What Is Allowed in a Dumpster?

This may seem like a silly question, but what can you dispose of in a rented dumpster? Garbage, right? Well, most garbage, but some items are illegal to dispose of in dumpsters. You could end up breaking your contract with the dumpster rental company, not to mention legal fines.
Read on to find out what Oaks Dumpster Rental, a leader in the industry, has to say about what’s acceptable to throw in a dumpster — and what’s not.

Construction & Home Improvement Waste

Nearly everything on a construction site may be thrown in a dumpster. This includes:

  • Asphalt shingles
  • Bricks
  • Cabinets
  • Concrete
  • Countertops
  • Drywall
  • Flooring
  • Lumber
  • Siding
  • Stone
  • Tile
  • & More

Keep in mind that there are weight limits on some rentals, and especially heavy loads may incur additional fees.


As long as you drain all hazardous fluids from appliances, they may be disposed of in a dumpster. This includes AC units and refrigerators.


25 states have electronics recycling legislation. New York State is one of them. For specific information on recycling electronics in NY, go to: https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/66872.html.

Household Waste

Any non-hazardous household waste can be put in a dumpster. The EPA defines household hazardous waste as “toxic, corrosive, ignitable, or reactive.” Some examples are motor oil, automotive batteries, paints and solvents, household cleaners, drain openers, and pesticides.

Yard Waste

Tree branches, leaves, brush, and other natural yard waste is fine to throw in your dumpster


Any asbestos or renovation debris that has been in contact with asbestos must be disposed of by a professional contractor, not put in a dumpster with other debris.

Hazardous Materials

Pesticides, freon, motor oil, asbestos, auto fluids, and other hazardous materials may not be disposed of safely in a dumpster. Contact your local government or state EPA office to find out where to drop off hazardous wastes.

Hot Water Tanks

Empty hot water tanks can collect gases inside and potentially explode. If you are replacing your hot water tank, ask the company installing a new one if they offer disposal services for the old one.


Highly combustible materials such as gas, oil, propane tanks, or other fuel may not be put in a dumpster. This is a significant safety risk and is illegal in most areas. Contact your fire department for information on disposal.


The hollow at the center of a tire can trap methane gas when a tire is placed in a landfill. This can cause serious damage to the liner of the landfill, so these are not to be disposed of in dumpsters. Bring tires to your local auto parts store for disposal.

Still Not Sure?

If you are unsure if something is acceptable and safe to discard in a dumpster, contact Oaks Dumpster Rental at 866.649.OAKS to speak with an expert.