5 considerations when choosing your next trash can/dumpster

May 04, 2022

Whether it will be used at the home or at a business facility, choosing the right waste storage and disposal container is no throwaway decision. After all, not only can the selection of a trash can and/or dumpster have big impacts on the cleanliness of a property, but it can also affect the safety of residents and/or employees, odor and pest control on the property, the amount of work involved in trash management, and the pickup and disposal process.

If you’re looking for a trash can and/or dumpster for your home or business, consider these five tips on choosing the right one before making your final selection:

  1. Consider your waste volume

    1. Of course, choosing a trash can or dumpster that is too small to accommodate the amount of waste your home or business produces can lead to trash piling up alongside and near the waste receptacle — which can lead to safety, odor and pest-control problems. To ensure that you choose the right size fit, consider spending a few weeks keeping track of the amount of waste you produce in the average week, and get a container that’s large enough to handle your peak amounts of trash.
      Trash cans come in a broad range of sizes, from around 14 quarts for a smaller fire-resistant waste bin up to 96 gallons for a larger curbside collection trash cart. And, in order to accommodate a wide range of waste volumes, dumpsters are typically available in sizes ranging from 1 cubic yard for smaller standard rear-load dumpsters up to 40 cubic yards for larger rectangular roll-off dumpsters. To give an idea on capacities, a 10-yard dumpster can hold roughly three pickup trucks full of debris, while a 40-yard dumpster can hold roughly 12 pickup trucks full of debris

  2. Think about your waste type

    1. In the home or at the office, it is standard practice in most places to separate waste for disposal from materials that can be recycled. And to accommodate, bins and cans for homeowners, industry and municipalities are made with these and other specific purposes in mind. Further, bins and cans are made for a range of more specialized purposes such as organics collection, medical waste handling, document management and more. Be sure to get the type of bin or cart that matches your intended use.
      In addition, many waste-handling operations won’t allow you to dump certain mixes of materials, and this can be an especially important consideration with dumpsters. For example, gravel and fill often can’t be combined with other waste materials. Plus, the disposal of heavier materials can often call for more durable dumpsters. Be sure to choose a dumpster that fits your disposal needs.
  3. Find the right fit for the space

    1. The configuration, size and location of the space where you’ll be keeping your trash can or dumpster can also have a sizable impact on the best choice for your situation. For example, with trash bins, a round can may be a better fit for the space where you’ll be keeping it than a square or rectangular one in certain scenarios, and vice versa. And for tight spaces in crowded work environments like commercial kitchens, a tough container with a small footprint — such as the rectangular and narrow Toter Slimline Containers — can deliver a perfect fit.

      Further, if a cart or bin will be stored a long distance from the curb or wherever the trash’s final on-site destination will be, a wheeled option can significantly ease the emptying process, especially when the cart or can becomes loaded down and heavy. Likewise, the best dumpster size and shape can also vary based on the space where it’s kept, and when a space simply isn’t large enough for the volume of trash produced at the location, a compactor may be the best option.
  4. Assess environmental factors
    1. Environmental factors in the area where your home or business resides can also play a role in your ideal trash can or dumpster choice. For example, if your home or business is located in an area where wildlife is common, an animal-resistant cart such as the Toter Bear Resistant Cart can make it much more difficult for bears, raccoons or other wildlife to get to the trash inside. Additionally, a region’s average temperatures can help you determine whether a metal dumpster or plastic dumpster is the best fit for your specific location.
  5. Don't overlook legal requirements
    1. Whether using a dumpster, can or other type of trash receptacle, it is illegal in most locations to dispose of hazardous waste, which typically must be taken to specific disposal locations that are specially equipped to handle them. Just a few of the hazardous items of trash that can require special care in disposal are chemical products, herbicides and pesticides, flammable liquids, propane tanks, motor oil, antifreeze, refrigerators, electronics, tires, batteries, fluorescent tubes, railroad ties, medical waste, and dead animals. 
      Further, some areas may require the use of the animal-resistant carts mentioned above, and many places mandate that dumpsters be covered when not being filled or emptied. In your area, carts may require specific lid or body colors depending on the contents. 


Two proven brands offering a range of can and dumpster options
Toter, backed by Wastequip, is the top provider of waste and recycling carts to North America’s waste haulers and municipalities. The company has earned a strong reputation for functional trash carts and cans that — thanks to Toter’s Advanced Rotational Molding process — are tough as nails and built to last. Toter’s stationary containers, wheeled carts, organics carts and specialty carts offer a broad range of benefits including superior toughness and durability, a single-piece product design with no seams, consistent wall thickness, ultraviolet (UV) stability, corrosion and chemical resistance, and more.

And as the leading manufacturer of waste handling equipment in North America, Wastequip produces a broad range of industry-leading dumpsters, containers, roll-off dumpsters and roll-off containers. Options include standard rear load dumpsters, slope front rear load dumpsters, steel front end load dumpsters (FELs), tub style open top roll off dumpsters and rectangular open top roll off dumpsters. And to ensure the durability and longevity of this full range of waste handling equipment, Wastequip’s dumpsters and waste containers are built to last with heavy-gauge steel floors, sides and pockets, along with fully welded inseams.

Setting an even higher durability standard, Wastequip’s offerings also include RockBoxTM roll-off containers, which are made from Hardox® wear plate. This extremely durable material is four times stronger than ordinary mild steel grades — and produces a product weighing 20% less than and lasting twice as long as traditional heavy-duty roll-off containers.




Your experts in the industry
Need help choosing the right trash can or dumpster for your home’s or business’s needs? Contact a Wastequip representative using this online form or by calling 877-468-9278. Our waste-disposal experts have the hands-on experience and technical background needed to assist you in determining the best equipment for your home or business, its situation and its needs — and they’re always glad to help.

About Toter
Toter is the leading provider of waste and recycling carts to waste haulers and municipalities in North America. Additional products include specialty carts for document management, electronic waste, organics, medical waste and more. Manufactured using Advanced Rotational Molding, Toter carts offer a greater service life than injection-molded carts. Toter is also the only commercial-grade cart available to consumers at retailers nationwide. Toter is a division of Wastequip. Learn more on the web at www.toter.com.

About Wastequip
Wastequip is the leading North American manufacturer of waste handling equipment, with an international network of manufacturing facilities and the most extensive dealer network in the industry. Wastequip’s broad range of waste and recycling equipment, trucks and systems is used to collect, process and transport recyclables, solid waste, liquid waste and organics. The company’s brands include Amrep®, Accurate™, ConFab®, ContainerPros®, Galbreath®, Mountain Tarp®, Pioneer™, Toter®, Wastebuilt®, Wastequip®, Wastequip WRX™ and wasteware™. For more information, visit www.wastequip.com.

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