How to Choose the Right Size for Outdoor Trash Cans?

Do you know how important it is to choose a trash can of the right size for your outdoor space? A significant, but often ignored safety and hygiene tool in the residential or commercial space is the trash can.

Outdoor trash cans are designed to withstand weather vagaries. They are available in diverse sizes, colors, and shapes. Plus, they are ideal for performing heavy-duty disposal of trash.

When trash cans overflow, they look unsightly. Also, they pose great health and safety risks. This is why choosing the right-sized trash can is important. There are other considerations too.

With an oversized dual compartment trash can, you stand to lose valuable space. Moreover, you will have excessive volume than what you actually need. And, on the other hand, with a small-sized trash receptacle, you end up with a perpetually overflowing can.

Want to pick the right-sized outdoor trash can? Here are some useful tips for both residential as well as commercial spaces.

How Much Trash Do You Generate?



If the trash volume you generate is high, it is ideal to have a large-sized trash can. TuffBoxx Grizzly is a bin that can easily hold up to 6 garbage bags. You can also share this best trash can with your neighbor. It is an assemble-ready design that can keep out critters, such as squirrels, raccoons, and rats.

Some key factors to look for when you choose large-sized trash cans include:

  • For convenient handling, make sure the large bins have wheels, rollers, handles, or dollies attached to them.
  • The cans should meet the local garbage collection guidelines. These include ease of lifting automatically or manually.
  • The material should be sturdy and made of galvanized steel, like of TuffBoxx Grizzly, or durable plastic.
  • Choose the lid from the different styles available like removable, vented, or stay-up types.
  • Go for rectangular shape than the circular ones as they give more storage space.

How Big Is a Residential Trash Can?



Trash cans vary as per their gallon capacity. There are different sizes such as 20-gallon, 35-gallon, etc. The curbside garbage can is a large residential trash receptacle. Its size is more than 20 gallons and it is capable of holding about a week’s garbage until the contents are emptied by the waste management truck. The size of a bear proof trash can depends on various factors:

Family Members

For a family of two, a 35-gallon can is enough. For four or more people, a 65-gallon can is more suitable. In general, homes with children have more amount of trash than homes without children.


If you are environment-conscious and favor waste recycling, then you can considerably reduce the size of the trash bin you are using.

With a recycle bin placed adjacent to your trash can, this is possible. Pick up of the recycling bin is mostly done by the city without any additional charges.

When you use a brand like Commercial Zone, you get to purchase eco-friendly containers, such as Commercial Zone PolyTec Waste Container. These are made of recyclable plastic and do not chip, rust, or get damaged by graffiti.

Sturdiness and Durability

For households that need animal-resistant waste receptacles, rust-resistant and durable cans are good choices. The Tuffboxx Kodiak Trash Receptacle is a bear proof trash can that meets most of the criteria for an outdoor trash can.

It keeps away all the small critters as well as bigger grizzlies from damaging the receptacle and scattering the trash. It can be kept curbside until the municipal waste management truck takes your trash away. The bins are shipped in unassembled form, but they are easy to assemble.

Hygiene Conscious

If you have a large family or in busy commercial spaces, a sensor trash can is more suitable. Infrared motion sensors in the bin help in the automatic opening and closing of the lid. This type of trash can helps maintain hygiene and cleanliness.

With the appropriate liner, this trash can is an eco-friendly and safe trash disposal option.  A disinfecting wipe dispenser like Glaro Satin Wall Mounted Disinfecting Wipe Dispenser will add to your health and safety. Besides the wall mount type, there are standing or wipe station models too.

Size Selection Tips



Tip 1: If it is a small household or you remove trash occasionally a 30-gallon trash bin would be sufficient.

Tip 2: For households with four or more members and for renovation or construction projects, a larger capacity of 50 gallons or more is needed

Tip 3: For smaller renovation or home projects, consider using an open-top variety of trash cans. This will make it easy to empty them into a larger container.

Tip 4: It is best to segregate your trash. Keep different colored bins such as blue for recycling and other distinct colored ones for non-recyclable trash. 

Tip 5: When the quantity of the trash collected is small, the Ex-Cell Kaiser Venue Collection Trash Receptacle is a good option. This waste receptacle has a sturdy security cable to keep the bin covered. A rubber gasket at the bottom for protecting floor and unit surfaces is also ideal for indoor use.

How to Choose the Right-Sized Trash Can for a Commercial Space


The factors that impact the size of the trash can for a commercial space differ from that of a residential one. Here are a few important factors to consider:

How Often Do You Empty the Can?

The capacity of the can depends on the upkeep and hygiene measures you follow at the workplace. If your cleaning staff is unable to empty the trash cans regularly and they tend to overflow fast, then you should:

  • Use a large-sized can or many cans to avoid trash overflow.
  • Have proper liners if you are using concrete garbage cans. These reduce upkeep work as they keep the trash can clean. And, they are also easy to empty with the handles provided for lifting.

    Trash Generation

    The size you should pick depends on the amount and type of trash generated in the workplace. Whether you recycle or not plays a crucial role in the size selection.

    For commercial spaces like an arena, mall, or restaurant, food waste and paper waste are more. This requires a larger capacity.

    You also need to address hygiene issues like having covered trash cans. The Wausau Made Trash Receptacle Lid, for instance, makes waste disposal easy.

    This best trash can prevents unwanted odors from spoiling your workplace. It is made of durable quality polyethylene. Plus, it comes with a security cable for theft/vandalism protection.

    Space Appropriate Trash Cans

    Outdoor trash cans are built to withstand extreme weather conditions. They are also fireproof, graffiti proof, and waterproof. The sturdy material of the cans helps them withstand damage caused by people and animals, including pets and wildlife.

    Here are some trash receptacles you can consider while choosing a trash can for your residential or commercial space.

    • For attractive models that are fully functional, consider a model like the Wausau Made Tray Caddy Top Trash Receptacle. This receptacle is durable and classic in appearance. It is ideal for areas that see medium to high traffic, such as food courts, outdoor restaurant seating spaces, etc.
    • Do you want a sturdy and sleek looking design suitable for commercial spaces? The Witt Industries Monarch Series Trash Receptacle is a good choice to consider. It has a protective plastic liner. And, there are several colors to choose from in this brass-plated receptacle of 24-gallon capacity. 
    • For spaces with high-traffic, the Wausau Made Push Door Top Trash Receptacle is an apt choice. It is made of concrete for durability. The push door enables easy disposal of waste. Office complexes and outdoor restaurant seating spaces find this type of trash can suitable.

      In Summary

      Hope you liked our guide on how to choose the right trash can for outdoor use. Now that you have gone through our guide on the right-sized trash can, you can choose wisely. As you would have realized, the options open to you are aplenty. The above-mentioned tips and suggestions will take care of all your outdoor trash disposal needs.

      While there are several options available, selecting the best trash can needs proper consideration of certain points. The above buying tips will ensure you have an outdoor trash can of the appropriate size.

      You will by now know that the size is dependent on several factors, such as the amount of waste generated. So, you should be armed with all the searching criteria. This will help you buy a suitable, efficient, and effective trash can.