Renting a dumpster is a great way to quickly get rid of the extra items and trash you don't need. However, these big trash boxes can pose a few risks, not only to you, but also to passersby. Follow the tips below to ensure the safety of everyone in and around the dumpster from the time it is dropped off until the time it's picked up again.
Don't pile debris over the sides.
Many dumpsters have a "fill line" on the inside. You should not stack trash above that fill line, or else the dumpster is at risk of being overweight -- which could present some hazards when the dumpster service comes to pick it up. It trash is piled over the sides, it could fall out and hit someone on the ground beside the dumpster. If your dumpster does not have a fill line, a good rule of thumb is to keep the trash at a level 2 feet below the top of the walls.
Do not try to compact the trash by jumping on it.
Jumping into the dumpster or jumping on trash in an effort to compact it is a great way to get hurt if you land on something unstable or step on something sharp. If your dumpster is getting full and you still have a lot of other things to dispose of, consider calling the company and asking if they'll deliver a second dumpster when they come to pick up the full one.
Lock the dumpster up at night.
Passersby may try to enter the dumpster in order to "rescue" items you're throwing away. While their intentions may be noble, they can become injured during this process. Of course you don't want someone getting injured on your property as they could then sue you or your homeowner's insurance company. Make sure you close and lock the dumpster at night. Some rental companies will provide you with a lock to do this, but if they do not, just purchase a heavy duty lock at the hardware store. The $10 or so that you spend is well worth avoiding a lawsuit.
Don't let small children near the dumpster.
To kids, a dumpster full of paper and trash can represent a grand adventure. You would not be the first one to have your small child climb into the back of the dumpster and get hit in the head with an item you toss over the side. Children have also been seriously injured by dumpster lids. So do your best to keep kids away from the dumpster when it's being filled. Make sure they know they are not allowed to climb in it. Set them up with toys in a specific room, or take them to a friend's house for the day while you clean.
Avoid smoking near the dumpster.
Many things you put in the dumpster are likely to be flammable. If you are a smoker, be sure to stand far from the dumpster when you take your smoke breaks.
Keep the path clear.
When you're carrying items from your home out to your dumpster, you'll have your arms full. You may not be able to clearly see the pathway beneath your feet. If it's littered with trash and little scraps, you could easily trip over them. Make sure you keep the pathway clear. Take a minute every hour or so to pick up any little items that have blown out of the dumpster or gotten dropped along the way.
With the tips above, your clean-out project and dumpster rental experience should be a safe and successful one.