Talkin Trash: 31 Facts About Your Trash Bin

Throwing garbage into your trash bin is something you do by rote. Have you given a passing thought to how these bins originated? Garbage disposal is important in more ways than you can imagine. You can keep your surroundings clean, free from odor, and hygienic.

Did you know that the plastic trash can you use now has its origins to 6 or 7 decades back? Read on to know more such interesting facts about trash containers. Many of the trash can facts given here would leave you surprised and craving for more. 

Fact #1: When did people start using trash cans?

Studies on trash cans show ancient civilizations used trash receptacles. But, not in the form, you find now. For one thing, the trash used then consisted of biodegradable waste. The plastic and paper waste found in plenty now did not exist then. As for the first garbage receptacle, it dates back to 200 AD, when Romans used wagons to pick up garbage.

Fact #2: Who invented bins?

Garbage bins first appeared back in 1875, in England. People stored burnt garbage ashes in these bins. Around the 1880s, the use of covered containers for trash was mandatory in Paris. Eugene Poubelle, a French diplomat is behind this regulation. His name is now synonymous with garbage bins and it is the common word for the bin in French.

Fact #3: What is a smart trash bin?

Smart bins have sensors in them that identify wastes of different types. The bins have indicators to know when they are full. A compactor inside the smart trash can compresses the waste and notifies via SMS or email. The compaction increases the bin capacity so you can add more waste to it. Further, these bins do not occupy much space. So, there is less clutter.

Fact #4: What are the common types of rubbish that households pile up?

Seven common types of waste that pile up in your yard are:

  1. The general rubbish that you fill in black trash bags, which is also household waste. This is in liquid or solid form.
  2. Toxic chemicals, such as aerosol cans, paints, medicines, etc, form hazardous waste.
  3. The electrical waste consists of rubbish generated from electrical devices. The devices include TVs, DVDs, computers, and more. The waste contains mercury, lead, and other toxic metals that are not safe.
  4. Clinical or medical waste includes waste generated by health care centers. These include clinics, vets, hospitals, and so on. Households also generate such waste. So, you must dispose of this type of waste responsibly.
  5. Recyclable waste includes materials you can reuse. This includes materials like cardboard, paper, metal, glass, etc.
  6. Biodegradable waste includes food waste and garden waste. The grass, leaves, tree branches, etc. form the garden waste. Grains, bread, vegetables, fruits, etc. form the food waste.
  7. Demolition waste includes bricks, wood, tiles, etc. These are heavy and bulky items. Renovation and construction work produces such waste.

Fact #5: Who made the trash can?

Charles Harrison invented the present-day plastic trash bins. As a popular product designer, he created durable plastic bins on wheels. Earlier metal cans were in use that caused a great deal of din when dragged to the curb and back. People hail him as the father of the plastic trash containers. He has several other notable inventions to his name.

Fact #6: Can you generate energy from waste?

In 1874, Great Britain first used waste to create electricity. A destructor incinerated trash producing steam, which generated electricity. But, the burning of waste caused unwanted emissions. The dust, ashes, etc. polluted the air.

So, the government discontinued this method. At present, you can find different methods for generating energy. These include producing gas or heat from waste that helps in generating energy.

Fact #7: How to make your trash cans look trendy

Can add a classy look to your home with your trash container? Yes, you can find these receptacles made of materials like porcelain, copper, and more. Stainless steel models bring a classy look to any décor. Brass plated models add an elegant touch. A good example is the Witt Industries Monarch Series 24-gallon trash receptacle.

Fact #8: How does an automatic trash bin work?

Touching the trash can makes many people cringe. A bin that automatically opens and closes is very handy in such situations. A sensor fitted inside the bin detects motion and opens on its own. With such bins, you need not touch the bin to put trash in it.

Fact #9: How do you maintain a trash can?

