How do I Choose the Best Garbage Can?

Some cities require garbage cans to be of a certain diameter so that automated garbage trucks can dump the trash into the truck bed without the driver having to get of the vehicle.
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  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2014
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To choose the best garbage can for your home you have to determine how the can will be used. Some garbage cans are meant for the kitchen, others for the bathroom and still others for outside. Smaller, bathroom style garbage cans are often emptied into the larger kitchen style cans as they become full. The larger bags from the kitchen are then carried to an outside can until the day that the waste truck picks up the garbage.

The first general rule when choosing a garbage can is that the longer the garbage will be stored in the can, the sturdier the can needs to be. For instance, your outside garbage can will often hold trash for nearly a week. It may also be subjected to neighborhood dogs and wildlife. It is important that the garbage can that is located outside is sturdy enough to stand up to extremes in the weather and has a tight fitting lid.

On the other hand, the can in your bathroom probably doesn’t receive much abuse at all. When it starts to get full, it is quickly dumped into a bag headed outside or your kitchen bag. It can be lightweight and probably doesn’t even require a lid. An exception to this would be if you have small children or pets, in which case you may want to choose a bathroom waste can with a lid.


There are a variety of choices in kitchen garbage cans. Some kitchen cans are made to slide into a cabinet. This is an ideal solution. It provides quick and easy access to the trash without leaving it where the family pet can inspect it. The main drawback of these types of arrangements is that they typically use small trash bags.

If you prefer using the heavy duty, typically black, trash bags, you may want to consider a nice stainless steel can. These trash cans typically have a tight fitting lid so that you don’t have to worry about children or pets inspecting your garbage. They also hold quite a bit of trash. While the under-counter trash cans are nice, many families find that they must change the bag more than once a day. A large, stainless steel can eliminates that problem.

There are so many choices in trash cans that the selection can seem overwhelming. To select the can that will work best in your situation, carefully consider how it will be used. A trash can that must sit on the side of a busy street waiting for pickup should be more durable than one on a quiet road. If your trash pickup is twice a week, you may only need one outdoor can, but if it is only once a week, you may require two. Inside the home, whether you have children or pets is a determining factor in the style of trash can that you select.


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