What can’t be thrown in a dumpster?

Are there things you can’t put in a dumpster? Actually, yes. And there are things you might not think of. Dumpsters are essential for construction and renovation projects, but not everything can be thrown in a dumpster. If you think you’re going to slide by and dump everything in your roll-off rental, you might be in for a surprise. Throwing away items that don’t belong in a landfill could result in a delayed dumpster pickup, and more than likely some additional fees. The best way to avoid problems is to know exactly what materials can – and can’t – be thrown in a dumpster before you start using it.

What materials aren’t allowed in dumpsters?

Rules vary from one municipality to the next, so if you know you may have some questionable items on your worksite, check with your roll-off rental company before you rent the dumpster. You’ll have to arrange for special waste removal if you have things like medical waste or certain building materials, such as wood or debris that may have been contaminated with lead or asbestos. There are some other materials you may not have considered, though. Here’s a list of commonly prohibited materials. 

Hazardous Materials

Chemicals, cleaning products, corrosive materials and batteries are all examples of hazardous materials that dumpster rental companies won’t allow to be placed in roll-offs. Add to that list any paints, herbicides, pesticides, liquid waste, freon, fuel tanks, and neon light ballasts. Any corrosive or acidic chemicals, and any paint thinner, stains or varnishes will also make the list. If you wouldn’t pour it into the ground, it probably won’t be allowed in a landfill.  

Flammable Materials

Flammable liquids like gasoline are probably a no-brainer in this category – you don’t want to cause a landfill fire. But there could be other flammable materials on a jobsite. If you come across containers of chemicals and you aren’t sure whether they’re flammable, look for a flammable hazard symbol on the container. When in doubt, assume the worst and treat unknown liquids or chemicals as potentially flammable or hazardous.

Certain Building Materials

As mentioned, some building materials contain hazardous waste (like asbestos) that cannot be placed in dumpsters. Other types of building materials, like concrete and bricks, are usually allowed in your roll-off, but weight limits will apply. Concrete and brick weight adds up, and there may be restrictions on the amount you can throw out in any one pickup. Check with your rental company before you place your order to learn their policies and weight limits. 

Infectious or Medical Waste

Infectious debris and medical waste are not allowed in dumpsters. This includes obvious things like rags or cloths contaminated with body secretions, needles, red bags and sharps. But you might not know medications can also be considered medical waste. Look out for anything associated with medical treatments. This includes medications during bathroom renovations. You don’t want them ending up in a landfill and causing contamination.

These materials are mainly an issue for commercial facility renovations. Construction and renovation companies should communicate with clients before the job starts to determine what kind waste to expect during the project.

Regular Household Garbage

Some roll-off dumpster companies have regulations around regular household waste, including food waste. You may be fined for throwing food and household waste in a roll-off rental, so be aware. If you need to throw away small amounts of food or household waste in the course of your project, just use the regular municipal garbage collection bins. If you think you’ll throw out a lot of food waste, such as a restaurant renovation, talk with your rental company about disposal options.

Why are there waste rules?

Some of the prohibited items listed above are regulated by government agencies and simply can’t be dumped in landfills. Other materials may be regulated by the dumpster rental company because they can’t properly manage that type of waste. Concrete, for example, can become too heavy to move when placed in a roll-off dumpster.

How can I throw away items that can’t go in a dumpster?

If you have materials that can’t be placed in a dumpster, contact the local sanitation department to find the appropriate method of disposal. The sanitation department may direct you to a recycling center or a private entity that manages that particular waste in the area. Your dumpster rental company may also be able to point you in the right direction.  

There may be extra fees associated with the disposal of these materials. If so, make sure any fees are explained up front and factored into your rental contract. Keep in mind, some materials may require testing before you throw them out. Lead and asbestos testing are common examples. Do your homework and make sure any additional fees are written into the contract before starting the project. 

We’ve helped construction companies manage hazardous waste disposal, and we can help you navigate the disposal process. Give us a call and we’ll help you find the right solution for your project.

