You’ve seen them. The shredded corners. The stained seats and covers. The smashed backs and tears in the fabric of your couch. Many times, you might come across an entire living room set sitting out in the back of an alleyway next to a dumpster.


But can you throw your furniture in a dumpster? What other items should not be tossed in a dumpster? Can you dump items in someone else’s dumpster?


Just because you can physically throw your furniture in a dumpster or a plentitude of other items, it doesn’t always mean you’re allowed to. No matter where you live, it is usually illegal to throw furniture or other items in someone else’s dumpster located on private property without permission.


Private property is simply that which isn’t owned by a state entity or a group of non-governmental entities. Dumpsters located at office buildings, apartment complexes and within shopping centers are technically considered to be on private property and using them to throw away personal trash or old furniture items is illegal.


That’s a high price to pay for getting rid of your junk. Even if you aren’t throwing your items in the dumpster, just leaving it next to the dumpster will get you in trouble for trespassing and littering.


Remember, whenever you throw something away in a dumpster, it eventually ends up in a landfill. Consult your local trash company if you have questions about what can be disposed of in dumpsters. They are often friendly, helpful and suggest a variety of ways for you to dispose of your unwanted items safely.


Here are some of the things that you usually can’t throw away in a dumpster:


  • furniture
  • mattresses
  • printer cartridges
  • refrigerators
  • large appliances
  • electronics
  • tires
  • propane tanks
  • air conditioners
  • paint and paint cans
  • car batteries
  • household cleaners
  • light bulbs
  • pesticides and herbicides