JOPLIN, Mo.–When it’s time to replace something big, like an old bed or couch, getting rid of it can be a hassle. And, the rules are different depending on who picks up your trash.

With some trash haulers, getting rid of big items may be simple – but others may just say no. And, it’s not just mattresses or lawn mowers, it could even be something dangerous.

“He drove up and got out of the car, and he said, ‘So I hear you’ve opened up the hazardous waste…Do you take hand grenades?” explained Joplin Recycling Coordinator Mary Anne Phillips.

Phillips has seen a lot of unusual discards at the Joplin Recycling Center. Police took care of the hand grenade, but there have also been elements from the periodic table, homemade saw horses and an arm from a mannequin.

“It’s not plastic, it’s not metal, it cannot be recycled, but it’s so cool that we kept it,” Phillips added.

The Joplin trash contract means big things rarely show up at the recycling center. Residents can leave most recliners or mattresses at the curb as part of the weekly trash collection.

But, other trash contracts don’t cover that, sometimes leading to dumping in rural areas.

“Old tires, mattresses, old appliances, washing machines, couches,” Newton County Commissioner Bill Reiboldt explained.

Reiboldt points out that’s a crime.

“Very much so,” Reiboldt added.

You may end up hauling bulky items yourself, but do some homework first.

“You’ve got to see what your contract is with the city or the trash company that you’re paying,” said Phillips. “Lots of times, you just have to take it to the transfer station, which is not cheap.”

Joplin residents can drop off trash at the Galena transfer station for Republic services at a cost starting at ten dollars. That’s Monday through Thursday from 8:00 to 2:30 and Saturday from 8:00 to noon.

For more information on disposing of items, click here.