Using a dumpster to get rid of trash and unwanted items can be a convenient and affordable option. However, there are rules and regulations around what you can and cannot put in a dumpster. Knowing what is allowed will ensure you utilize your dumpster properly and avoid potential fines or violations. This guide covers the dos and don’ts of dumpster use so you can dispose of waste responsibly.
What are Dumpsters Typically Used For?
Dumpsters are large trash receptacles designed for collecting and disposing of moderate to large volumes of solid waste. Typical uses include:
- Construction and demolition debris – dumpsters provide an easy way to collect and remove debris from construction sites or remodeling projects. Materials like wood, drywall, bricks, and roofing shingles can go in a dumpster.
- Business waste – stores, restaurants, offices, etc. often use a dumpster for routine waste. Anything that goes into a business trash can is generally fine for a dumpster.
- Residential cleanouts – homeowners may rent a dumpster to facilitate large cleanouts of basements, garages, and attics or to dispose of bulky items like furniture.
- Yard waste – most dumpster companies allow yard trimmings like branches, grass clippings, and leaves. Large quantities of dirt may incur an additional fee.
What are Acceptable Things to Put in a Dumpster?
In general, any standard household, business, or construction waste is perfectly acceptable for dumpster disposal. Examples include:
- General trash and food waste
- Paper and cardboard
- Plastics and metals
- Furniture and mattresses
- Clothing, textiles and shoes
- Leftover materials from renovations like tile, drywall, etc.
- Wood scraps and sawdust
- Yard trimmings and organic debris
Hazardous materials and chemicals require special disposal, but many common household items like batteries, CFL bulbs,s and electronics can also go in the dumpster. When in doubt, check with your dumpster rental company.
What Items are Prohibited in Dumpsters?
While dumpsters accommodate a wide array of waste, some items are banned from dumpster disposal because they pose health, environmental,l or safety hazards. Prohibited materials include:
- Chemicals – this includes gasoline, oil, pesticides, paints and solvents. Check locally as some communities allow small amounts of household chemicals.
- Medical waste – anything potentially infectious like needles or bodily fluids.
- Asbestos – this fibrous mineral was once common in construction. Due to health risks, asbestos must be professionally handled.
- Tires – tires can get stuck in trash processing equipment. Most areas require tires to be recycled or specially disposed of.
- Hazardous fuels – this includes propane tanks, gas cylinders, and any flammable liquids.
- Hot ashes – ashes from wood stoves, fireplaces, or grills can spark fires. Always wet ashes before disposal.
- Batteries – all batteries must be recycled rather than landfilled. Many communities have battery drop-offs.
Are There Dumpster Size and Weight Restrictions?
Most waste management companies plimit Dumpster sizes and total weight to meet transportation restrictions and safety regulations. Exceeding these limits can incur additional fees. Common size and weight limits include:
- Standard dumpsters, such as 10 or 15 cubic yards, have weight limits of 3,000-5,000 lbs.
- Larger capacity dumpsters may handle 6,000-12,000 lbs.
- For heavyweight waste, some companies offer special heavy-duty dumpsters designed for loads up to 18,000 lbs.
- Going over stated weight limits can result in significant overage fees. Avoid this by not overfilling the dumpster.
- Time limits are also common, with most companies allowing 1-4 weeks per rental. Extra rental fees apply for longer periods.
Tips for Safe and Trouble-Free Dumpster Use:
- Check with your local waste authority about any substance or material bans and recycling mandates in your area.
- Avoid overfilling dumpsters too high or heavy. Leave at least 2 ft of clearance and do not exceed stated weight restrictions.
- Do not put prohibited items like chemicals, batteries, or electronics in your dumpster. Dispose of these properly at designated drop-off sites.
- Spread heavier items out evenly rather than consolidating them in one area of the dumpster to avoid overly heavy loads.
- Close and secure lids when not actively filling to prevent accidents, control odors and keep pests out.
- Schedule promptly if you will likely need the dumpster longer than your rental period allows. Extra fees almost always apply for late removals.
Using your dumpster properly and disposing of waste thoughtfully supports safe, efficient waste disposal. Follow these guidelines so your dumpster meets your trash needs in a compliant and environmentally responsible way. Let us know if you have any other questions!
Frequently Asked Questions About Dumpster Use
What size dumpster should I get?
Choose a dumpster size based on the estimated volume of waste to be disposed of. Allow extra space if large or bulky items are involved. 10-30 cubic yard dumpsters work for most residential cleanouts and small remodeling projects. Larger 40+ cubic yard dumpsters accommodate bigger construction debris volumes.
Where can I place a dumpster?
Usually on your property like a driveway, or possibly on the street with a permit. Avoid blocking traffic or pedestrian access routes. Some communities prohibit front street placement. Check local regulations for requirements.
How much weight can I put in a dumpster?
Dumpster weight limits typically range from 3,000-12,000 lbs. OThey are overfillingleads to heavy fees. Distribute heavy items evenly and avoid consolidating dense waste in one area. If in doubt, consult your rental company.
What happens if I go over my rental period?
Extra rental fees apply per day if you extend beyond your contracted rental timeframe. Some companies offer a few days grace period, but going longer usually incurs daily overage rates. Plan timing appropriately when renting to avoid excess costs.
Can I put tires in the dumpster?
No, tires require special disposal and cannot go into standard dumpsters. Many tire retailers and auto shops will properly dispose of old tires for a small fee. Do not try to sneak tires into a rental dumpster.
Who takes care of dumpster pickup and removal?
The Green Dumpster company handles delivery, pickup scheduling, and disposal. Ensure you plan sufficient rental time to complete your project. Avoid extra charges by notifying them promptly if you need an extension or have finished early.
What if prohibited materials end up in my dumpster?
You are responsible for dumpster contents. Fines, cleanup costs, or loss of future service can result if banned items are found upon pickup. Carefully comply with all regulations to avoid violations. Immediately notify the company if any disallowed materials were mistakenly added so they can be handled properly.
Renting a dumpster provides a convenient, affordable solution for large trash removal jobs. Be mindful of which materials are allowed and prohibited when using your dumpster. Follow size, weight, and time restrictions to avoid extra fees. Use common sense and check with waste authorities if questions arise. Proper dumpster use supports safe, legal, and ecologically responsible waste disposal.