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Don't Throw that Away! Guide to Eco-Friendly Junk Removal

Don't Throw that Away! Guide to Eco-Friendly Junk Removal

Prohibited items when using a rented dumpster

Renting a dumpster to clean out a house or business is the fastest and most efficient way to get the job done; however, some items are prohibited by law and/or by the dumpster rental company from being tossed. State laws vary regarding the types of material that can enter local landfills as do the list of prohibited items local dumpster rental companies accept. Here’s a quick rundown of several of the most common items prohibited by dumpster rental companies and how to properly dispose of them.


Tires



Scrap tires are banned from entering landfills in many states across the U.S., including Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas. Most other states have at least some legislation in place that addresses proper disposal of scrap tires. Tires are composed of many potentially toxic elements that can leach into groundwater when improperly dumped or release toxic chemicals into the air when burned.


The first place to look when trying to get rid of tires is your local tire retailer – most will accept used tires. You can also check the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website for the tire recycling programs available in your state.


Batteries



Batteries have become “cleaner” in recent years with the passing of legislation designed to make batteries more eco-friendly, such as the “Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act," of 1996. Small quantities of regular alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, C, etc…) are generally accepted at landfills and by dumpster rental companies, however, larger automobile batteries are not.


Batteries containing lead acid -- such as cars, motorcycles, power tools, wheelchairs – can be returned to the place of purchase for proper recycling or sold for scrap at a local metal scrap yard. Smaller batteries are accepted for recycling at battery retail stores and major electronics stores, such as Best Buy or Radio Shack. California has the toughest laws on battery disposal, according to the EHSO, so residents should be particularly diligent in disposing of allbatteries in the proper way.


Paint



Paint contaminates drinking water and local waterways when disposed of improperly. Paint manufactured before 1990 may contain lead, which is extremely toxic. Most states have banned paint from municipal landfills, so recycling it is the only option. You can find a local recycling facility near you by searching the Earth911 website or by consulting any local dumpster rental provider.


E-Waste



Some dumpster rental companies accept e-waste while others do not. E-waste includes any type of electronics, such as computers, cell phones and TVs. Electronics contain heavy metals and other toxic substances that can harm the environment, so recycling or reusing these items are the best options.


According to the EPA, recycling of e-waste recovers about 100 million pounds of reusable material each year which would otherwise end up in landfills. You can donate electronics in working condition to local charitable organizations or schools. This option offers a tax incentive for you. Most major electronics retailers offer e-waste recycling programs. You can also sell your electronics online at eBay or Craigslist. eBay offers a program called “Instant Sale” that gives an instant offer for your used electronics, and it even covers the shipping charge.


These are all great ways to get rid of all the electronics cluttering up your home, make a few bucks, and keep unnecessary waste from entering landfills. Keep in mind that some roll off container rental service providers will accept some of the items listed above under special circumstances. This is why it’s critically important to describe in detail the types of junk you plan on putting in the dumpster so the rental company can find the optimal solution for your needs.