What You Can and Can’t Put in a Dumpster Rental

A dumpster rental can be the perfect waste disposal solution for a number of different projects: construction; renovations and remodels; cleaning out a basement, garage, or yard; a community cleanup or event; and more.

Such projects generate a lot of trash and debris that can’t go out for regular trash pickup. That leaves you stuck with a number of options:

  • Hauling away everything to a landfill on your own. But what if you don’t have a pickup truck or another suitable vehicle? What if it’s going to take multiple trips? And what if there’s no landfill a reasonable drive away?
  • Paying a junk removal service to remove everything. This is a convenient option requiring no physical work on your own, but the more there is that has to go, the more you pay. So this option is better for smaller projects like getting rid of some old furniture.
  • A dumpster rental.

With a dumpster rental, you get a large, open-topped rectangular bin delivered to your site by a truck with a hydraulic bed that lifts and deposits the dumpster. You decide how long you need the dumpster for, and then you fill it on your own schedule. When you’re done, the rental company comes back to your home or worksite, picks up the dumpster, and then hauls it away. It’s safe, it’s convenient, and it’s excellent value for the money.

One of the most important considerations when getting a dumpster rental is making sure you get the right size. If the dumpster’s too large, you’ll be paying for space you don’t need. But if the dumpster’s too small, you have a problem that isn’t so small. By law, you can’t overfill a dumpster, so you’ll either have to dispose of the extra waste yourself, extend your rental period, or get a second dumpster. All of those are going to cost you extra time, hassle, and money.

Read about Determining the Dumpster Size You Need

There’s another very important consideration, and that’s knowing what you can and can’t put into a dumpster. Laws dictate these things, and if you run afoul of them, you can be hit with a violation and assessed a fine, pay extra to have forbidden items removed and disposed of, or remove and dispose of them yourself.

Regulations about what can and can’t be put in a dumpster rental vary by location, and we can’t possibly cover every municipality and county in Florida, let alone the rest of the country, but we can give you a pretty good sense of what holds true in most places regarding what you can put in a rental dumpster, what you can’t, and what you might be able to. Always check with the company you’re hiring for a dumpster rental before you start filling it.

What You CAN Put in a Dumpster

If it doesn’t present a risk to the integrity of the dumpster or to the environment, you can probably put it in a dumpster, and here are some things you can almost certainly place in one:

  • Dirt– As long as the soil isn’t contaminated with toxic substances, you can throw it away. In some locations, soil recycling may be available.
  • Yard waste– Branches, sticks, and leaves can go in a dumpster. So can other organic, non-hazardous yard debris.
  • Demolition and construction debris– Brick, roofing shingles, plywood, drywall, tiling and the like are okay. Dumpsters have weight limits, too, and this kind of debris can get really heavy really fast.
  • Wooden furniture– Tables, chairs, bed frames, shelves, stools, and anything made from untreated wood are allowed in dumpsters.

Read about Disposing of Furniture

  • Alkaline batteries– Alkaline batteries used to be a no-no in dumpsters because they contained mercury, but they no longer do and are okay to put in a dumpster.
  • Smaller electronics– Computers, tablets, and phones can be thrown away in a dumpster if they’re not recyclable. However, larger items or large volumes of smaller items may not be allowed; check with the company or your municipality.
  • Aerosol cans– The caveat here is that they have to be empty; if they’re not, they can’t go in.
  • Household waste– Your typical household waste is allowed in a dumpster. Just be sure you’re bagging it, especially food waste.
  • Household appliances– Smaller appliances like toasters, coffee brewers, and microwaves are typically allowed. Check ahead of time about larger items such as refrigerators and dishwashers; rules about these can vary widely.

What You CAN’T Put in a Dumpster

Perhaps more helpful than knowing what’s okay in a dumpster is knowing what isn’t. Mostly, this means flammable or toxic items and materials. Some examples:

    • Asbestos, oils, and fuels
    • Inks and resins
    • Refrigerators, air conditioners, and hot water tanks– Sometimes, refrigerators are okay if they’ve been drained of freon.
  • Household cleaners and adhesive chemicals or products (like glue)
  • Infectious medical and biological waste
  • Items marked with hazardous warnings or symbols

Read about Disposing of Household Hazardous Waste

  • Non-alkaline batteries– This includes lithium batteries, car batteries, battery-powered generators, and any other battery not solely alkaline.
  • Tires– In landfills, their centers can fill with methane gas, causing serious problems. Take these to an automotive shop or some other location that can recycle them.
  • Paints, primers, lacquers, and stains– This includes latex points; people sometimes mistakenly think this rule only applies to oil-based paints.

Get a Dumpster Rental Service to Dispose of the Dirt for You

For a dumpster rental in Orlando, RGH Waste & Disposal has what you need. By offering 20-yard and 30-yard dumpsters (these are their capacities in cubic yards), we have the right dumpster for the job. The 20-yard dumpsters hold the equivalent of about 10 pickup truckloads, and the 30-yard dumpsters hold about 15.

Among the benefits of going with RGH are same-day or next-day drop-off and pick-up, 24-7 availability, and competitive pricing with no hidden fees. All you have to do is request a free quote, schedule delivery for your rental dumpster, load it up, and schedule your pickup date. We take care of the rest.

Contact us for a free quote


Lisa is the General Manager of RGH Waste and Disposal LLC. After many years of working in waste management, Lisa has ‘seen it all’ and then some! She knows the 'ins' and 'outs' of waste disposal and has a wealth of experience from years of working with first-time dumpster renters to seasoned commercial clients.