You can keep your trash cans in good condition for a longer duration by proper maintenance. Here are a few tips:

  • Keep the garbage containers in a place where they cannot tip over. This can occur by mobile vehicles or other equipment. Ensuring this will prevent dents and other damages in the bins. Furthermore, you can avoid scooping up the spilled waste.
  • Make sure you add liners to the receptacle. The liners reduce the cleaning you do after emptying the trash.
  • For cleaning the can, rinse it with water first. Next, use a cleaning solution and scrub the container all over. Rinse it again and let it dry in the sunlight or an airy place. Line it with a garbage bag once it is dry and use it.
  • Ensure you empty the garbage receptacle on time. If you fail to do so, the waste will overflow and cause frustration.
  • Proper selection of a durable trash can will reduce the maintenance work for you. Choose from reliable stainless steel trash can models. Concrete bins are also effective. For instance, the Wausau Tile 53 Gallon Receptacle offers superior longevity.

Fact #10: How do I make my trash can not smell?

Trash containers and bad odor go hand in hand. But, this need not be so. You can avoid bad odor in your garbage receptacle with the following tips:

  • Sprinkle baking soda inside the container after cleaning and drying it. The baking soda absorbs moisture and bad odor. Or, you can clean the container using baking soda to remove stinky odor.
  • To get rid of the odor and germs, you can use bleach. Make sure the bleach does not damage the bin. Or, you can dilute the bleach in water before using it to clean your waste bin.
  • Use dryer sheets to line the can before you place the trash bag.  The sheet will absorb the bad odor and get rid of it.

Fact #11: How big is a 60-gallon trash can?

A 60-gallon trash receptacle can hold 135 pounds of waste.  This is a large-sized container that can hold four tall bags. Households use such receptacles to opt for less frequent pickup. Or, if the waste generated per day is higher, the large container is handy.

Fact #12: Does the thickness of the trash bag matter?

The proper thickness of a garbage bag ensures the bag does not tear under the weight of the trash in it. For heavy and sharp waste materials, a thicker bag is necessary. For households, a thickness of around .82mil is enough in general.

You can choose the thickness based on the size of the garbage bin as follows:

  • For small cans that carry light trash, a low-density thickness ranging from .3 to .49Mil is enough.
  • For midsize cans that hold heavy-duty trash, a higher thickness range of .75 to 1.2Mil is adequate.
  • For larger cans with ultra-heavy-duty trash, a range of 1.3 to 2.0 Mil is necessary.

Fact #13: Why are trash cans for kitchens expensive?

When you shop for a trash can, the rates are bound to surprise you. The plastic garbage bins are the least expensive. The cost ranges from $20 up to $40.

But, if you look for popular brands, their price is high. You can see the rates starting from $100 up to even $400 or more. Such a high cost is due to a few significant factors like:

  • Durable quality as the can needs to withstand the weight of the food waste, moisture, etc.
  • Trendy look as people do not want their trash cans to appear ugly. This is true for the garbage bins that you place in plain sight.
  • Automated opening and closing bins need special mechanisms. The quality and building cost make these bins expensive.
  • Deodorizing garbage receptacles find many takers. The deodorizer keeps the container smelling good despite the type of garbage in it.
  • Smart bins have sophisticated mechanisms that increase their cost to a considerable extent.

Fact #14: Why do I get maggots in my garbage can?

When garbage is not kept in a closed trash can, it lures flies. Food packaging with remnant food attracts flies. They settle on the waste and lay eggs, which turn into maggots in 24 hours.  Overflowing waste containers and damp conditions attract flies. The eggs hatch within a day in warm weather.

Fact #15: What happens if you don’t take out the trash?

 You need to dispose of your garbage as fast as possible. When you fail to do so, your living space will attract pests. This will lead to several health issues. In some regions of the world, people do not properly dispose of the waste. Find a few of the unsafe methods below:

  • In regions where a nearby water body is present, people dump their garbage into the lake or river. The waste affects the eco-system of the lake or river. The aquatic life that relies on the water will die due to the toxicity of the garbage.
  • In some regions, people dump the trash in an empty area where no one will object. The toxic and plastic waste materials will damage the soil. It will make the soil unable to support any life form.
  • Improper disposal of waste can result in air pollution. The wind carries the decaying waste to other regions nearby. This results in polluted air, which combines with other pollutants. This can include smoke from industries, motor vehicles, and more. The double-fold pollutants put you at risk due to the greenhouse gas phenomenon. 

