a. dispose off 'Dhamma' items which have degenerated due to reasons like aging, wrong printing, spoilage and etc? b. Dhamma items: ranging from printed materials to statues etc
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing, it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction. What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One. If this single thing is recollected and made much, it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction. Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga VSMVMMWBBTBHTWTBTMy Page
If the items are still usable and the information is correct, consider donating them to the nearby local temple. If the printed materials are too old to be used, I'd usually recite the Ratana Sutta (ref: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html ) and then use a clean clay pot to burn them.
For any explanation you receive, keep in mind that I don't believe the Buddha himself gave instructions on such matters.
Therefore explanations may just as likely be reflective of local cultural practices, as they are "Theravadin" practices. (There is some overlap between the two)
“Delighting in existence O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence. they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind … (It. p 43)”
Remember that the oldest Buddhist manuscripts discovered after 2000+ years in clay pots under ground in Afghanistan are believed to have been "respectfully disposed of" in this way. And yet someone can still find them useful today.