Piedmont Disposal Greensboro NC

What Can Go In A Dumpster? A Guide To Dumpster Rental

What can go in a rental dumpster

Whether you are on a large-scale commercial construction project, remodeling your kitchen or clearing out your attic, dumpster rental can make your cleanup job easy and efficient. However, not all trash is created equal. Just as your regular, everyday, household trash has certain regulations about what can and cannot be disposed of in it, a dumpster rental has restrictions.

Not sure what can be thrown in a dumpster? Let's explore everything you need to know about the proper disposal of waste so you can move ahead with your household projects.

Why It Matters?

Construction jobs and home improvement projects can get messy as the junk builds up, making your need for a dumpster rental vital in order to dispose of all the materials and debris. It's important to know what can and what cannot go into your dumpster rental, because certain materials can be hazardous or have regulations for their proper disposal.

Federal and state government regulations for waste disposal are made to protect people and the environment. If individuals do not properly dispose of these specifically regulated materials, it can result in consequences and fines. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) outlines the laws, policies, and resources available to the public when it comes to understanding the proper disposal of different types of waste.

If you are ever uncertain as to what can go into one of our dumpster rentals or uncertain about local and state regulations, contact our dumpster and disposal experts for help.

What Can Go In A Roll-Off Dumpster?

Most nonhazardous materials can be put in a dumpster. This makes for the convenient disposal of unused construction material, household junk, old furniture, yard waste, and broken appliances.

Some of the most common items that can go in a dumpster are:

  • General trash
  • Yard waste
  • Wooden furniture
  • Electronic devices
  • Alkaline batteries
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Construction and demolition debris

Yard Waste

Branches, leaves, sticks, grass, and other yard waste like storm debris or dirt are allowed in dumpsters. Tree trunks are usually allowed in dumpster rentals, but it's best to be certain there is no limit to the number of stumps if you are doing a yard cleanup project that includes tree stump removals.

Green waste, otherwise known as biological waste, refers to any waste that could be composted. Items from the garden like vegetables, soil, or plant clippings can safely be disposed of in a dumpster rental.

Construction Debris

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) construction waste and debris makes up for one-quarter of the total amount of waste unloaded at landfills each year, making it the most common type of nonhazardous waste disposal.

Examples of construction debris are:

  • Lumber and wooden materials
  • Tiles
  • Cabinetry and countertops
  • Drywall
  • Flooring
  • Siding
  • Bathroom fixtures
  • roofing shingles


Common household furniture items made from wood are appropriate to dispose of in a dumpster. Chairs, tables, dressers, coffee and end tables, stools, bed frames, and shelves are some of the wooden furniture items often put in a dumpster.


If thrown in a dumpster in small quantities, electronics, considered "e-waste," can be disposed of. If you have a large number of electronics to get rid of, recycling e-waste materials is recommended and preferred.

Household items like old alkaline batteries are safe for landfills and dumpsters. Empty aerosol cans are also acceptable for dumpsters, but they have to be empty; if even a little bit of aerosol is left in the can, it can cause an explosion and is therefore restricted.

Old toys, carpeting, curtains, blankets, or any other non-organic waste or household junk you might toss away in your regular trash can be put in your dumpster rental.

These Materials Can Sometimes Be Put In A Roll-Off Dumpster

There are some items and materials that are usually safe to put in a dumpster and generally accepted at landfills, but they include further regulations or additional fees.

Mattresses & Box Springs

Gently used mattresses can be donated, but old mattresses should be thrown away. Mattresses and box springs are usually accepted but may accrue additional fees or be subject to a per-mattress cost when recycled for materials or offloaded at a landfill.

Upholstered Furniture

Most landfills accept most furniture items, but if your furniture items are upholstered, like a couch or chair, they may not be eligible for dumpster disposal removal. It's important to discuss with your dumpster rental provider what the local regulations for upholstered furniture are and whether your upholstered furniture could be made of any hazardous materials.

Concrete Debris

The cost of your dumpster rental may increase if you need to dispose of heavy debris like concrete. Heavy materials like asphalt, brick, and stone can also go into a roll-off dumpster, as long as it is a specially reinforced dumpster designed to hold excessive weight. If you know you have a large construction job with a lot of waste removal, speak to your dumpster service provider about renting a dumpster designed for heavy waste disposal.

What Can't You Throw In A Dumpster?

Any toxic waste or hazardous materials are restricted from being disposed of in a dumpster. These limitations on certain types of waste materials are important for the health and safety of you and the environment.

Items that should never be thrown out in a dumpster are:

  • Household cleaners
  • Medical waste
  • Automotive fluids and car batteries
  • Tires
  • Paint and paint cans
  • Contaminated soil
  • Propane tanks
  • Hot water tanks
  • Refrigerators and air conditioners
  • Adhesives
  • Non-alkaline batteries
  • Hazardous fluids
  • Flammable materials
  • Oils and fuels
  • Inks and resins
  • Asbestos

Household Cleaning Fluids

Chemicals used in household cleaning items are dangerous to the environment and considered hazardous materials, therefore they cannot be disposed of in your dumpster rental.

Medical Infectious Waste

Any medical waste materials like syringes, needles, bandages, or any items that came into contact with fluids like blood, urine, stool, or human organs and tissue are considered hazardous substances that must be packaged and regulated to ensure proper disposal.

Hazardous Materials

Any item that is labeled with the hazardous waste symbol needs to be disposed of properly and should never be put in a dumpster. Some examples of toxic, hazardous materials include asbestos, pesticides, contaminated soils or absorbents, motor oil, other automotive fluids, wet paint, and harmful gases.

Contaminated Soil and Absorbents

Federal superfund guidelines restrict contaminated soil and absorbents from being put in a dumpster because they are mixed with toxic chemicals and other hazardous materials dangerous to you and the environment.

Hot Water Tanks

When disposed of in landfills, the void of empty water tanks can collect dangerous gases, putting people and the environment at risk. If you have a water tank that needs to be disposed of, speak to your dumpster rental provider about options to avoid this serious safety risk.

When In Doubt, Who to Ask

Whenever you are not sure if something can safely and legally be disposed of in your dumpster rental, do not hesitate to ask! Our dumpster rental professionals are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have and to help guide you in the best dumpster rental for your needs. Just ask us and we will be happy to let you know whether or not a particular item can be disposed of in your roll-off dumpster. If anything you hope to remove during your junk and debris removal process is not allowed in the dumpster rental, we can provide resources for safe and effective ways to dispose of those items or materials.

Contact Piedmont Disposal For All Of Your Dumpster Rental Needs

If you are looking for the best dumpster rental in North Carolina, contact Piedmont Disposal today to get set up with a dumpster rental for your home construction or junk removal project. Call us at  336-777-8805 or fill out the form below to speak to one of our professional waste removal representatives about your dumpster rental needs.

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