Fact #16: What is a dual trash can?

A dual trash can is a handy waste disposal unit.  It has two cans inside a single bin. The double trash can helps you separate and sort materials like plastics, veggies, and more. There are many benefits you can enjoy with such containers like:

  • Avoid using more than one can in the kitchen. This helps in decluttering the kitchen space.
  • With slim models, the container will not take up much space.
  • Emptying is easy as you can remove the plastic cans inside the main container.

Fact #17: Why are stainless steel trash cans popular?

When compared to plastic cans, people prefer using stainless steel models. Why are these models popular? Here are the reasons:

  • Stainless steel is more hygienic than plastic.
  • It is easy to clean.
  • Foul odor does not penetrate the material.
  • It is durable and hard-wearing. There is less leakage and you can reduce the risk of pests invading your living space.
  • The garbage cans have splendid finishes and styles, so they complement your décor.

Fact #18: What are the materials that trash cans are made of?

The typical materials used for trash cans include Polyvinyl chloride and stainless steel. You can find concrete bins of durable quality. The metal and concrete models are expensive. But, the plastic models are affordable.

Fact #19: Why do people prefer plastic garbage bins?

Plastic garbage bins have a heavy-duty plastic body. Polyethylene, the main plastic material in them, can withstand harsh waste. Elements like alkalis, acids, bacteria, etc. do not damage the plastic.

The material is resistant to bending and dents. It is ideal for outdoor use as the harsh weather elements do not damage the material. Last but not least is the fact that it is less expensive than other materials.

Fact #20: Who invented the trash can with wheels?

Frank Rotherham Mouldings created the first trash can with wheels in 1968. The company designed the bin for transporting the waste inside the factory. Later the design became popular and now it is a common type of garbage bin in use.

The reasons include ease of transportation, collection, and disposal of waste. This type of trash can is also called a wheelie bin. Garbage cans with wheels are easy to lift and empty in a collection truck.

Fact #21: Is a hidden trash can better than a visible one?

Some people prefer keeping the trash receptacle hidden from plain view. This is possible in many ways like:

  • Place the container inside a cabinet like under the sink.
  • Place the bin into inbuilt drawers under the kitchen countertop, which you can pull out.
  • You can hang the trash receptacle on the cabinet door to save space. But, only small bins suit this purpose. Plus, you may have to empty them often.

The above methods help in keeping the trash bins out of sight. Some prefer the visible model due to a lack of space. In such cases, going for a trendier trash can model is ideal. It is best to choose the cans with lids if they are visible. This will keep the flies and maggots away.

Fact #22: What are the types of special lids used in trash cans?

You can fit different types of lids on your trash receptacle based on its specific purpose. Here are a few common types:

  1. Push lids let you dump waste into the container without lifting the lid. This is ideal for public places like schools, communal areas, etc.
  2. Bottle lids contain an aperture that fits any type of bottle. This type of lid is ideal for communal recycling areas.
  3. Letter lids contain a slot for sliding in paper waste and cardboard. Indoor paper recycling units find such lids useful. These lids are useful for mail collection in office spaces.

Fact #23: Why you need a lidded trash container?

A lid on the trash receptacle is ideal as it seals the odor inside. It also prevents pests and rodents from getting into the trash. A push door or swing door type is the ideal choice. In such models, you need to remove the lid only when you are dumping a large element.  This is because larger items will not pass through the swing or domed lid.

Fact # 24: Why do some people use lidless trash cans?

A trash can without a lid makes it easy to throw the trash quickly and simply. For instance, in an office setting, an open bin allows you to throw away any paper waste without going near the bin.

In the same way, in a fast-food place, it is easy to dump food wrappers and other waste without touching the bin. Moreover, you can know when the container is full, so it is easy to empty it regularly.

But, these types of cans are not for disposing of organic waste. This is because they can attract insects and pests.

Fact #25: Are swing lid garbage cans ideal for your kitchen?

