How To

5 Things That Aren’t Allowed in Roll-off Dumpsters (And How to Dispose of Them)

Large roll-off dumpster with tires, a coffee maker, and toaster above. A big red slash goes through diagonally.

No one likes to be hit with unexpected dumpster fees. But it can be difficult to know how to dispose of things when you can’t just chuck it all in your dumpster rental and call it a day. We’ve compiled a list to help you know what things can’t go in a roll-off dumpster and what to do with them instead.

1. Mattresses

How to Dispose of Mattresses

If your mattress is free of any major rips, stains, or odors, you can likely donate, or even sell it. If the mattress is no longer fit to sleep on, however, your best option may be to recycle it. Many areas have at least one recycling facility nearby that will accept a whole mattress. 

Alternatively, with a few tools and a bit of time, you can easily break down your mattress to dispose of or reuse the parts separately. 

If you’re unable to donate, give away, recycle, or upcycle your mattress, there’s always the option to throw it out. Check your local municipality for the rules on curbside mattress disposal, or you can pay a small fee to dispose of a mattress in your rental dumpster or local landfill. 

2. Tires

How to Dispose of Tires

The easiest way to get rid of used tires is through a tire shop. Many tire retailers build the cost of taking your old tires into the price of buying and installing new ones. 

If you’re not able to bring in your scrap tires, you can check with your local government to see if your area has a bulky trash pickup day. A landfill may accept your tires as well, but they will usually charge a fee.

Lastly, old tires can also be upcycled for a new purpose such as a tire swing or pet bed.

3. Batteries

How to Dispose of Batteries

There are a few different types of batteries, and they have varying requirements.

Button cell batteries must be recycled, due to their silver and mercury content. You can take them to your nearest battery drop-off site, like those at The Home Depot. Watch repair shops may also take these batteries for recycling.

Lithium-ion batteries follow a similar procedure. You can take them to a local recycling point, or find a battery manufacturer with a mail-in program. Before mailing batteries, be sure to follow shipping precautions.

Car batteries contain lead and acid, so you can’t recycle them or put them in the trash. Most car shops will accept old car batteries and dispose of them properly. 

4. Electronics

How to Dispose of Electronics

If they still work, you can donate or sell your old electronics. If they’re irreparable, you can likely find a local electronics recycling drop-off site such as your nearest Staples. Furthermore, many electronic companies have an exchange program where they take back your old tech for a discount on the newest version.

5. Chemicals

How to Dispose of Chemicals

This is a pretty broad category, but it covers many different areas. 

Flammable materials like gasoline are considered Household Hazardous Products and need to be disposed of at a community disposal event or a household hazardous waste collection center.

Corrosive or acidic cleaning materials aren’t allowed in roll-offs, but can generally be safely disposed of down the drain. 

Latex paint can be dried out by removing the lid or using kitty litter to absorb it, and then it can be thrown away in a dumpster or household trash. If you don’t want to wait for it to dry, old paint can also be taken to a Hazardous Household Waste Facility.