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Clearing Out Clutter: The Dos and Donts of Safe Large Item Disposal

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Clearing Out Clutter: The Dos and Donts of Safe Large Item Disposal

Getting rid of large, bulky items like furniture, appliances, and electronics can be a challenging task. Improperly disposing of these items can be dangerous, illegal, and bad for the environment. Here is a guide on the proper dos and donts for safe and responsible large item disposal.

Know What You Can and Cannot Throw Away

Understanding disposal laws and regulations is the first step in proper large item disposal. There are often restrictions on what you can and cannot throw away depending on where you live.


  • Do research local regulations on bulk item disposal in your city, county, or state. Many municipalities have special rules regarding certain items like appliances, mattresses, and electronics.

  • Do call waste management services to find out specifics on what they will and will not collect from residential curbside pickup.

  • Do identify designated drop off locations such as dump sites, recycling centers, donation centers, or hazardous waste facilities to properly dispose of restricted items.


  • Don’t put hazardous materials like batteries, lightbulbs, or chemicals out with your regular garbage. These require special disposal.

  • Don’t dump large objects like appliances, mattresses, or furniture on the side of the road or in unauthorized public dump sites. This is littering and often illegal.

  • Don’t bury or burn objects you cannot throw away. Backyard burning and buried waste can lead to environmental contamination.

Prepare Items for Collection Properly

Taking the time to properly prepare your large discarded objects will make the disposal process easier and safer.


  • Do disassemble furniture to make items easier to handle and transport if possible.

  • Do secure doors on large appliances to prevent injuries during handling.

  • Do drain all fluids like oil and gasoline from items like lawnmowers before disposal.


  • Don’t leave detached parts or pieces scattered around after disassembling furniture. Dispose of all parts together.

  • Don’t overload collection bins to the point contents spill out and litter surrounding areas.

  • Don’t mix hazardous chemicals or fuels with regular collection waste.

Choose Responsible Disposal Methods

Selecting environmentally friendly disposal options reduces waste and ensures your large items are properly processed.


  • Do donate gently used furniture, appliances, bicycles, and other household items to charity. Many organizations will collect donations directly from your home.

  • Do utilize municipal curbside bulk item pickup services if available in your area. Fees often apply so contact waste management providers to schedule.

  • Do recycle metals, wiring, and appliances at scrap and salvage yards if items are broken beyond repair.


  • Don’t dump bulky objects in commercial or apartment complex dumpsters not assigned specifically to your household. This is often illegal.

  • Don’t abandon items on the curb without scheduling a pickup. This typically requires a special fee.

  • Don’t attempt to recycle hazardous items like broken CRT televisions or monitors yourself. Improper disposal can lead to environmental contamination. Leave to waste management professionals.

Exercise Caution with Heavy Lifting

Take care when moving heavy large objects to avoid injury and property damage.


  • Do use sturdy boxes and padding when transporting smaller loose parts. Wrap fragile pieces individually.

  • Do lift safely by bending knees, keeping back straight, and holding load close to body. Get help moving extremely heavy or awkward items.

  • Do secure loads properly by strapping down items in trucks and trailers to prevent shifting.


  • Don’t lift alone if an object seems too heavy or difficult to handle comfortably. Ask a friend or hire professional junk removers when needed.

  • Don’t move loaded boxes and furniture in an unstable, unbalanced manner. This places unsafe strain on muscles.

  • Don’t overload vehicles beyond rated cargo capacities. Protruding objects can also be a driving hazard.

Clearing clutter by safely getting rid of large, bulky items requires forethought and responsibility. Following proper disposal procedures reduces accidents, minimizes environmental impact, and keeps communities clean. With some advanced planning and helpful precautions, you can effectively clean out unwanted items.

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