Although there are many different kinds of waste acceptable at the landfill; there are still certain items that are absolutely prohibited from being introduced into the dumpsters. This applies to any and all flammable, toxic, or hazardous materials, as well as additional items that you cannot throw in the dumpster. To determine if your materials fall under these categories check for warning labels and symbols on the items in question. Most chemical products will fall under these categories, including household cleaning solutions and sprays.
If you find any of these symbols on your waste items check for disposal instructions on the label. If none are present, consult your local sanitation department to find a hazardous waste collection center near you.
Additional prohibited items include the following:
All tires of any kind are prohibited due to the damage they can cause to landfills. Whole tires are capable of “floating” to the top of a landfill as methane gas builds up inside the tire’s inner wall, breaking plastic liners and ventilation pipes in the process. Tires should be left with local recyclers or reclamation companies in your area.
Car batteries are hazardous due to their lead-acid composition. These batteries contain high levels of lead and other heavy metals that cannot be mixed with other wastes. If you find yourself with a dead car battery, take it to an auto parts store or authorized recycling center.
Tree stumps are generally prohibited from landfills due to their bulkiness and tendency to cause damage to landfill liners.
Railroad ties are pieces of creosote-treated lumber used in the construction of railroad tracks. Railroad ties fall under prohibited items because of their creosote content, a substance derived from pitch tar that can be harmful when handled improperly. They are generally not accepted by landfills and should be disposed of according to local, state, and federal guidelines. It is not advised to burn or mulch railroad ties as their creosote coating can release harmful chemicals into the air.
Paints and lacquers are prohibited due to their potential for containing harmful elements such as lead or mercury, especially those manufactured prior to the 1990’s. They can also damage or permanently stain equipment such as garbage trucks and dumpsters. If you have left over paint cans or buckets, they should be disposed of according to local, state, and federal guidelines.
Prohibited oils include those used in automobiles, boats, and those used as general industrial lubricants. Used motor oil can be recycled through a number of nationwide retailers, as well as most auto parts and mechanic shops. Please consult local, state, and federal guidelines.
Asbestos is a flame retardant material found in older homes and various industrial products. It is considered to be a carcinogen in most US states and is banned from most landfills. Removing asbestos-containing materials from homes or offices is highly dangerous and should only be done by licensed contractors. Please consult local, state, and federal guidelines.
Infectious waste consists of materials used in medicine or that have come into contact with bodily fluids. Items such as hypodermic needles, insulin needles, and used bandages should be disposed of through waste haulers that are licensed to handle, transport, and dispose of medical waste.
Contaminated soils and absorbents that are mixed with hazardous substances cannot be disposed of through normal MSW haulers. Contaminated soils must either be treated or contained per federal superfund guidelines. Contaminated absorbents must likewise be treated or disposed of via hazardous waste processors. Please consult local, state, and federal guidelines.
Ink used in pens and printers, as well as resins, can damage equipment and stain the interior of dumpsters. These are best disposed of through recycling centers and/or retailers with drop-off locations.
Industrial drums are used to contain the byproducts of a number of different industrial processes. Often, these substances are considered hazardous and should be disposed of through licensed haulers and industry participants. Clean drums can be recycled as scrap metal.
Though food waste can be disposed of in a landfill, we do not allow for its disposal, due to its potential to attract vermin and spoilage.
All fuel types are banned from landfills. Gasoline/petroleum is highly flammable and should only be disposed of if it can no longer be used as a fuel source. Disposal should only be handled by hazardous waste disposal centers. Consult your local fire department or recycling center to find hazardous waste disposal centers near you.
Adhesives such as glue or epoxy should be disposed of with regular household trash or recycling, not a dumpster. Loose adhesives can damage the container or cause waste items to become entangled and hard to remove.
Items containing refrigerant must be evacuated according to federal disposal guidelines. For disposal of any item such as an air conditioner or refrigerator, please consult local, state, and federal guidelines
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