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How to Dispose of Furniture

Discount Dumpster Rental Furniture Disposal Guide
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Need to Dispose of Furniture Items?

Learn how to dispose of furniture properly and how renting a dumpster can help
Ready for a fresh updated look for your home? Nothing spruces up a living space more than new furniture. When new furniture comes in, you typically have to remove the old pieces first. There are several reasons why you may need to get rid of old furniture. You may be getting a new couch, remodeling your home, moving, decluttering, or doing an estate cleanout. Whatever the reason, you will need to clear out your old unwanted furniture to make room for your new pieces.

You need an affordable and convenient way to dispose of your old furniture. The fastest and most convenient way to discard old furniture is to rent a dumpster. Have a roll off dumpster delivered to your home’s driveway, and you’ll be cleaning up and clearing out in no time!
What Do You Need to Know About Furniture Disposal?

What to Do with Old Couches and Other Furniture?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over 9 million tons of furniture are tossed out each year. Old furniture takes up about 5% of all available landfill space. Surprisingly, most of the furniture in U.S. landfills was manufactured within the last 15 years. Much of the new furniture manufactured today is only intended to last for about five years and is not made to last for decades.

This type of furniture is often called “fast furniture.” It is made quickly and uses relatively inexpensive components and materials. Because of this, it doesn’t last very long. This type of furniture is popular, and so, the amount of furniture making its way to landfills is increasing.

Can Old Furniture be Recycled?

Some components of furniture can’t be recycled at all. Wood that is treated cannot be accepted for recycling. Examples of such materials include the following listed below:

Treated Wood

Sod consists mostly of grass and the small patch of soil directly beneath it. Usually, the two are held together by the grass root systems or a thin layer of biodegradable material. Because of this unique consistency (especially after it gets wet), sod shouldn’t be disposed of in your roll-off dumpster rental.

Glued Materials

Foam cushion materials are often made with chemicals and glues that don’t allow for recycling. Glue is generally prohibited in most recycling centers. Polyurethane foam may be accepted at some commercial recycling sites.


Leather is rarely recycled, but it can be repurposed for craft projects. If a recycling facility cannot use the materials from your used furniture, it will have to discard it. Any of these components that are contaminated with chemicals or adhesives will end up in a landfill rather than being processed or reclaimed.

What Parts of Furniture Can Be Recycled?

There are some parts of furniture that can be recycled. If you are up for the job, you can separate out the components and take them yourself to the appropriate recycling facility. Metal patio furniture, bedframes, and steel filing cabinets can be taken to a scrap yard or junk metal dealer. Some plastic can be recycled. Check with your local household recycling facility and ask what type of plastic they take for recycling.

How to Properly Lift and Move Furniture

Take care when lifting and moving large items of furniture as you take them out of your home and load them into your rental dumpster for disposal. When moving furniture out of your home, follow these guidelines to protect yourself from injury:

·       Pick up items from the floor along the path you’ll take through your home

·       Clear walkways of snow and ice

·       Wear sturdy comfortable shoes with rubber soles

·       Ask a friend for help lifting and transporting furniture

·       Place your feet shoulder-width apart

·       Keep your back straight and bend your knees not your back to lift

·       Walk slowly and smoothly out to your dumpster

·       Use a dolly for extra help with lifting heavy furniture

·       Use sliders under heavy furniture to slide it close to your outside door

·       Push rather than pull a dolly or furniture on sliders as this takes less force

A photo of a man moving furniture for disposal

How to Break Up Furniture for Disposal in a Dumpster Rental

Some furniture is particularly bulky and heavy. You may find it challenging to get large pieces of furniture out of your home. If you are disposing of this old furniture instead of donating, selling, or moving it, consider breaking your large pieces down before disposal.

This saves you the hard work of moving it outside and into a dumpster all in one piece, as smaller pieces are easier to handle. It will also save you room in your dumpster, giving you more room for other items.

1. Remove Cushions for Furniture Disposal

To dismantle a couch, remove the cushions and dispose of them first. Remove the mattress from a sofa bed, unscrew the metal bed frame from the couch, remove it from the couch, and discard it. Use a utility knife to cut through the upholstery and pull it in pieces off the frame of the couch. Use a staple remover to pull out any staples holding the cloth to the frame. Pull off the foam cushioning underneath the top layer of fabric.

2. Dismantle Furniture for Disposal

With all the fabric covering and foam padding removed, you can dismantle the rest of the couch. Unscrew the legs and remove them from the frame. Disassemble the rest of the frame by either unscrewing each wood piece or cut through the wooden frame with a handsaw or a hand-held circular saw.

3. Load the Dumpster Properly for Furniture Disposal

Whether you are dismantling your old furniture or simply tossing it whole into your rental dumpster bin, you need to know how to properly load up your dumpster container. Since furniture can be very bulky, you need a dumpster container that can hold all the furniture pieces you’re tossing.

A dumpster cannot be loaded over the top of the container. All items in the dumpster container must be below the top rail. This is required by laws governing safe transport on our roads and highways and protects both our operators and other drivers on the road.

4. Watch Disposed Furniture Weight  

If you are loading very heavy furniture or other heavy material, be sure you don’t exceed the weight limit for the dumpster container. An overweight dumpster could be subject to an overweight charge if the landfill determines that the container is overloaded. The truck hauling your rental dumpster is weighed upon entry to the landfill. After dumping the load, it is weighed again as it exits the landfill. The difference between the two weights is the weight of the load. Most landfills have weight limits per load.

