Waste management is a critical aspect of keeping your home and surroundings clean and hygienic. One of the key tools in waste management is a trash can. Trash cans come in different sizes, shapes, and capacities, and it is important to choose the right one for your household's needs. Knowing the gallon capacity of your trash can helps you determine how often you need to empty it and ensures that you have the appropriate size trash bags for it.


Trash Rite Inc. is a leading provider of waste management products, including trash cans and trash bags. They offer a wide range of sizes and styles of trash cans to meet the needs of any household. In this guide, we'll show you how to determine the gallon capacity of your trash can so you can keep your home and environment clean and healthy.

How to Determine the Gallon Capacity of Your Trash Can: A Guide by Trash Rite Inc.

When it comes to determining the gallon capacity of your trash can, Trash Rite Inc. has got you covered. Follow these simple steps to accurately measure the size of your waste container:

1. Measure the Height

To begin, measure the height of your trash can using a measuring tape. Place the tape at the bottom of the can and extend it all the way to the top. Take note of the measurement in inches.

2. Measure the Diameter

Next, measure the diameter of the trash can. This measurement will help you determine the capacity of cylindrical-shaped containers. Place the tape across the center of the opening and record the diameter in inches.

3. Calculate the Radius

To calculate the radius of your trash can, divide the diameter measurement by 2. This step is necessary for determining the volume of cylindrical-shaped containers accurately.

4. Determine the Shape of Your Trash Can

Trash cans can come in various shapes, including cylindrical, rectangular, and square. Once you've measured the height and diameter (if applicable), identify the shape of your trash can. This information will guide you in selecting the correct formula to calculate the gallon capacity.

5. Calculate the Volume

Now that you have the necessary measurements and determined the shape of your trash can, you can calculate the volume using the appropriate formula:

  • For cylindrical trash cans: V = πr²h
  • For rectangular trash cans: V = lwh
  • For square trash cans: V = l³

In these formulas, V represents the volume, π is a mathematical constant approximately equal to 3.14159, r is the radius, h is the height, l is the length, and w is the width.

6. Convert Volume to Gallons

After calculating the volume, convert it to gallons. Since most trash cans are labeled in gallons, it's important to use this unit of measurement for accuracy. 1 gallon is equivalent to 231 cubic inches.

To convert the volume to gallons, divide the volume by 231. Round the result to the nearest whole number to determine the gallon capacity of your trash can.

7. Selecting the Right Garbage Bags

Knowing the gallon capacity of your trash can is crucial for choosing the appropriate garbage bags. Using bags that are too small can result in overflows and messy cleanups, while using oversized bags can lead to unnecessary waste of resources.

Refer to the gallon capacity of your trash can when selecting garbage bags. Choose bags that have a capacity slightly larger than your trash can to accommodate any bulging or extra waste. This will ensure a secure and efficient waste disposal process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions about determining the gallon capacity of trash cans:

Q1. Why is it important to know the gallon capacity of my trash can?

It is essential to know the gallon capacity of your trash can for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to choose the right size garbage bags, preventing overflows and minimizing mess. Additionally, knowing the capacity helps you manage your waste more effectively and plan for proper disposal.

Q2. Can I estimate the gallon capacity of my trash can without measuring it?

While it's best to measure the trash can to get an accurate gallon capacity, you can make an estimation if measurements are not possible. Most standard kitchen trash cans have capacities ranging from 10 to 30 gallons. However, keep in mind that an estimation may not be as precise as measuring.

Q3. What if my trash can has an irregular shape?

If your trash can has an irregular shape, such as an oval or a hexagon, measuring the diameter and height might not be sufficient. In such cases, it is recommended to use the water displacement method. Fill the trash can with water and measure the amount of water it takes to fill it to the brim. Convert this volume to gallons using the conversion factor mentioned earlier.

Q4. Can I use this guide for outdoor trash cans?

Absolutely! This guide applies to both indoor and outdoor trash cans. Regardless of where your trash can is located, knowing its gallon capacity will assist you in selecting the appropriate garbage bags and ensuring effective waste management.

Q5. Can I use this method for large dumpsters?

The method described in this guide is suitable for determining the gallon capacity of smaller trash cans typically used in households, offices, and small businesses. For large dumpsters, it is best to consult with waste management professionals who can accurately assess their capacity using specialized techniques.

Q6. Where can I find the best garbage bags for my trash can?

Trash Rite Inc. recommends checking your local grocery stores, home improvement centers, or online retailers for a wide range of garbage bags. Look for bags that are specifically labeled with the gallon capacity that matches or slightly exceeds the capacity of your trash can.



 Explore our premium selection of trash bags designed to meet all your waste disposal needs. Whether you're looking for durable kitchen trash bags or heavy-duty options for industrial use, we've got you covered. Click the green button to discover high-quality bags that combine strength and reliability. Make your waste management hassle-free with our top-notch collection




15 Gallon - Tall Kitchen Bags

15 Gallon Trash Bag

Introducing our 15 Gallon Tall Kitchen Bags! These bags are perfect for everyday kitchen waste and feature a strong and reliable design.

  • Capacity: 15 gallons
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39 Gallon - Heavy-Duty Trash Bags

39 Gallon Trash Bag

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  • Capacity: 39 gallons
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33 Gallon - Heavy-Duty Trash Bags

33 Gallon Trash Bag

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55 Gallon - Contractor Trash Bags

55 Gallon Trash Bag

Introducing our 55 Gallon Contractor Trash Bags! These bags are designed to handle heavy, bulky trash and are commonly used in construction and renovation projects.

  • Capacity: 55 gallons
  • Dimensions: 22" x 16" x 55"
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United Solutions 32 Gallon Wheeled Outdoor Garbage Can with Attached Snap Lock Lid and Heavy-Duty Handles, Black, Heavy-Duty Construction, Perfect Backyard, Deck, or Garage Trash Can, 2 Pack    






Rubbermaid Commercial Products BRUTE Heavy-Duty Round Trash/Garbage Can with Venting Channels, 55 Gallon, Gray, Trash Can/Waste Container for Home/Garage/Bathroom/Outdoor/Driveway (Pack of 1)  




Boardwalk 32GLWRGRA Round Waste Receptacle  32 gal 




Boardwalk lid 








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