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Large Item Disposal Dos and Donts

March 4, 2024

Large Item Disposal Dos and Donts

What are considered large items for disposal?

When I think about large item disposal, the kinds of items that come to mind are:

  • Furniture like couches, mattresses, tables, desks, dressers, etc.
  • Appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves, etc.
  • Electronics like TVs, computers, printers, stereos, etc.
  • Outdoor items like grills, lawn mowers, bikes, etc.
  • Construction materials like wood, drywall, sinks, bathtubs, etc.

Essentially, a large item is anything that is oversized and won’t fit inside your regular trash bins. Furniture, appliances, mattresses, and electronics seem to be the most common large items that require special disposal.

Why proper disposal of large items is important

Properly disposing of large items is important for a few key reasons:

  • Landfill waste reduction – Large items take up a lot of space in landfills. Ensuring they are disposed of properly keeps landfill waste to a minimum.

  • Environmental impact – Some large items can release harmful chemicals as they decompose if left in landfills. Proper disposal prevents pollution.

  • Safety – Improperly discarded large items can become safety hazards in neighborhoods. Proper disposal keeps areas clean and safe.

  • Recycling – Many large items contain recyclable materials (metal, plastic, etc). Proper disposal allows these materials to be recycled rather than wasted.

  • Cost savings – Illegally dumping large items can result in fines. Proper disposal saves money.

Dos and Don’ts for large item disposal

When it comes to getting rid of large, oversized items, there are right and wrong ways to go about it. Here are some key dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

Don’t: Dump large items illegally

One of the worst things you can do is dump large items on the curb, in public areas, or in nature. This is illegal and can subject you to fines depending on local regulations. It’s also hazardous to neighborhoods.

Do: Check with your local waste management

The proper way to dispose of large items is to check with your local waste management department. Most municipalities offer special pickup services for oversized items or provide drop off locations. Contact them to learn about scheduling a pickup or finding a drop off site. This is the safest, most proper way to dispose of large, bulky items.

Don’t: Attempt to put large items in the trash

While it may seem convenient, trying to stuff a large item like a mattress or appliance into your regular trash bin is ill-advised. These items are oversized and won’t fit properly. Doing this can damage bins, obstruct alleyways, and make collection difficult for waste haulers.

Do: Consider donating or selling usable items

If you have a large item that is still usable, like furniture or appliances, consider donating it or selling it first before disposing of it. Many charities accept donations of household items. You can also post items for sale on classified ads websites. This is a great way to reduce waste by passing along usable items.

Don’t: Disassemble large items yourself

You may think disassembling a large item will make it easier to get rid of. However, unless you are trained in proper disposal methods, doing this can be hazardous. Leave disassembly to waste management professionals. Improper dismantling can cause injury or expose you to dangerous materials.

Do: Pay disposal fees if required

Some waste management centers charge fees for drop off and disposal of oversized items, especially appliances, mattresses, and electronics which require special handling. Make sure you are prepared to pay any required fees associated with proper disposal – it is money well spent!

Don’t: Burn large items

Never attempt to burn a large household item. Doing so can produce harmful smoke, is dangerous, and is usually illegal. Leave the incineration of waste to licensed facilities.

Do: Hire a junk removal service if needed

If transporting a large item to a waste center is impractical, consider hiring a junk removal service. Reputable companies can safely haul away oversized items and ensure their proper disposal for a reasonable fee. This is often easier than self disposal.

Eco-friendly disposal options

If you want to take an eco-friendly approach to large item disposal, here are some options to consider:

  • Donate/sell to reuse stores – Stores like Habitat for Humanity ReStores accept donated home goods and resell them affordably.

  • Salvage building materials – Used building supplies can often be salvaged for reuse instead of landfilled.

  • Recycle appliances & electronics – Many recyclers accept old appliances, TVs and electronics for safe recycling.

  • Compost organic materials – Natural items like stumps or clean wood can potentially be composted.

  • Sell scrap metal – Scrap metal collected from items like appliances can be sold to recyclers.

  • Consider upcycling – Old furniture or construction materials could be candidates for DIY upcycling projects.

Key takeaways

Getting rid of oversized household items properly is important. Keep these large item disposal tips in mind:

  • Contact local waste management to arrange drop off or pickup

  • Avoid illegal dumping which can incur fines

  • Consider donating or selling usable items

  • Be prepared to pay any required disposal fees

  • Use eco-friendly options like recycling when possible

Following proper protocols helps keep neighborhoods safe and sanitary while minimizing environmental impact. With some foresight, you can handle large item disposal the right way.

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