4 Things You Should Never Throw In Your Dumpster Rental

Local garbage disposal and recycling regulations control the type of construction waste you can throw into your dumpster rental. Although the dumpsters seem concealed from outside view, dumpster pick up professionals must directly inspect the contents of the container before disposing of the items in the landfill. If the dumpster contains banned items, you could lose your deposit or be required to clear out the contraband items before the company will empty the container. Luckily, you can avoid this situation by disposing of the following items elsewhere to avoid violations in most areas. Read on to learn more information.

Light Bulbs

You cannot throw compact fluorescent lamp, or CFL, bulbs straight into the trash, due to their mercury content. When the bulb breaks in the dumpster or landfill, mercury leaks out and contaminates all of the other items in the area.  

Mercury is a toxic chemical that can damage the environment, especially if it enters the groundwater. Furthermore, exposure to mercury puts nearby people and animals at risk of severe illness. The most serious side effects, such as tremors, cognitive changes and respiratory issues, occur upon inhaling mercury particles floating through the air.


Household electronics, like advanced switches, alarm control panels and garage door openers, contain harmful metal and chemical elements that can leech into the environment upon cracking open in the dumpster or landfill. The worst of the contaminants include cadmium in batteries, lead in solder, mercury in switches and chromium in protective coatings.

Although electronic manufacturers are attempting to move to safer material alternatives in their builds, most of the items you will come across for disposal are earlier models, which likely contain high amounts of these contaminants. To be safe, it's wise to dispose of all electronics at an approved recycling facility to avoid fines and delays.


Although paint and stain containers are sealed metal cans, you cannot simply throw the enclosed product into the dumpster for disposal. Items sitting on top of the cans will cause them to pop open and leak everywhere. Paint contains chemicals, like solvents, that can enter the groundwater and travel to streams, rivers and other large bodies of water in the area.

Fish and other wildlife often suffer ill effects upon coming into contact with these chemicals. In addition, water treatment facilities cannot pull all of these chemicals out of groundwater processed for human consumption. Prevent these issues by allowing the paint and stain to dry before disposing it at the recycling facility.

Cleaning Products

Although most cleaning products are water-based, it's still not safe to directly throw them in the landfill. Cleaning products may contain high amounts of bleach and ammonia that can mix together and create toxic gases. Bleach mixed with certain kinds of acid also produces harmful gases.

Exposure to these toxic chemical mixtures may cause breathing difficulties and irreversible damage to the mucus membranes in the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Cleaning product chemicals can also contaminate the groundwater and threaten the health of the environment, including animal and human populations.

Consider giving away your leftover cleaning products or using them for a different job. You can also take the partially filled containers to the recycling facility for proper disposal by professionals there.

Following Regulations

You can toss all of your plaster, paper, wood, plastic and rubber construction waste into the dumpster for disposal in the landfill. If you're unsure about a particular item, just call the dumpster rental company to determine if it's okay to place in that container. If not, take it to your local recycling facility for direct disposal there. Your local dump may also have an area cordoned off for hazardous waste drop offs. In addition, many cities hold hazardous waste recycling events several times a year at local community centers. 

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