Responsible Trash Disposal: Six Things You Should Never Put In A Dumpster

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Renting a trash dumpster can be an excellent way to facilitate cleaning or remodeling projects, but you must refrain from placing inappropriate materials into the bin. Doing so can jeopardize the local environment and create a safety hazard. Accordingly, many dumpster rental companies charge additional fees if hazardous or unauthorized materials are placed inside.

Some of the items you should avoid placing in a dumpster are relatively intuitive. No conscientious person would, for example, place flammable materials in a trash receptacle. However, many other items, which aren't as obviously hazardous, must be disposed of in alternative ways.

  1. Batteries – While most states (California is an exception) allow single-use alkaline batteries (such as the double A batteries in your television's remote control) to be disposed of without any special precautions, many other types of batteries contain corrosive chemicals, such as mercury and silver oxide. All rechargeable batteries should be taken to a recycling center, as should any large batteries, such as car batteries.
  2. Strong Cleaning Chemicals – Chemicals designed for cleaning bathroom fixtures, ovens, and similar difficult-to-clean items contain extremely strong acids or bases. These chemicals may react violently with other chemicals in the dumpster, or they can leach out into the ground once in a landfill.
  3. Paint and Paint Thinner – While water-based latex paints can be allowed to dry and discarded normally, oil-based paints should never be placed in a rented dumpster. Instead, they must be taken to a hazardous waste collection center.
  4. Pesticides and Herbicides – While most commonly used pesticides and herbicides are safe to use in small amounts, discarding large quantities improperly can cause them to contaminate vast areas of land. Always refer to the manufacturer's disposal instructions when dealing with such chemicals.
  5. Smoke Detectors – Believe it or not, smoke detectors often contain a very minute quantity of radioactive material. Instead of throwing old or broken smoke detectors in the garbage, take them to a hazardous waste center for proper disposal.
  6. Electronics – Electronic devices often contain a variety of heavy metals, which can have a devastating effect on the local environment. While the amounts contained in most devices are small, the sheer number of these items that are discarded on a daily basis can cause these chemicals to build up to unsafe levels.

If you are unsure whether a material or item can be disposed of in the dumpster, contact the rental company before doing so. This will help you protect the environment, keep the dumpster safe and avoid additional rental fees. For more information, contact local professionals like RMS Containers.