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Your Guide to Construction Waste Disposal

Review our guide to learn what cannot be placed in our roll-off dumpsters.

Independent Waste’s roll-off dumpsters are designed to handle the biggest construction, development, and demolition projects in the industry. However, there are certain types of specialized waste that cannot be handled with a roll-off container. Please review this list before placing your order with us, and feel free to contact our team with further questions.

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How to Get Rid of Construction Waste: Your Guide

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly encountered construction and demolition debris types and how they can be best handled for recycling or responsible reuse.

Bricks are one of the most readily recyclable materials in C&D debris. Recycled brick aggregates can be used in various applications, including road base and subbase, walkways, patios, drainage applications, concrete filler, and even new building materials, like new bricks and pavers.

Bricks can be donated or resold, and often, you can find local contractors who will purchase used bricks in good condition. For those that are too deteriorated to resell, a 20-yard roll-off dumpster can contain the debris until it’s ready to be recycled.

Only drywall free from paint, joint compound, nails, and other contaminants can be recycled. Drywall from new construction projects (clean scrap) is generally easier to recycle compared to demolition debris due to potential contamination. Drywall that can’t be recycled after demolition projects can still be responsibly disposed of in a roll-off dumpster.

Specific requirements for drywall recycling vary by location. Consider breaking down large sheets of drywall into smaller, manageable pieces for easier handling and transportation. You may also need to separate gypsum from the paper backing if required by the recycling facility.

Our roll-off dumpsters can accept any type of wood for disposal, including lumber, plywood, pallets, clean demolition wood, tree branches, etc. That said, clean wood free from chemicals, paint, stains, and preservatives is ideal for recycling. Just be sure to remove any metal nails, screws, plastic components, or other non-wood materials.

According to the EPA, concrete and asphalt concrete comprise 85% of all US C&D waste. While not as commonplace as other recycling materials, both concrete and asphalt can be recycled under certain guidelines.

Clean and uncontaminated concrete pieces from demolition projects, sidewalks, driveways, foundation materials, and more can be candidates for recycling. If you intend to recycle concrete, remove steel rebar, wires, and any other foreign materials. Clean asphalt pavement or shingles free from oil, debris, and excessive contamination can also be recycled in some areas.

Much of the scrap metal from construction and demolition sites can be recycled effectively. Ferrous metals (iron and steel) are readily recyclable and often form the majority of C&D scrap metal. Non-ferrous metals like aluminum, tin, lead, copper, and brass are also valuable recyclable materials.

While some facilities may accept mixed metals, proper sorting of ferrous and non-ferrous metals typically results in higher value and avoids processing issues.

While often overlooked, cardboard and paper waste from construction projects can be effectively managed and diverted from landfills through responsible practices. Roll-off dumpsters are ideal for the disposal or recycling of:

  • Clean cardboard: Uncontaminated boxes, packaging materials, and flattened sheets without tape, staples, or other debris.
  • Corrugated cardboard: Often the most valuable type of construction site cardboard due to its strength and versatility.
  • Office paper: Uncoated, clean paper like printing paper, notebooks, and envelopes.

Not all plastics can be recycled, but any amount that can be saved from a landfill during a large construction project is a step in the right direction.

Separate plastic and packaging waste from other construction debris at the source. Ensure that plastic waste is free of contaminants such as dirt, concrete, or other non-plastic materials, as clean material enhances the recycling process.

  • Readily recyclable plastics: #1 PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate), #2 HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene), #5 PP (Polypropylene)
  • Less consistent, regionally dependent recyclability: #4 LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene), #6 PS (Polystyrene)
  • Generally not recyclable: #3 PVC, #7 Other (often a mix of different plastics or unknown materials)

Construction Waste FAQs

If you rent a dumpster from Independent Waste, you don’t have to worry about dropping off your construction waste. Simply fill the dumpster, then schedule a pickup or empty-and-return service with a next-day guarantee. Our waste haulers will take the full container and transport it to a local landfill or recycling facility on your behalf.

An estimated 600 million tons of C&D debris were generated in 2018, which is more than twice the amount of municipal solid waste. Of that amount, 455 million tons were directed to next use, while almost 145 million tons ended up in landfills. It’s a good start, but at Independent Waste, we’re proud to help contractors improve on those numbers every year.

If you have sustainable construction waste recycling goals or are seeking LEED Certification, Independent Waste is the roll-off dumpster company you can count on to help. We’ve got you covered with flexible waste diversion capabilities, thorough knowledge of local facilities in Birmingham, San Antonio, and Nashville, and advanced reporting.

Initially, materials such as concrete, asphalt, wood, metal, and plastics are separated at the job site. These materials are then transported to recycling facilities, where they undergo sorting and processing. Concrete and asphalt may be crushed into aggregates, while wood can be chipped or ground for reuse in landscaping or energy production. Metals are typically melted down for recycling, and plastics are sorted and processed based on their resin types.

Independent Waste is proud to play a small role in helping contractors make responsible waste management choices with our flexible and reliable roll-off dumpster services. Contact our team for more information about how our teams can help you meet your project’s goals.

What Makes Us the Most Trusted Construction Waste Haulers


Independent Waste values the importance of partnership through honest and clear communication.


We understand the importance of being present, responsive, and ready to help.


Our teams pride themselves on finding progressive solutions and being flexible to meet our partners where they are. We win when we help you win.


We are committed to hard work and going the extra mile to deliver the highest level of service.


At Independent Waste, we know that our business is only as good as our service. We’re here when you need us—every time.

Rent a Dumpster & Gain a Partner in Construction Waste Removal

Independent Waste was made to handle the construction industry’s most complex waste management challenges. As Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas’ tried-and-true roll-off dumpster specialists, you can count on us to do C&D debris removal better.

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