Dumpster Rental Safety Tips

When renting and using a roll-off dumpster, it is important to always keep safety at the forefront of your mind. Dumpsters are construction equipment and should be treated as such. Like any construction equipment, they can present a danger when proper safety guidelines are not adhered to. Dumpster safety tips fall into three categories: Hazardous waste, weight and capacity, and spatial awareness. By following the tips laid out in this article, you can prevent injury during your dumpster rental period.

Hazardous Waste

Dumpster drop off truck

There are certain items that should never be thrown away in a dumpster of any kind. Hazardous waste is the most important thing to keep out of a roll-off dumpster. It can damage the dumpster and can injure you, others who use the dumpster, and our employees who haul the dumpster away. Hazardous waste includes toxic, corrosive, ignitable, chemically reactive, and organic waste materials. Batteries are a prime example of hazardous waste because they are both ignitable and contain toxic materials.

Toxic and corrosive materials should not be placed in dumpsters for two main reasons. First, they can be harmful to our employees who retrieve and transport the dumpster. Second, they can contaminate the environment when they are dumped into a landfill. Toxic materials seep into the soil and groundwater, harming plants and animals alike.

Despite often being used as jokes, dumpster fires are no laughing matter. Fire hazards are some of the most dangerous hazards that can be present when working with a roll-off dumpster. And it is even possible for a fire to break out when no ignitable waste, such as batteries, or chemically reactive waste was disposed of in the dumpster. If your dumpster is full of wood, paper, or other flammable material, it can still catch fire if you are not careful. For this reason, all open flames should be kept away from the dumpster. Many fires are caused by people smoking too close to dumpsters.

While it is fine for organic materials to be bagged and disposed of in dumpsters that have lids, it should be kept out of roll-off dumpsters. Organic waste includes items such as used diapers, which can cause disease, and food items, which can attract pests.

Weight and Capacity

Demolition debris

Every dumpster has a weight limit that depends on its size. These weight limits are in place so that the dumpster can be transported safely. For this reason, it is important that you do not go over the limit to the best of your ability by estimating the weight of the disposed of items. When ordering your dumpster, ask us about weight limits so we can help you choose the appropriate size for your project.

It is also important to evenly distribute the weight within the dumpster as much as possible. If all of the weight is on one side, it is possible for the dumpster to tip if it is not on level ground or if an external force is applied. Additionally, if the weight is not evenly distributed, it could lead to the shifting of debris within the dumpster. Not only can this be dangerous for anyone loading the dumpster, but it can also be a hazard during transportation after your rental is complete.

And lastly, at least as far as capacity limits go, your dumpster should not be overloaded. Material should not be hanging over the edge or piled higher than the walls of the dumpster. This could cause items to fall out and hurt passersby. It also makes the dumpster dangerous for transport, and will not be picked up by our crew if it is overfilled.

Spatial Awareness

To ensure the safety of everyone using and passing by the dumpster, the area around it should be kept free from debris. Do not lay junk on the ground outside of the dumpster to be placed inside later. This creates a tripping hazard for others who are carrying objects and may have their view of the ground compromised.

You should also always be aware of where other people are when throwing debris into the dumpster. Check to make sure nobody is inside the dumpster or in a nearby location where stray debris might land. Additionally, if your dumpster is located on a street, you will need to watch out for vehicles. Debris can hit vehicles or fall into the road if you are not careful. And, the driver of a vehicle may not see you if you walk out into the street after being hidden behind the dumpster.

Lastly, children should always be kept away from the dumpster. It may look like a place to play or hide, but it is very dangerous. They can be injured by falling into the dumpster, causing debris in the dumpster to shift, or by being struck by objects that are tossed over the side of the dumpster.


Roll-off dumpster rentals are usually straightforward affairs without incident. However, there are some dangers that you, as a renter, need to be made aware of. Hazardous waste is not meant to be put in any dumpster because it can damage the dumpster, harm people or the environment, cause fires, or attract pests. Weight and capacity limits must also be maintained so that the dumpster can be safely transported. And you should always be aware of your surroundings when using a dumpster.

Accurate Dumpster Rental

Do you need a roll-off dumpster for your next construction or home improvement project? Call Accurate Recycling today! We have five different dumpster sizes to choose from, so there’s always a size that can accommodate your needs.