What am I Allowed to Put in My Dumpster?

February 10 | by Greg Westfall


Most of us are aware of what’s allowed when it comes to our trash and recycling bins. After all, the average American produces a staggering 4.4 pounds of waste per day. But do we know the rules around what you can (and can’t!) put in your dumpster? 

Just like municipal waste programs, dumpster companies have their own rules around what’s allowed in their rental containers. Not only are these guidelines in line with state regulations, but they’re also in place for environmental reasons, too.

Because construction and renovation work tends to generate a lot of hazardous waste, there are a number of items that aren’t allowed. They include:

Although the above items can’t be put in your dumpster, most other waste materials are allowed. Let’s explore some of the items that a container rental firm like VaVia will gladly accept. 

General Construction Debris

Most non-hazardous waste from a construction or reno project is generally allowed in your dumpster. Things like wood siding, roofing shingles, vinyl flooring and demolition debris are all permitted. If you’re getting rid of household junk in the process, consider tossing these items in your bin as well. From old bed frames to useless trinkets, a container rental is a safe and efficient way to accumulate all kinds of unwanted goods.   


Tables, chairs, lamps and couches are all acceptable in a dumpster. There are some U.S. states, however, that won’t accept upholstered items or mattresses in their local landfills. Be sure to check with your container provider about the types of furniture they’ll haul away. If you plan on renting a dumpster through VaVia, we can provide you with a clear list of accepted items. Our team can even offer advice on how to dispose of goods not on the list.


Most household appliances, including laundry machines and dishwashers, can be tossed in your dumpster. The only thing to watch for are appliances that run on freon. If you want to get rid of a refrigerator, freezer or air-conditioner, be sure to remove the freon compartment prior to disposal. An appliance specialist will be able to do this for you. 

When throwing out old appliances, check for retail programs that offer discounts towards the purchase of new ENERGY STAR® models. This way, you can take advantage of cash incentives while upgrading the energy-efficiency of your home or business. 


Generally speaking, most electronics are allowed, including computers, printers and TVs. But if you’re clearing out your office, for example, and have a ton of electronic waste -- you may be required to dispose of these items through a municipally-regulated program instead. If you’re unsure, ask our team what the protocol is for handling e-waste in your region. 

Yard Waste

In states like Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, outdoor renovations are common all year-round. Landscaping projects, patio upgrades and swimming pool installations are popular among homeowners here. But this type of construction often generates a lot of yard waste. Although your local waste program will accept trees, branches and brush -- it may be easier for you to toss yard debris into a dumpster, rather than bagging everything individually. 

Depending on your location, you may be limited in terms of how much yard waste can be sent to the landfill. Ask VaVia what the regulations are when signing up for your bin

Green Ways to Dispose of Unacceptable Waste

Although most dumpster professionals are flexible in what they’ll accept, there will be materials that are simply not allowed. So here are some eco-friendly ways to handle disallowed waste items: 

Why choose VaVia?

Whether you’re renovating your kitchen or clearing out your garage, rely on VaVia for safe and efficient waste disposal. Our team has more than 20 years of experience providing container rentals for both homeowners and contractors. Clients have come to appreciate our 10 and 15-yard dumpsters that are slim, yet sturdy. Our bins can fit into tight spaces with minimal impact to your project site -- while still strong enough to handle whatever you throw at them. With easy delivery and pick-up options, our dumpsters are just a phone call away!

For more information on renting a dumpster, call VaVia at 1-833-GO-VAVIA or contact us here