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Dangerous Items You Should Never Throw in the Dumpster

Is your home or office building in need of a serious clean-out? If you’ve got a big cleaning job on your hand and have chosen to work with a dumpster service in Philadelphia. PA to get everything out; it can be tempting just to throw it all into a dumpster and forget about it.

However, there is junk that requires professional disposal, especially in large quantities. Certain items can severely damage the environment if disposed of improperly. Additionally, local laws and ordinances may prevent you from disposing of particular items deemed dangerous. Before you finish up with your dumpster rental in Philadelphia. PA, take a moment to ensure you haven’t thrown in any of these things away:

Paints and Solvents

Paints and solvents should never be disposed of with standard waste items. Oil-based paints, lead-based paints, and most solvents pose a serious threat to the environment if thrown out improperly. These liquids can leak into the surrounding ground and contaminate groundwater, causing lasting damage to the environment. In addition, certain solvents are toxic when mishandled and can injure sanitation workers if they aren’t aware of their presence.


If left in a standard landfill, batteries will decompose and begin to pollute groundwater. Batteries are extremely toxic and can quickly lead to the contamination of an area if not thrown out correctly. The good news is that you can protect the environment by recycling your old batteries. Most local recycling facilities accept used batteries, and many auto supply stores will provide a core charge that can be refunded upon returning an old battery after purchasing a new one. Always make sure to separate dead batteries of all types from the rest of your trash.

Ink Cartridges

Like batteries, ink cartridges pose a unique threat to the environment, especially the water supply, as their contents are poisonous to humans and animals. Printer manufacturers will often supply a pre-paid envelope to recycle used ink cartridges. Most office supply stores will also take them off your hands and ensure that they are correctly disposed of. Never throw out ink cartridges in the regular garbage, as their impact on the environment can be mitigated with proper disposal techniques.

Used Motor Oil and Antifreeze 

Both used motor oil and antifreeze are toxins that need to be disposed of by professionals. You can pour your used motor oil and antifreeze into empty milk jugs or other plastic containers and take them to your mechanic of choice for recycling. While mechanics take both antifreeze and motor oil, some may only take one or the other or will limit the quantity that they accept. Be sure to call ahead to ensure that your recycling will be accepted before arriving. Do NOT dispose of oil in the trash, and NEVER pour oil or antifreeze down a drain. You could do severe damage to the environment and would be breaking the law.


Electronic devices of all kinds have become part of our lives, and while it may seem harmless to throw them away with regular trash, that’s far from the truth. Electronics often contain items like small batteries, heavy metals, and other toxic materials that pollute the environment. Most townships no longer accept electronics at waste sites, and they should never be disposed of in a dumpster. Oftentimes, municipalities will have dedicated drop sites for electronic waste for proper disposal.

Pesticides and Herbicides

Pest and weed control chemicals should never be discarded in a dumpster. Pesticides and herbicides pose a substantial threat to wildlife and plant life and, if thrown out improperly, can leak into the ground causing significant damage to the environment. If you must throw away old pesticides and herbicides, contact your local township to find a participating hazardous waste disposal site in your area.


It is illegal to throw out tires in a dumpster. Each tire contains steel belts that can damage the liner of a landfill and eventually cause a leak. In most circumstances, if you purchase new tires for your car or truck, the auto shop or tire seller will recycle your old tires for a charge.

Products That Contain Asbestos

Asbestos is toxic and poses serious health risks for anyone that comes in contact with it. As a known carcinogenic, it is illegal to dispose of asbestos without proper containment measures to mitigate exposure. Asbestos will need to be thoroughly wrapped in plastic, clearly identifiable, and thrown out at specific disposal sites. If you’re using a dumpster during the renovation of an older building and find asbestos during your work, a professional should be contacted to remove the material.

WRS Dumpster Rental: We’re Here to Help With Your Dumpster Rental Needs

If you are interested in learning more about what you can’t dispose of in a dumpster or are interested in renting dumpster sizes, contact our friendly team at WRS Dumpster Rental for more information. We provide professional dumpster rentals for individuals and businesses who need to dispose of large quantities of trash. 

If you’ve been searching for a “large dumpster rental near me” online, call today! Whether you’re performing a clean-out or starting renovations at your home or business, contact WRS Dumpster Rental today for affordable pricing and excellent customer service.