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5 Things You Can’t Throw Away in a Rented Dumpster

Roll-off dumpsters make a vast number of home projects simpler and more convenient. Yard cleanups, home remodeling projects, and even moving — all of these are made so much easier if you don’t have to worry about where to throw all the stuff you don’t need or want anymore.

But even if these roll-off dumpsters are extremely convenient, it’s a mistake to think that anything and everything can be tossed into them. Here are five items that you generally can’t throw away when you rent a dumpster for your project.

Flammable liquids (gasoline, motor oil, etc.)

Liquids such as motor oil and gasoline are prohibited in dumpsters because of the pollution they cause in the environment, and also because they create combustion hazards. If these substances are burned or deposited in landfills, they release harmful pollutants into the air. Meanwhile, if they are mishandled, an explosion could take place. Most auto shops and a number of other small retailers will be happy to take old motor oil off your hands, and your local recycle center can offer helpful information regarding the disposal of fuel.


Paint is messy — it will stain both the dumpster and the garbage truck permanently. On top of that, some paint contains harmful chemicals — especially product that is left over from the 1980s or before. Some dumpster services do accept empty paint cans, but it’s better to check and make sure. If the rental company sees that you’ve thrown paint in the dumpster, you may have to fish it out again — or pay a fee.


In times past, asbestos was used in homes for insulation as well as in other industrial materials, but this material is now well known as a carcinogen and must be removed from homes immediately upon finding it. However, you can’t just throw contaminated materials in a dumpster, even if you’re paying good money for it. Federal and State laws dictated that asbestos be removed professionally and thoroughly wherever it is found — so if you’re aware of asbestos in your home, the right thing to do is contact your local government and take proper steps to remove it.

Propane tanks (unless the valve is removed from the tank)

Propane tanks are highly flammable when being transported — that’s why it’s unsafe to throw away tanks unless the valve is removed and the tank is completely empty. Some companies require extra fees or special services to have propane tanks removed with the valve still in place. Most, however, allow empty tanks with no valve to be thrown in.

Certain appliances containing refrigerants (refrigerators, freezers, AC units)

Large appliances make the dumpster incredibly heavy, making work difficult for those at dumpster companies and landfills. More importantly, appliances containing refrigerants can be harmful to the environment. Refrigerators that have already been drained properly can oftentimes be placed in dumpsters, but it’s best to consult your local dumpster rental company for specifics regarding this issue.

Good service record

Finding a good dumpster rental company that has a good service record will make your home project run more smoothly. Having a large container outside your home while you work on house projects will save you time and money. For these items that are prohibited, use proper channels to get rid of them safely and effectively — everybody wins!