials in the dumpster.

Car Batteries

Apart from alkaline batteries, you can’t put car batteries and dry-cell batteries in the dumpster. That’s because they often leak chemicals that are very harmful to the environment.

Instead, give batteries of these types to an auto parts store or a car batteries shop for recycling.

Handheld Electronics

You should not toss individual electronics such as a computer, printer, cell phone, or a TV in the dumpster. Especially, if you’re in the middle of an office clean-out and need to throw away a large number of electronics, rules require that you recycle them as e-waste.

Take the electronics to the local recycling center, or even better, why not donate them?

Many charities accept even broken electronic devices because they often partner with tech specialists. These professionals restore the gadgets. Then, non-profits sell them and use the funds for their cause.


Tires are another item that you don’t put in the dumpster for rational reasons. Once in the landfill, tires easily trap methane from other garbage. This causes them to float to the surface of the trash pile, push aside the garbage, and rupture the protective border of the landfill that prevents environmental pollution.

Paint & Other Coatings

Paint and other coatings like lacquer, wood stain, and paint thinner contain mercury and other toxic compounds, so they are not allowed in the dumpster. Yet, mind that latex paints are an exception, and you can throw them in the dumpster.

Medical Waste

Common household medical waste such as expired drugs, prescription sets, blood-soaked fabrics, other material that came in contact with body fluids, animal carcasses don’t belong in a dumpster.

Household Cleaning Solutions

Empty bottles from cleaning products are okay to go in the dumpster, but this doesn’t apply to the actual cleaning fluids inside. To get rid of cleaning solutions, read their labels for particular disposal instructions.


You can’t throw adhesives of glue, epoxy, and other similar types in the dumpster, since they stick other trash to the walls of the container, hindering its further recycling.

To Conclude

So, our guide provides a detailed review of what you can and cannot put in a dumpster. But still, each area has its own specific regulations. That’s why it’s a good tip to check with a local dumpster rental provider to know for sure.

This way, you make sure that the waste you dispose of will get disposed of safely and effectively.