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How Big Is A Standard Garbage Can?

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Are you trying to find the right size trash can for your home but need help with the different available sizes? Well, you've come to the right place. We've put together this guide to help you determine what size trash can you need for your home and what a standard size is for a garbage can.

Trash cans come in varying sizes for different applications. The most common trash can is 13-gallons, also known as a standard kitchen-size garbage can. 

You probably wonder what the other standard sizes are and what they're used for. Keep reading to learn all about the different trash can sizes and determine which size would best fit your needs.

Open cabinet with full trash bins for separate waste collection in kitchen, How Big Is A Standard Garbage Can?

What Is The Most Common Garbage Can Size?

Kitchen-size trash cans are the most commonly used size. They typically range between 10 and 20 gallons in size, but the standard is considered 13-gallons. As their name suggests, these cans are popular for home use and are predominantly used in the kitchen. 

iTouchless Automatic Trash Can

This 13-gallon trash can is ideal for kitchens, and it even has a filter to help alleviate odors. Using a motion sensor, you can use batteries or plug it in to open and close, so you don't have to touch the lid. 

Click here to see this trash can on Amazon.

Interior of toilet seat, paper and trashcan in hygiene restroom.

What Size Are Bathroom Trash Cans?

Bathroom trash cans range from 1-9 gallons in size; these cans are also very useful for bedrooms and other small spaces. Waste cans in bathrooms and bedrooms don't usually fill up as fast as kitchen trash cans, so a smaller size is generally sufficient in these rooms.  

mDesign Small Trash Can

This trash can holds 1.5-gallons, making it perfect for bathrooms and bedrooms. It also comes in various colors to match your decor, and its smooth plastic surface makes cleaning a breeze.

Click here to check out this trash can on Amazon.

What Size Are Countertop Trash Cans?

Countertop trash cans are under 1-gallon in size, but they're ideal for small messes. These are great for vanities, desks and can be used in the kitchen to reduce trips to the primary trash receptacle. They can't hold a lot, but they're useful for small waste items like cotton balls, vegetable peels, or candy wrappers.

JILLICK Mini Trash Can

This miniature trash holds .40-gallons of garbage. The can is available in red or silver, and it makes the perfect addition to cars or for desktop use.

Click here to see this mini trash can on Amazon.

 What Size Are Office Size Trash Cans?

Office size wastebaskets typically range from 6 to 12-gallons in size. They are ideal for use in office settings, with the ability to handle a moderate amount of waste. 

Greenco 6-Gallon Wastebasket

This 2-pack of wastebaskets is perfect for office settings. They hold 6-gallons of trash and are ideal for paper products and other dry waste materials. 

Click here to see these trash cans on Amazon.

What Size Is A Curbside Trash Can?

Curbside trash cans are the largest type of garbage cans, ranging from 20-gallons to 65-gallons. These trash cans are usually used to contain garbage at the curbside for weekly pickup, but they can also be helpful in workshops. These large cans can also be a good interior option for large families that produce a lot of waste.

Rubbermaid 50-Gallon Garbage Can

This trash can contains 50-gallons worth of trash, which makes it an excellent option for curbside storage. The large wheels make it easy to move around, even when full. It's available in various colors so that you can sort your own trash as well.

Click here to take a look at this trash can on Amazon.

How Big Of A Trash Can Do You Need?

The appropriate size trash can for your home will ultimately be determined by the number of people in your household, as well as the amount of waste produced. For homes with 1-3 people, a 13-gallon trash can is usually sufficient. If your home has more than three people, you may need to consider a larger receptacle. Up to 20-gallons is appropriate for a kitchen.

Bathrooms and bedrooms usually require much smaller trash cans, but bathrooms that see a lot of use may require a larger waste container. Homes with more than three people might need a bathroom trash can with as much as a 9-gallon capacity.

GLAD 20-Gallon Trash Can

This 20-gallon trash can is made for use in the kitchen. It was designed with an extra-large capacity for homes that need something a little larger than 13-gallons.

Click here to see this trash can on Amazon.

How Do You Measure A Trash Can?

If you're unsure what size your existing trash can is, you can measure it to determine what size bags it requires. The process will differ depending on the shape of the trash can. Here's a quick step-by-step guide to measuring:

How To Measure Square Trash Cans

  1. Determine the perimeter of the trash can in inches by measuring each side and adding the measurements together. 
  2. Divide the sum by 2 to determine the width.
  3. Measure the height of your trash can and add 4-inches to determine the height of the trash bag you will need.

How To Measure Round Trash Cans

  1. Measure the diameter of the trash can.
  2. Divide the diameter by 3.14 to determine the width.
  3. Measure the height of your trash can and add 4-inches to find the length of the trash bags you will need.

What Size Trash Can Fits Under A Sink?

You will need to measure the height of the space in the cabinet under your sink before you choose a trash can. Usually, a 7-10 gallon can is ideal for this application, but you will want to check the measurements of the can against the space under your sink. 

You will also need to allow yourself enough space to deposit trash into the can. You can also purchase a roll-out track to allow the trash can to slide out. 

Simplehuman Pull-Out Trash Can Track

This trash can holds 8-gallons of waste and includes a track that slides out, allowing you easy access to an under-the-counter trash can. This is an excellent option if you have the space under your counter; it keeps the trash hidden and contained.

Click here to see this trash can on Amazon.

Open trash can in empty room with wood flooring, blue wainscoting and a power outlet.

Are There Other Ways To Hide A Trash Can In The Kitchen?

Besides hiding it under the counter, there are other ways to hide or disguise your trash can. You can try using a more decorative receptacle to spruce up the appearance, or you can try to find a trash can that has the appearance of a cabinet or hutch. There are even stand-alone cabinets explicitly made for trash cans that allow you to hide the trash can out of sight.

Tilt Out Trash Bin Cabinet

This cabinet will fit trash cans 10-gallons and smaller. It's a great way to keep your trash can hidden if you don't have space under your cabinets. It also adds a little more surface area to the room. 

Click here to see this trash can hideaway on Amazon.

What Size Trash Can Is Best For The Car? 

While miniature trash cans can easily be used in vehicles, other options may be preferable. Trash cans designed for use in vehicles often have straps or other fasteners that will attach to one of the car seats to keep the trash out of the way. 

HOTOR Car Trash Can

This 2-gallon trash can has a strap that wraps around the headrest of a car seat to keep it off the floor, preventing it from spilling. It also has extra pockets to hold small items and help keep your car organized, and it's waterproof.

Click here to see this trash can on Amazon.

Traditional Trash Cans

Woman putting empty plastic bag in recycling bin in the kitchen.

When it comes to garbage cans, one size does not fit all; household size will have a large impact on the size of the trash can required in a home. Now that you know the standard dimensions and their variations, you're ready to choose the perfect size trash bin for your home. Have fun shopping and good luck!

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For some inspiration on which trash cans to consider, read our article"16 Awesome Walmart Kitchen Trash Cans".

For help determining where to position your trash can, read our article "10 Ways To Fill Empty Floor Space In A Kitchen".