How to Dispose of Challenging Trash
Get Waste Disposal Guidelines for Hard-to-Get-Rid-Of Items
Knowing how to dispose of trash properly is important for ensuring the health of our communities and environment. It’s also important for your wallet, since improper trash disposal often comes with a fee. Use this list to learn how to get rid of various tricky waste items.
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Remodeling or Construction Debris
This type of debris should generally be disposed of in a roll off dumpster. Construction and remodeling debris includes materials like drywall, concrete, flooring, shingles and lumber. While some of these items can be left at the curb in small quantities, renting a roll off dumpster is best for most situations.
There are three options for disposing of mattresses: curbside bulk collection (check your city’s bulk collection schedule), donation or a mattress recycling service. In some areas, you may also be able to dispose of a mattress in a roll off dumpster. While mattresses aren’t harmful to the environment, they typically can’t be disposed of with other trash because they take up too much landfill space.
E-waste should be handed over to an e-waste recycling service or dropped off at an electronics store that offers recycling. E-waste includes all electronic items, such as cellphones, laptops, tablets and televisions. Trash disposal guidelines are different for e-waste than other household waste due to the harmful chemicals it contains.
There are several trash disposal options for refrigerators: curbside bulk collection (check your city’s bulk collection schedule; may not be accepted in all cities), donation or a trade-in program through your power company (check for eligibility). Refrigerators that have been properly drained of refrigerants may also be accepted in a rental dumpster.
Tires should be recycled, which can generally be done through a local auto shop. In some cities, you also have the option of disposing of tires during curbside bulk collection events. Tires are banned from most landfills, and therefore from most dumpsters, because they can damage landfill infrastructure if they burst.
Hazardous materials should be disposed of at your city or county’s household hazardous waste facility. These materials include fuels and oils, car batteries and other items that contain lead, paints and various chemicals. Due to the dangers it poses, never dispose of this trash in your garbage can or in a dumpster.
Medical waste should be disposed of through a medical waste disposal service or at one of the DEA’s authorized drop-off locations. Medical waste includes needles, unused medications, various types of home health apparatus and any materials (such as bandages or gloves) that have been in contact with blood, bodily fluids or any potentially infectious matter. Due to the health risks involved, never dispose of this waste in your garbage can, a dumpster or by pouring it down a drain.