How do you install temporary fencing?

Temporary fencing is one of the most important site rentals for construction sites, outdoor special events (who wants wedding crashers?), and large public events like carnivals and fairs. Temporary fencing is useful because it can be moved and shifted as needed, and when properly installed, it serves as an effective barrier that can keep people safe and perimeters secure. So, how do you install temporary fencing? It’s not very difficult, but it does need to be done correctly to keep it secure. The last thing you want is fencing blowing over or creating a hazard.

One special note on fencing: in some areas, installation must be done by qualified technicians. Your temporary fence rental company will be able to help guide you on any local regulations.

1. Assess the Space

Temporary fencing requires level, sturdy ground. It’s best to install fencing during good weather, because mud, rain and wind will make installing your temporary fencing more challenging. Avoid installing fencing on slippery, muddy surfaces or areas where there are sharp dips or changes in elevation. One rainstorm could knock your fencing down. Take the time to survey your space and find the most level, clear, and solid foundation.

2. Establish the Perimeter

Map out where you plan to put down the fence. We have a temporary fencing tool to help you do that. Once you know roughly where your fencing will go, establish the boundary with a line of spray paint on the ground or by setting up cones and caution tape to mark where the fence will go. As a side note: setting up caution tape will help you visualize the fence and will help keep the public away while you’re installing the fencing, which provides a temporary barrier while you work. 

3. Set Up the Base

You’ll need to lay out base blocks to secure your temporary fencing. Base blocks generally come with your fencing rental and they’re easy to use. They’re heavy and keep the fencing panels securely in place along your perimeter. Lay the first base block for your temporary fencing, then place a fence panel in the block. You’ll put a second block beneath the panel on the other side. Next, you’ll insert the next panel into that block and add another block on the other side of that panel. You’ll use this same technique of inserting a leg of each fence panel into a base block all around your perimeter.  

4. Use a Fence Clamp

Connect the first two panels with a fence clamp. A fence clamp stabilizes the fencing and prevents it from wobbling, so tighten the clamp well. Continue to install the fencing all the way around your perimeter by installing one panel at a time and linking pairs of panels with fence clamps. If you’re adding a gate, install it in the same way using base blocks and fence clamps.

5. Install Safety Stays

Safety stays are anchors that keep the fence upright. They’re an important part of the safety and stability of your fence. You’ll install the stays after the entire fence has been assembled. Connect stays to the backs of the fencing panels using brackets near the middle and at either end of the temporary fence. Keep the stays weighted down with something heavy, like a sandbag. 

6. Install Wrapping (If Required)

If you’re installing temporary fencing around a construction site, you may be required to install wrapping around the fence to prevent debris and dust from leaving the construction site. Some companies use banner mesh, other companies use shade cloth rolls. There are different options depending on what you need. Your temporary fence rental company will be able to help you decide what kind of wrapping to choose. Wrapping is rolled on and secured with clips or ties.

7. Inspect Periodically

Temporary fencing can shift over time, especially if it is in a public area. Fencing also gets moved or knocked over during heavy storms or inclement weather. Check your temporary fencing periodically to ensure it’s in good condition, where you intended it to be, and it’s not creating problems for the public. Some other tips:

  • Treat the area for weeds in spring and spray the spaces between and inside base blocks.
  • Sandbags can burst or leak slowly over time, so check sandbags periodically to ensure they’re not damaged. 
  • If there is a risk of your fence toppling over in the wind, set up the fencing panels in a zig-zag pattern, or install a perpendicular panel every 5 panels, to keep the fence stabilized. 

Installing temporary fencing correctly will keep your site secure as well as prevent the fencing from falling over. Your temporary fencing rental company can help you choose the right fencing and installation options for your location. We’ve been helping construction and outdoor event coordinators rent and install temporary fencing since 2009. Give us a call to schedule fencing or bundle all your site services in one package.