Accepted Materials in Dumpsters – Helping guide your project.

The following is a list of the accepted materials for our roll-off dumpsters in San Luis Obispo County and roll-off dumpsters in Santa Barbara County.

  • Asphalt
  • Bricks
  • Cabinetry
  • Cardboard
  • Carpet
  • Ceramic Fixtures
  • Conduit
  • Concrete
  • Drywall
  • General Debris
  • Glass
  • Green-waste
  • Insulation
  • Lumber
  • Masonry
  • Metal
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Roofing
  • Tile (ceramic, vinyl, etc.)
  • Window Glass
  • Wiring
  • Wood (Including Painted)
  • Yard Cleanup

Materials that are NOT ACCEPTED in dumpsters

Lights, Batteries, and Electronics

Fluorescent lamps and tubes. Includes fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps, metal halide lamps, and sodium vapor lamps.

Batteries. Includes all batteries, AAA, AA, C, D, button cell, 9-volt, and all others, both rechargeable and single use. Also lead-acid batteries such as car batteries.

Computer and television monitors. Most monitors are currently considered hazardous waste when they have lived their life and are ready for recycling or disposal, including cathode ray tube (CRT), liquid crystal diode (LCD), and plasma monitors. Learn about the State program to offset the cost of proper television and monitor recycling.

Electronic devices. Includes computers, printers, VCRs, cell phones, telephones, radios, and microwave ovens.

Mercury-Containing Items.

Electrical switches and relays. These typically contain about 3.5 grams of mercury each. Mercury switches can be found in some chest freezers, pre-1972 washing machines, sump pumps, electric space heaters, clothes irons, silent light switches, automobile hood and trunk lights, and ABS brakes.

Thermostats that contain mercury. There is a mercury inside the sealed glass “tilt switch” of the old style thermostats (not the newer electronic kind).

Pilot light sensors. Mercury-containing switches are found in some gas appliances such as stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, water heaters, furnaces, and space heaters.

Mercury gauges. Some gauges, such as barometers, manometers, blood pressure, and vacuum gauges contain mercury.

Mercury thermometers. Mercury thermometers typically contain about a half gram of mercury. Many health clinics, pharmacies and doctor’s offices have thermometer exchange programs that will give you a new mercury-free fever thermometer in exchange for your old one.

Mercury-added novelties. Examples include greeting cards that play music when opened; athletic shoes (made before 1997) with flashing lights in soles; and mercury maze games.

Household and Landscape Chemicals

Flammables and poisons. Includes solvent-based (oil) paints and reactive and explosive materials.

Acids, oxidizers, and bases. Includes some pool chemicals and cleaners.

Pesticides and herbicides. Many pesticides and herbicides cannot be disposed in the trash. Consult the product label or check with your local household hazardous waste agency.

Paints and Solvents

Latex paint.

Oil-based paint (also listed under flammables).

Nonempty aerosol paint or solvent cans (all nonempty aerosol cans are banned from the trash).

Solvents. Includes materials such as paint thinners, finger nail polish remover, etc.

Building Materials

Asbestos. Includes some older kinds of cement, roofing, flooring and siding. More information on asbestos in your home is available from the U.S. EPA.

Treated Wood. Includes wood that is treated with chromium copper arsenate (CCA).

Automobile Related



Motor oil and filters.

Tires.(Note that tires are not considered hazardous, but automotive tires are banned from the trash for other reasons)


Compressed gas cylinders. Includes propane tanks used for BBQ or plumbing.

Needles and sharps generated in home health care. Includes hypodermic needles, hypodermic needles with syringes, blades, needles with attached tubing, syringes contaminated with biohazardous waste, acupuncture needles, root canal files, broken glass items such as Pasteur pipettes, and blood vials.

PCB-containing materials. Includes paint and ballasts that contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB).

Photo waste (silver bearing).

Nonempty aerosol cans that contain hazardous materials. Many products in aerosol cans are toxic. And many aerosol cans contain flammables, like butane, as propellants for products like paint. If your aerosol can is labeled with words like TOXIC or FLAMMABLE don’t put it in the trash unless it is completely empty.