A Guide to What Can and Can’t Be Put in a Rental Dumpster

Have a junk or waste removal project coming up? Are you unsure of what you can and cannot put in a dumpster that you rent?

While many items can be disposed of with the use of a rental dumpster, there are some items that simply cannot. These are typically hazardous in some way or harmful to the environment and tossing these items in a rental dumpster can result in some legal actions against you.

And while some dangerous items may be more evident that they cannot be put inside a rental dumpster, other items might surprise you.

So, with these concerns in mind, this quick guide lays out what items and junk can be unloaded when using a rental dumpster and waste removal service. And this guide will highlight the items that cannot be disposed of when you rent a dumpster.

Let’s clear up some of that confusion!

What Can Be Put in a Rental Dumpster

Whatever your reasoning behind needing a rental dumpster you may be surprised by what you can actually toss into a dumpster.

-Most Building and Construction Materials

For construction site owners and operators and homeowners undergoing major home renovation projects, there will be large amounts of building materials and construction debris that will need to be disposed of throughout the process.

The good new is that almost all of these materials can simply be tossed in your rental dumpster. Including, but not limited to: bricks, asphalt, nails, drywall, siding, lumber, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, concrete, screws, cabinetry, flooring materials and subflooring, countertops, tiles, stone, and other construction debris.

-Aerosol Cans and Containers, That Have Been Emptied

Household cleaning products, beauty products, spraypaint, and air fresheners are just some of the common items we use every day that come in aerosol cans. It can be tricky trying to decide on how to dispose of these canisters once you are done with them. While the chemicals and pressure in aerosol cans cause some safety and environmental concerns, you can simply toss an empty aerosol can into the dumpster when finished with it. The key term here is emptied! A can that is even partially full can be in danger of exploding in a rental dumpster.

-Many Household Appliances

It may be surprising but most household appliances can be tossed out in a rental dumpster. Mixed right into your other household items and junk. Now, some exceptions may apply depending on your local municipality’s rules. But for the most part, as long as you have drained the Freon, chemicals, and fluids from your old appliances, then yes, you can throw out these appliances in your dumpster.

-Household Junk and Wood Furniture

The main reason many homeowners decide to rent a dumpster is to rid their homes of old furniture and other household junk. And the good news is that rental dumpster companies will accept almost all of these materials and junk. So, go ahead and load up your rental dumpster with those old children’s toys, worn-out furniture, out-of-date clothing, and other household items you simply do not have a use for anymore.

What Cannot Be Put Inside a Rental Dumpster


Freon and other types of coolant found in air conditioners cannot be put in a rental dumpster or in the regular trash. In fact, tossing Freon in the trash comes with a massive fine as coolant is extremely dangerous to the environment and people if not properly disposed of. Coolants must be recovered and/or recycled by a licensed professional.

-Car and Lithium Batteries

Car batteries and lithium batteries, like those found in many portable electronics and used in many laptops today, are hazardous to the environment. These types of batteries need to be properly recycled in order to avoid them leaking dangerous chemicals.

-Glue and Adhesives

The reasoning behind not allowing glues and adhesives in rental dumpsters are a little different than other materials. Adhesives are more likely to cause damage to the dumpster and equipment.

-Water Heaters

Water heaters pose a unique risk and the main reason these are not allowed to be placed in a rental dumpster is that they contain a lot of pressurized gas and are at risk of exploding.

-Fuel and Propane Tanks

The fact that these are not allowed in dumpster rentals probably is not a major surprise. These materials are not only flammable but they are combustible as well.

-Fluorescent Lightbulbs

This item might be a bit of a surprise. Fluorescent lightbulbs actually contain a tiny percentage of mercury. But it is enough mercury that makes fluorescent lightbulbs hazardous and not allowed in rental dumpsters.

-Rubber Tires

This is another common item that might not be a major surprise that you can’t place in a rental dumpster. Rubber tires must be recycled and they cannot go to landfills. This is why most automotive stores charge an extra fee to dispose of old tires.

-Paint Cans

Paint cans raise several concerns which are why they are not allowed in a rental dumpster. The first, and most obvious reason that paint cans are not allowed in rental dumpsters is the environmental impact they can have. Most paint and related products/chemicals are hazardous to the environment and need to be properly disposed of. The second reason dumpster rental companies do not want paint cans tossed in their dumpsters is the damage paint cans do. Ay leftover paint or chemicals within these cans quickly leak out and damage the dumpster.

-Hazardous Waste

While the term hazardous waste might be a little vague, it is important to remember that certain materials pose both environmental concerns and health issues for people and animals. Many dangerous chemicals will have safety labels noting that it is not safe to simply toss these products into the trash. Anything flammable or combustible cannot go into a rental dumpster due to safety concerns. And blood, bodily fluids, and other biologically hazardous materials pose a major health risk to the general public and cannot, under any circumstances, go into a rental dumpster.


The rules for the types of electronics that can and cannot be disposed of in the trash vary from state to state. And some specific municipalities have their own rules on how electronics can be disposed of. As a general rule, TV sets, printers, laptops, and other electronics that use lithium batteries, cannot go into a rental dumpster.