Furniture Disposal Done Right

Furniture is one of the most common items dumped illegally. In virtually all areas of the United States, throwing furniture in a dumpster on someone else’s property is illegal. Likewise, it is unlawful to dispose of furniture on vacant lots, in open areas, on public land, in creeks or other waterways, in sewers, or on another private property.

Illegal dumping is classified as a misdemeanor or even a felony depending on the area and the amount of debris dumped. Fines for illegal dumping can reach up to thousands of dollars, with the possibility of jail time as well.

Furniture Disposal in a Dumpster:

Furniture Accepted for Disposal

  • Couches
  • Bed frames
  • Tables
  • Desks
  • Bookcases
  • Chairs
  • Dressers
  • Television stands
  • Wooden furniture

Furniture That May Not Be Allowed:

  • Mattresses
  • Box springs
  • Appliances containing Freon

Rent a Dumpster to Dispose of Furniture

Most household furniture can be disposed of in a rental dumpster container. There may be local or state regulations that prohibit some specific types of furniture. These regulations govern what materials are allowed in a community’s landfills.


Whether a certain furniture item can be accepted or not depends on local regulations that govern landfill operations. If a landfill prohibits the item, then it can’t be dumped in a load taken to that landfill.

Why aren’t some specific furniture items allowed in a landfill? Typically, this is due to environmental regulations, but may also be the result of limited space available in a landfill.

Fabric furniture items such as mattresses and box springs don’t break down easily. They take up a lot of space, are made of hazardous components, and could be contaminated. Before tossing your old mattress into your rental dumpster or hauling it to the landfill, check to see if it is accepted in your area.

Ask About Furniture Disposal Today
A man leaning on a blue 10 yard dumpster rental

Which Dumpster Size is Suited for Furniture?

Since furniture tends to be large and bulky, you will need a good sized dumpster to hold it all. A 20 yard dumpster is the size most commonly selected for household furniture disposal. It fits well in a driveway, and this gives you convenient access as you clean out your living space of unwanted furniture. If you have a lot of furniture to dispose of, a 30 yard dumpster may be a better option.

The service team at Discount Dumpster has years of experience helping homeowners dispose of household waste including furniture. When you call to place your dumpster order, we’ll discuss your needs and get you the right size for your job.

An infographic on which dumpster size is best to dispose of furniture.

Need a Dumpster to Dispose of Furniture?

So, out with the old and in with the new! As you remodel and update your living spaces, get rid of that old dingy furniture in the easiest way possible. At Discount Dumpster, we make it easy and affordable to get a large dumpster container delivered right to you.

Many of our larger dumpster bins have a convenient back access door. This lets you easily load in your bulky old furniture. Simply walk it into your dumpster and place the furniture toward the front of the dumpster. You can more easily stack the furniture when you can walk into the container.

Most of our dumpster containers fit right on your driveway. This makes it easy to dispose of your unwanted bulky furniture without the hassle of walking it down to the street.

Why Renting a Dumpster is Your Best Option for Furniture Disposal

Wondering if you can afford a roll off dumpster? Just give us a call. We’re sure you’ll be pleased with the value we offer on a rental dumpster. We have streamlined our operations to cut costs and are then able to pass the savings along to you. We offer some of the lowest prices in the area.

Give us a call at Discount Dumpster to arrange for quick delivery of a rental dumpster container so you can get started right away on your furniture removal. You’ll get excellent service, an affordable low price, and answers to all your questions!


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Painted or Treated Wood Not Recyclable?

Wood that is painted or treated with chemicals can't be recycled due to hazards they pose. Certain treating chemicals can be quite toxic, therefore mixing them in with untreated wood poses a contamination risk. Paint is classified as a hazardous material and therefore cannot be part of a recycling process.

What is the Largest Dumpster I Should Use to Dispose of Furniture?

The largest dumpster size we recommend for furniture disposal would be a 30 yard. This is our second-to-largest size available. However, we typically encourage 20 yard dumpsters for furniture. This is due to the fact that larger dumpsters sometimes give the impression of endless dumping, and furniture weight can add up quickly.

Is there a Limit on How Much Furniture I Can Dispose of in a Dumpster?

The only limits you should worry about are the weight limits of the dumpster you're renting. All dumpsters have specified weight limits which are made clear in your contract. If the weight of the dumpster exceeds the agreed upon limit once it reached the landfill, you will be charged an additional fee per extra ton over the limit.

What is the Standard Rental Period?

Discount Dumpster's standard rental period is 14 days. Some areas may only have 7 or 10 day rental periods, however. You can always extend your rental period for a small fee per additional day. We ask that you call in advance of pickup day to extend the rental period, of course. 

Why Can't I Dispose of Mattresses?

Mattresses are not necessarily prohibited. Mattresses can be accepted depending on your service area. Some landfills will take mattresses, others won't. You will be informed during the order process whether mattresses can be accepted in your dumpster or not.

What Happens if My Furniture Dumpster is Overfilled or Overweight?

An overweight dumpster will have additional charges added onto the final bill. These charges will be applied per  extra ton the bin is overweight. A dumpster filled too high will result in a pickup rejection by our hauler, as debris can fall off the truck and endanger motorists and pedestrians. If a pickup is refused you will be charged a costly trip fee.

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