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While renting a dumpster is incredibly convenient for waste removal, it’s important to know what you can and cannot safely toss. To avoid costly fees and improper disposal, be sure to review what you can and cannot throw in a dumpster rental from Western Elite.

What You Can Put in a Dumpster

For residential or commercial sites, there’s a lot that can go in your dumpster rental.


Some appliances can be thrown in a dumpster rental without question. Smaller appliances usually pass the test, including blenders, toasters, and microwaves.


As long as it doesn’t put you over the weight limitations, you can usually put asphalt in a dumpster. We always recommend a Lowboy for heavy debris such as asphalt, as it’s easier to load.


If you’re remodeling and disposing of brick, it’s usually accepted in dumpsters designed for heavy loads.


Much like asphalt and brick, concrete is an acceptable material for most dumpster rentals. 

Construction Debris

Other construction debris is safe to toss in your dumpster rental, including carpet, countertops, drywall, flooring, insulation, shingles, and tile.


Untreated lumber is safe to toss in a dumpster rental, provided it doesn’t put you over the weight limit. If you can’t reuse old 2X4s or studs, add them to the bin for collection.


As long as you have a dumpster specified for heavy loads, you can usually get rid of stone in one.


To go along with other construction debris, tile can be disposed of in a dumpster rental. Just remember to keep weight limitations in mind when filling up.

Wooden Furniture

Untreated wooden furniture can find its way into a rented dumpster if need be. Bookshelves, chairs, tables, and bedframes are accepted at most landfills or recycling centers.

Yard Waste

If you’re doing yard clean up, trimmings and leaves can be collected in a dumpster rental. You can even check for specific green waste dumpsters if you want to try keeping yard waste out of a landfill; green waste collection ensures that organic materials are repurposed into usable products such as mulch.

What You Cannot Put in a Dumpster

Proper disposal of the following items is imperative to keeping potentially dangerous materials out of landfills and recycling facilities.


Gooey adhesives are not permitted in dumpsters due to the potential risks they pose. If they leak, they can not only ruin the dumpster but negatively impact the environment.

Air Conditioners and Refrigerators

Thanks to toxic freon, AC units and fridges can’t be tossed in a dumpster for collection. Air conditioners and refrigerators should always be fully drained of freon and disposed of properly.


Some old construction materials are made with asbestos, which must be professionally remediated for public health. Any household or construction waste that contains asbestos cannot be put into a dumpster rental for collection.

Cleaning Fluids

Household cleaners should not be thrown into a dumpster or dumped down the drain. It’s always best to read safe handling and disposal instructions from the manufacturer to avoid contaminating anything with cleaning fluids.

Food Waste

Organic food waste isn’t accepted in Western Elite dumpsters, and other companies may have similar policies. Instead of tossing food, consider composting if possible to keep it from collecting in a landfill and generating methane gas.

Fuel and Oil

Fuel and oils need to be disposed of according to local municipal waste regulations. Neither one can safely be added to a dumpster with other debris.

Industrial Drums

Empty or not, industrial drums cannot be put into a dumpster rental. Harmful byproducts may be lingering in the drums and, as such, they should be considered hazardous waste material.

Inks and Resins

Much like adhesives, inks and resins can damage the dumpster and the environment. These materials can usually be recycled through specific programs to avoid environmental and equipment contamination.

Lithium and Car Batteries

These batteries contain harmful chemicals that can leach into the soil if thrown in a traditional dumpster or trash can. Instead, car batteries should be taken to a recycling facility that specializes in safe disposal.

Paint and Lacquer

Much like fuel and oil, paint and lacquer don’t belong in a dumpster.

Medical Waste

Due to the possibility of infection, medical waste materials and supplies cannot be collected in a residential or commercial dumpster rental.

Hazardous Waste

Anything with a hazardous waste symbol shouldn’t be dumped in a rental.

Hot Water Tanks

Due to the potential for hot water tanks to explode, they can’t be sent to a landfill from a dumpster. Like appliances with freon, they should be handled by a professional who can follow regulations for safe disposal.

Railroad Ties

Railroad ties are not safe for dumpsters since they’ve been treated with preservatives. You can usually take them to a landfill yourself, or to an upcycling program for reuse.

What You Can SOMETIMES Put in a Dumpster

Sometimes you might be permitted to put some of these items into your dumpster. It’s always important to confirm with Western Elite before disposal so you’re not subject to an additional fee for unacceptable items.

  • Aerosol Cans
  • Dirt
  • Electronics
  • Food Waste
  • Mattresses
  • Tree Stumps
  • Upholstered Furniture

How To Find Out What You Can Put in a Dumpster Rental

Since there’s a bit of a “Sometimes, Always, Never” rule to what can go into a dumpster, the best way to be prepared is to ask us! We’re happy to discuss your rental needs and recommend the best course of action based on what you need to dispose of.

Western Elite recycles as much waste as possible that’s collected in our dumpsters, so only accepted items must be included in our containers so as not to contaminate anything.