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What Should I Consider When Buying Trash Cans?

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  • Written By: Deborah Ng
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2016
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Trash cans take all kind of abuse. They’re left outside to endure the weather, dropped and tossed, and have to hold gallons of waste. When buying one, you need to seriously consider exactly how it will most often be used. Paying extra for sturdy, durable cans will often save money in the long term when compared to buying inexpensive cans that need replacement every couple of years. There are several things to look for when shopping for trash cans.

Strength — Garbage is heavy. Your trash cans should be strong enough so the bottoms won’t fall out or buckle under the strength of your garbage. Rubber doesn’t usually strain under the weight of wet garbage, while metal cans don’t crack if too full.

Comfort — When you lift the trash cans, do the handles dig into your hands? At the store, they’re empty. When you bring the cans home and fill them with garbage, will you be able to carry them down to the curb without having to wear gloves?

Ease of Use — If the can needs to go out to the curb each week, can you carry it that distance? Trash cans are heavy enough when empty; when they’re full they can be nearly impossible to life. Carrying loaded cans can hurt one’s legs, back, arms or shoulders. If you want to avoid hurting yourself, consider a wheeled trash can. Those with wheels also have handles so you can push or pull them with ease.

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Durability — Garbage collectors have to empty many trash cans and often toss them back onto the curb to save time. The cans are often banged against garbage trucks and dragged up and down driveways. You want to find a set of cans capable of withstanding this type of damage. Consider thick rubber cans that don’t easily dent.

Tight Lid — A heavy wind will knock your trash cans over, and those with tight lids can prevent garbage from spilling out onto the street. In the summer, the heat will turn garbage stinky. A snug lid will keep smells inside the can where they belong.

Rust-Free — Rain, snow, sleet and salt can cause metal trash cans to rust. Corroded cans are not only unsightly but they’re not very strong. A rusty can will fall apart. If your preference is for metal cans, be sure to find the kind that are sprayed with a rust retardant finish.

When searching for new trash cans, strength and durability are most important. Most people prefer rubber cans as they last the longest and withstand the elements. It doesn’t matter if you choose rubber or metal as long as the cans work best for your situation. If you’re unsure, ask for recommendations from neighbors and sales people. You may not give the containers that hold your trash much thought, but they’re the difference between a clean driveway, and everyone knowing your business.

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