Karen Shumate, a vice president at the hospital, said people can keep parts removed from their bodies if they want them.
"They've had women that want their uterus," she said. "People take tonsils. They take appendixes. I think it's unusual that someone would want a foot, but it's within their rights because it's theirs."
After a friend picked up the bucket at a hardware store, Rubottom added several objects as well as the severed foot - including a porcelain horse and can of beer - to make what he called "a collage of myself." He also cut off two of the toes, saying he was considering giving them to friends.
On Monday, police returned the foot to Rubottom after taking him to the hospital, where he signed a release allowing them to see his medical records.
"It's cool. It's all good," said Rubottom. "Now I've got my foot back. That's all I wanted.
"I'm not sick or, like, a danger," he said of his decision to keep and display the foot. "I just wanted my foot ... I just figured I'd do with it whatever I pleased."