Tips on loading your dumpster for safe transportation

Your project is (hopefully) going along swimmingly and you're staying on time and on budget. Fantastic, everything's going according to plan. But as you're moving along with your renovation or attic clearing, there's one thing that tends to be ignored as you're throwing away mounds of unwanted stuff, and that's the safety of loading your dumpster.

It may seem like this shouldn't really be an issue. After all, as long as all the discarded material fits inside, then it's okay to move, right? Well, there's a few things you may want to keep in mind in the interest of safety, especially when loading up a dumpster. But don't worry, with these tips, you can fill your dumpster without creating a load of problems later on.

The dumpster door

Many dumpsters are equipped with a gate on either one or both ends. Many people who work with dumpsters tend to open these gates to facilitate easier loading of debris, even though the gate wasn't quite intended for that purpose. If the door or gate to the dumpster has been opened, make sure it gets properly closed again. Having a door that has the potential to pop open due to improper closure can drop stuff you spent a lot of time loading up. Falling items can be a hazard for those standing nearby. At the very least, you'll have to spend more time cleaning up everything that you already threw away once.

Hazardous waste

You may be thinking that you certainly don't have any toxic waste or radioactive materials to discard, so no problem. But in this case, hazardous wastes are household products found in most homes. Things such as cleansers, pesticides, paints and solvents absolutely should not be disposed of in a dumpster and should instead be taken to the nearest treatment facility specializing in those things. The same applies for things like batteries and eWaste like old television monitors and technological devices. Keeping these out of the dumpster makes for a safer environment for everyone.


The temptation to make your own personal mountain range in your rental dumpster can be considerable, but resist the urge to heap your dumpster full of materials until it rises past the walls. Doing so makes for a dangerous situation when it comes to hauling the dumpster, and all the materials stacked within, away from your worksite. Piling up a perilous peak of trash can also be bad for those nearby, as things easily can fall outside of the dumpster's edge and onto streets and walkways. And many states have laws prohibiting the removal of a dumpster filled past its edges, meaning you'll have to remove everything above the edge when it's time to transport.

Weight distribution

Tipping. Good in restaurants, bad in dumpsters. Take care so that not all of the weight of materials in the dumpster is just on one side or in one location. Keeping the weight evenly distributed throughout the dumpster provides a safer load for the driver, as they won't have to overcompensate for the uneven weight while hauling it away. This can be an issue if you're throwing away especially heavy objects, so find ways to spread around weight as evenly as possible throughout the dumpster.

Light objects

Things like paper, fiberglass, Styrofoam, and cardboard can easily fly from the back of a dumpster in motion. Keep any light object that you throw away under the weight of heavier objects to prevent things from flying from the back of the dumpster while it's moving. If possible, put light items into bags with heavier items in order to reduce risk of things flying out. Dodging debris on the road is no one's idea of fun, so if it's light, secure it tight, or it'll take flight.

So as you're nearing the end of your project and you're looking forward to hauling away all the debris you're getting rid of, be responsible and have a safely loaded dumpster so that when the driver returns, you won't need to spend time redistributing weight, removing dangerous materials, or removing items from being an overflow hazard. After all, safety is of the highest importance on your project and should be a priority when filling your dumpster as well.