5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in Dumpsters

pouring things when you shouldn't beIf you’re cleaning out old items from your home or beginning a remodeling process, beware that certain items cannot be placed in dumpsters.

Concern for public safety and the health of our environment fuels the reasoning behind these rules. The items that you throw out are likely to end up being hauled away to landfills.

These are specifically designed and regulated by the federal government for the protection of landfill employees as well as the environment.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the items that you can’t throw in dumpsters.

1. Chemical Waste

Landfills do not accept most chemical wastes. These types of waste include lead-based household cleaners, automobile oil, transmission fluid, engine fluid and pesticides.

These are not very harmful in the small quantities that you might be throwing out. However, they do cause severe damage when combined with other chemicals.

If everyone was allowed to dispose of them in dumpsters that head to landfills, there would be irrevocable harm done to the environment as they seep into the Earth. Also, wild animals often eat the trash stored in landfills.

2. Batteries

Batteries contain mercury, lead, cadmium and other poisonous chemicals which can be harmful to the environment in large doses.

Just like the chemicals discussed above, your small amount may not be damaging to the environment by itself — but when combined with others, the aggregate negative impact on the environment and wildlife is significant.

Items attached to the battery like cellular phones also can. Check with local retailers that sell batteries to see if they will accept used batteries and dispose of them in the correct manner.

3. Electronics

Appliances, computers, and computer accessories (like hard drives and printers) are not to be put into dumpsters.

They also contain some of the same harmful chemicals that are found in batteries. These chemicals can damage the Earth. So far, seventeen states have made it illegal to dispose of electronics in landfills. That means that dumpster companies will be fined if they are caught dumping electronic items into landfills.

Please save everyone involved a lot of trouble and do not put electronics into your dumpster.

4. Paint

Who doesn’t have some extra paint sitting around in a closet, basement, attic or garage? It seems like everybody does.

Don’t give into temptation and dump those old paint cans into the dumpster when you are cleaning out your home or after you’ve finished a paint job. There are harmful oils and chemicals in paint that will eventually seep into the ground and poison our water sources if improperly disposed of.

5. Heavy materials

Extra large items like automobile tires, bricks, asphalt, concrete and mortar should not be disposed of in dumpsters. It’s not safe for dumpster and landfill employees to remove such bulky items from dumpsters and into landfills.

The dumpster’s lifespan and quality will be significantly reduced when very heavy materials are placed into them. Do everyone a favor and put the bulky items out to your curbside in accordance with your town’s monthly large item removal schedule.

The silver lining in these caveats is that there are specific containers and locations to dispose of objects that have been banned from dumpsters. Auto repair businesses will accept old tires and oil. There are specially designed large dumpsters that can handle “heavy duty” objects with significant weight.

If you ever feel on the fence about disposing of a particular item, contact your dumpster rental company or your town’s information phone line to determine if it is legal to dispose of the item in a traditional dumpster.


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