Trash cans are an essential part of every household, office, or public space. They provide a convenient and hygienic way to dispose of waste. When it comes to choosing a trash can, size plays a crucial role in determining its functionality and suitability for specific settings. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the average trash can size, its variations, and factors to consider when selecting the right trash can for your needs.

Average Trash Can Size: What You Need to Know

Trash cans come in various sizes, each designed to cater to different needs and spaces. The average trash can size typically depends on the intended use, whether it is for residential, commercial, or outdoor settings. Let's delve into the details of average trash can sizes for different purposes:

1. Residential Trash Can Sizes

In residential settings, the average trash can size is usually smaller compared to commercial or outdoor bins. The most common sizes for residential trash cans include:

  • 13 Gallons: This is the standard size for kitchen trash cans in many homes. It provides ample capacity for daily household waste, including food scraps and packaging materials.

  • 8 Gallons: A smaller option suitable for bathrooms or bedrooms, the 8-gallon trash can is ideal for disposing of tissues, sanitary products, and other personal waste.

  • 5 Gallons: Compact and space-efficient, the 5-gallon trash can is often used in small apartments or offices. It is suitable for light waste, such as paper and small packaging materials.

2. Commercial Trash Can Sizes

Commercial spaces, such as offices, restaurants, and shops, require larger trash cans to accommodate the higher volume of waste generated. Here are some common commercial trash can sizes:

  • 30 Gallons: This size is commonly used in small businesses or offices with a moderate waste output. It provides sufficient capacity for disposing of office supplies, packaging materials, and general waste.

  • 50 Gallons: Larger establishments or spaces with higher foot traffic may require a 50-gallon trash can. It can accommodate larger items and a greater volume of waste, reducing the frequency of emptying.

  • 90 Gallons: Suitable for large businesses, restaurants, or public spaces, the 90-gallon trash can is designed to handle significant amounts of waste. It is often equipped with wheels for easy maneuverability.

3. Outdoor Trash Can Sizes

Outdoor trash cans are designed to withstand the elements and handle the waste generated by the general public. The average trash can size for outdoor use varies depending on the specific setting. Here are some common sizes:

  • 32 Gallons: This size is frequently seen in parks, sidewalks, or residential areas. It strikes a balance between capacity and portability, making it easier for maintenance workers to empty and replace.

  • 64 Gallons: Suitable for larger outdoor spaces or high-traffic areas, the 64-gallon trash can is designed to handle substantial waste volumes without requiring frequent emptying.

  • 96 Gallons: Often used in public parks, stadiums, or event venues, the 96-gallon trash can offers ample capacity for large gatherings and high waste generation.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Trash Can Size

Selecting the right trash can size is essential to ensure efficient waste management. Consider the following factors before making a decision:

  1. Available Space: Measure the area where the trash can will be placed to ensure it fits without causing obstructions. Consider height, width, and depth to find the best fit.

  2. Waste Volume: Evaluate the amount of waste typically generated in your setting. If you consistently produce a high volume of waste, opt for a larger trash can to avoid overflow and frequent emptying.

  3. Frequency of Emptying: Determine how often the trash can will be emptied. If emptying frequency is limited, choose a larger size to accommodate a higher volume of waste.

  4. Mobility: Consider whether you need a trash can with wheels or handles for easy movement. This feature is especially important for outdoor or commercial settings where emptying and replacement can be challenging.

  5. Lid Type: Different trash cans come with various lid options, such as swing lids, hinged lids, or touchless lids. Choose a lid type that suits your preference and helps contain odors and prevent pests.

  6. Durability: Ensure the trash can is made of sturdy materials that can withstand the intended environment, whether it's indoors or outdoors.

FAQs about Average Trash Can Size

Q1: What is the most common size for a kitchen trash can?

A1: The most common size for a kitchen trash can is 13 gallons. It offers ample capacity to handle the daily waste generated in a typical household.

Q2: Are outdoor trash cans larger than indoor ones?

A2: Yes, outdoor trash cans are often larger than indoor ones. Outdoor settings tend to generate more waste, and larger trash cans can accommodate higher volumes without requiring frequent emptying.

Q3: Can I use a smaller trash can in a commercial space?

A3: While you can use a smaller trash can in a commercial space, it may result in more frequent emptying and potential overflow if the waste volume exceeds the bin's capacity. It's advisable to choose a trash can size based on your specific needs and waste generation.

Q4: Can I customize the size of a trash can?

A4: Some manufacturers offer customizable trash cans, allowing you to select specific dimensions or capacities based on your requirements. Check with the manufacturer or consult a supplier to explore customization options.

Q5: Are there regulations regarding trash can sizes in public spaces?

A5: Regulations regarding trash can sizes in public spaces may vary depending on local ordinances and waste management guidelines. It's recommended to consult local authorities or waste management agencies to ensure compliance with relevant regulations.

Q6: Can I use multiple small trash cans instead of a single large one?

A6: Using multiple small trash cans can be an alternative to a single large one, especially if space is a constraint. However, it may require more effort to empty and maintain multiple bins compared to a single larger bin.


Choosing the right trash can size is crucial for effective waste management. By considering factors such as the intended use, available space, and waste volume, you can select a trash can that meets your specific needs. Whether it's a residential kitchen, a commercial space, or an outdoor setting, there is an average trash can size that will suit your requirements. Keep in mind the information provided in this guide to make an informed decision and maintain a clean and organized environment.

By Raied Muheisen 0 comment


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