You can see swing-top lids in manual trash cans. The lids close immediately after you take your hand away. In some models, a rotating swing cover is present. This is easier to use as you don’t have to worry about the lid closing abruptly. The automatic closure of the lid is a benefit of this model. It is ideal for waste such as paper. But, it is not for kitchen use. This is because:

  • It is not hygienic.
  • Since the opening is small, the lid can become dirty.
  • You cannot dump waste into it when your hands are full.
  • The lid is stuck if the container is full.

Fact #26: What are the pros of using a step-on trash can?

With a step-on garbage can, you need not use your hands to open the cover. You have to press the pedal at the bottom of the bin. This bin type is very hygienic to use. But, you need to stand in front of the bin to use the pedal. It is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, etc. You can find bins with more than one compartment, such as the double trash can.

Some points to consider while using this step-on model are:

  • The foot pedal works best when it is sturdy and durable in build.
  • A steel pedal is ideal for use in the kitchen as it lasts longer. It is not as flimsy as a plastic foot pedal.
  • The lid falls when you remove your foot.

Fact #27: What is a sensor trash can?

A motion sensor is present in this type of garbage can. This is a bin that you need not touch by foot or hand. The system works by the use of a sensor that opens the lid when you activate it. You can hold your hand or walk by the can and it will open the lid on its own. Many find this touchless trash receptacle convenient to use. It is hygienic and makes recycling a fun chore.

Fact #28: How to choose the trash bag for your trash bin?

Believe it or not, you do not choose a trash bag using the capacity of the bin as a reference. For instance, a 48-gallon container will need a trash bag of 60-gallon capacity. To pick the right-sized garbage bag, use the tips below:

  • To find out the trash bag width, measure the perimeter. This is for a rectangle or square-shaped waste container. You can get this by adding all the sides of the container. Now, divide the sum by 2 to get the trash bag width.
  • For round trash containers, measure the diameter. Multiply the diameter by 3.14(pi). Divide the multiplied number by 2. The number you get is the width of the garbage bag you need.
  • For finding the height of the trash bag you need, measure the height of the trash can. Add 4 inches to the height to allow for an overhang. Add half the diameter of the container for covering the bottom surface of the can. 

With the height and width measurement, it is easy for you to find the right-sized bag. Even if the measurements do not match in a precise way, you can round up the value. This will ensure you get the right-sized trash bag.

Fact #29: Does your bin scoot on the floor?

Are you annoyed by the scooting of your dustbin when you use a heavy metal container? Stainless steel is ideal as it is good to look at and easy to take care of. If you want to avoid scratches on the floor, use a bin with a rubber bottom. This prevents the bin from moving when you use the trash receptacle.

Fact #30: Can you use a trash can for other purposes?

When you buy a new trash receptacle, the old one ends up in recycling. But, you can use the old trash cans in many other useful ways. Here are some of them:

  • For garbage bins without a lid, fill the bin with soil and use it as a planter.
  • If your waste bin has holes or tears in it, it can work as a compost bin.
  • You can use the large-sized bins as storage space for your household tools. You can use it for storing pet food too.
  • Sturdy bins can serve as furniture. Turn the bin upside down and use it as a stand for a tabletop. Make sure you secure it properly.
  • Large outdoor waste receptacles help collect rainwater.
  • A galvanized metal trash receptacle is an ideal choice for a meat smoker.

Fact #31: Why are some trash cans made of concrete?

While the concept may seem odd for some, concrete is a good material for garbage disposal. This is because it is durable. It does not rust like metal cans. Unlike plastic, it does not fade or crack. When it comes to outdoor use, they are ideal. Moreover, they are theft-proof as they are difficult to pick up due to their heavy-weight body. In most models, you can find the lids attached to the containers.

Final Takeaway

Hope you liked the interesting fact line up on trash cans. Talking trash is an ongoing topic that you will never tire of reading. From the facts above, you will find that trash cans have evolved a lot. Not only are they durable, but they are stylish too.

Want to give your home a trendy touch with the latest trash bin design? Try the Wausau Tile Funnel Top model. The sleek facade lends a vibrant appeal to your décor. For more on sturdy as well as trendy models, visit Trash Cans Depot.