• Published Apr 09, 2024

What Can I Throw in a Dumpster? The Do’s and Don’ts of Throwing Things Away

Have you ever wondered, “What can I toss in a dumpster?” It’s a question many of us face when it’s time for a big cleanup or renovation project. Prime Dumpster Incorporated is here to provide you with the ultimate guide on what you can and can’t throw in a dumpster rental.

CAN’T Throw Away in Dumpster RentalSOMETIMES Throw Away in Dumpster RentalCAN Throw Away in Dumpster Rental
Hazardous MaterialsAppliances with RefrigerantsHousehold Items
ElectronicsMattresses and Furniture with UpholsteryConstruction Debris
TiresStumpsYard Waste
Medical WasteFood WastePaper and Cardboard
Propane TanksMetal Scrap
Chemical DrumsHousehold Junk
Flammable LiquidsBroken Glass
Car BatteriesPlastic Items
Biological WasteTextiles
Radioactive MaterialsBooks and Magazines
Please note that this may not be a complete list of items. Always check your local laws and regulations before disposing of an item.

In this article we’ll cover everything from prohibited items to those you can sometimes toss in more detail, and why it matters. Let’s dive in!

Things You CAN’T Throw in a Dumpster RentaI

It’s always best to know what you can’t do before you know what you can do. Below is a list of items you can’t throw in a dumpster rental.

Hazardous Materials

Batteries, chemicals, paint, oil, asbestos, fluorescent light bulbs, and pesticides are all considered hazardous materials that pose significant risks to both human health and the environment. For more information on hazardous waste, check out our article “What is Hazardous Waste.”


Electronic waste (e-waste), including computers, televisions, cell phones, and printers, contains harmful substances like lead, mercury, and cadmium. Improper disposal can have dire consequences.


Tires are typically not allowed in dumpster rentals due to their size and potential environmental impact. They can also become breeding grounds for pests.

Medical Waste

Items like used needles, syringes, and contaminated medical supplies should never be disposed of in a dumpster due to the risk of injury and infection.

Propane Tanks

Propane tanks can be hazardous when not properly handled. They should be returned to a certified recycling facility.

Chemical Drums

Containers that previously held chemicals should be thoroughly cleaned and processed through specialized recycling programs.

Flammable Liquids

Items like gasoline, kerosene, and other flammable liquids pose a fire hazard and should be disposed of at designated hazardous waste facilities.

Car Batteries

Car batteries contain hazardous materials and should be recycled at authorized recycling centers.

Biological Waste

Biological waste, such as animal carcasses or waste from slaughterhouses, must be disposed of in compliance with local regulations.

Radioactive Materials

Any items containing radioactive materials should be handled by professionals and disposed of through specialized channels.


Items like fireworks, ammunition, and dynamite must be disposed of through the appropriate authorities to prevent accidents.

Things You CAN Throw in a Dumpster Rental

Now that we’ve covered what should never be thrown in a dumpster rental, let’s look at a list of what you can throw in a dumpster rental.

Household Items

Most common household items can be tossed into a dumpster rental without any issues. This includes furniture, appliances, old carpeting, and general debris from renovations or cleanouts.

Construction Debris

Construction debris such as concrete, drywall, wood, roofing materials, bricks, and insulation can be disposed of in a dumpster rental. Ensure you’re aware of weight limits to avoid additional charges.

Yard Waste

Yard waste, such as branches, leaves, grass clippings, and small tree stumps, can also be thrown into a dumpster rental. This is especially convenient after a major landscaping project or seasonal yard cleanup.

Paper and Cardboard

Items like old newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes, and paper clutter are generally accepted in dumpster rentals.

Metal Scrap

Metals like aluminum, copper, steel, and iron can be placed in a dumpster for recycling purposes.

Household Junk

Declutter your home by disposing of unwanted items like old toys, broken wooden furniture, and unused household items.

Broken Glass

Broken glass from windows or mirrors can typically be placed in a dumpster, but ensure it’s properly contained to prevent injuries.

Plastic Items

Many plastic items, such as containers and packaging materials, can go in a dumpster for recycling.


Old clothing, curtains, and linens can be thrown into a dumpster, but consider donating them if they are in good condition.

Books and Magazines

Unwanted books, magazines, and other printed materials can be disposed of in a dumpster.

Things You Can SOMETIMES Throw in a Dumpster Rental

There are a few items that may be prohibited or accepted depending on your local area. It’s always good to err on the side of caution and check with your local laws before disposing of items from this list of things you can sometimes throw away.

Appliances with Refrigerants

Some dumpster rental providers may accept appliances with refrigerants if they can properly evacuate the refrigerants. Check with your Prime Dumpster for specific guidelines.

Mattresses and Furniture with Upholstery

Some providers may accept mattresses and upholstered furniture, but others may require you to wrap them in plastic or dispose of them separately.


These large, bulky remnants from tree removal or landscaping projects can often find a place in your dumpster, but it’s essential to check with us for local policies. In some cases, it may be required to cut the stump into smaller pieces to ensure it fits within the container and doesn’t exceed weight limits.

Food Waste

In many cases, small quantities of food waste from your home kitchen cleanup can be disposed of in your dumpster. However, for larger volumes or food waste generated by commercial establishments, it’s crucial to consult your local regulations and dumpster rental provider. Some areas may have restrictions or require separate disposal methods for food waste, such as composting, to reduce environmental impact and minimize waste in landfills.

Why It’s Important

Proper disposal matters for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps protect the environment and public health by ensuring that hazardous materials don’t end up in landfills or contaminate natural resources. Second, following disposal guidelines avoids potential legal consequences or fines for improper disposal. Lastly, responsible disposal practices contribute to a cleaner and safer community for everyone.


Below is a list of some commonly asked questions when throwing away items in your temporary dumpster rental.

What if I Throw Away a Prohibited Item?

If you accidentally dispose of a prohibited item in your dumpster rental, it may be flagged during pickup or sorting at the disposal facility. In such cases, you may be charged extra fees, or the item may need to be removed from the dumpster and disposed of properly.

Does My City Or State Prohibit Certain Items?

Yes, some cities and states have additional restrictions on certain items. It’s essential to check with your local regulations and dumpster rental provider to ensure compliance with any specific rules in your area.

Can You Throw Hazardous Waste In a Temporary Dumpster?

No, hazardous waste should never be thrown in a dumpster. It requires specialized handling and disposal methods to prevent harm to the environment and human health. Contact your local hazardous waste disposal facility for guidance on proper disposal.

Contact Prime Dumpster

In conclusion, understanding what you can and can’t toss in a dumpster rental is crucial for a successful cleanup or renovation project. By following these guidelines, you not only protect the environment but also ensure a hassle-free disposal process. At Prime Dumpster Incorporated, we provide affordable dumpster and porta potty rentals, including roll-off dumpsters, and we’re here to assist you with your disposal needs. Contact us today for dependable dumpster rental services in your area.

If you are looking for 12 Tips to Efficiently Load a Roll-Off Dumpster, Click Here

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