What You Can Throw Away with a Junk Removal Service

Joe Roberts
Jul 21, 2020
Icon Time To Read2 min read

At a glance

So you’re ready to throw some old junk away, either because you’re moving, you’re renovating, or you’re just sick of looking at your busted furniture and yard waste.

Unfortunately, junk removal companies won’t accept everything you might need to throw away.

You’ll only know for sure if a company will haul your junk away if you call that company, but we can tell you what most junk companies will take. Keep reading to learn what junk removal services will usually haul away for you.

What you can (and can’t) dispose of with a junk removal service

Junk most companies will take
Junk most companies won’t take
ElectronicsAerosol products
Yard wasteOil
Donate useful belongings

Just because you’re tired of your old stuff doesn’t mean it’s useless. If your furniture or appliances still have some life in them, consider donating them instead of sending them to the dump. Read our list of charities that pick up your donations to find an organization that will come get your old stuff.

What junk removal companies will take

Unless you have a chemical factory or a nuclear power plant in your backyard, junk removal companies can probably take almost everything you need to throw away.

Here is what most dumpster rental and full-service junk removal companies will dispose of for you:

  • Mattresses
  • Bed frames
  • Couches
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Bookshelves
  • Cabinets
  • Televisions
  • Tree branches
  • Renovation rubble
  • Air conditioners
  • Dishwashers
  • Clothing
  • Lawnmowers
  • Stoves
  • Ovens
  • Microwaves
  • Water heaters
  • Clothes washers and dryers
  • Hot tubs
  • Computers
  • Printers
  • Copy machines
  • Bicycles
  • Car parts
  • Glass
  • Exercise equipment
  • Pianos

This list isn’t exhaustive, so if you need to throw away furniture or other junk that you’re not finding here, check out our favorite junk removal companies to see what they can do for you.

What junk removal companies won’t take

The list of things that junk removal companies won’t accept is much shorter. Basically, “if it’s poisonous to inhale, eat, or drink, we probably won’t take it,” as one Junk King representative told us.

This eliminates things like asbestos, motor oil, paint, gasoline, batteries, and pesticides. That said, some of the things companies do take would obviously kill you if you tried to eat them (like hot tubs), but you get the picture.

Additionally, some companies—like 1-800-GOT-JUNK—will only pick up stuff that a two-person team could lift. This is part of the reason that most companies won’t accept things like old vehicles, boats, and RVs.

What do junk removal companies do with the junk?

This heavily depends on which junk removal company you hire. As you might expect, a lot of the junk ends up in a landfill—but some companies recycle a lot of the junk they take.

In fact, College Hunks Hauling Junk either donates or recycles 70% of the junk it takes off your hands.1

What to do with junk that companies won’t take

Unfortunately, you can't just take everything you have left to the landfill. Pesticides, smoke alarms, and old batteries have specific rules for safe disposal, which you can usually find on their labels or packaging (or on the ol’ Google).

If you can’t find instructions, ask your junk removal rep about the proper disposal procedures.

You can also learn about disposing of hazardous material in this EPA guide to household hazardous waste.

Recommended resources

Now that you know what you can and can’t throw away with a professional disposal company, here are a few more resources that can help you get rid of your junk:

People also asked . . .


  1. College Hunks Hauling Junk, “Eco-Friendly Junk Removal Services.” Accessed July 12, 2020.
Joe Roberts
Written by
Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts is a professional writer with a degree in writing studies and over four years of copywriting experience. He previously worked at Overstock.com, where he wrote about furniture, home decor, and moving. Joe has moved all over Utah, so he knows his way around a moving truck—and he spends his time (and money) expanding his personal library so it will be even heavier next time he moves.