Difference Between Trash Can and Garbage Can

Difference Between Trash Can and Garbage Can [ 10 Points ]

Last Updated on April 20, 2023

People generally refer to trash cans and garbage cans similarly, but there are a few differences between the two. The trash can is usually smaller than the garbage can and is designed to collect everyday household or office waste. The bigger garbage cans are suitable for more substantial rubbish.

A trash can is a receptacle for garbage, usually with a lid to keep animals and pests from getting into it. Unlike trash cans, garbage cans are large, wheeled containers used to store rubbish until it is collected and disposed of.

Though they are often used synonymously, garbage cans and trash cans differ significantly. Please continue reading to fully understand the underlying but distinct difference between the two.

Difference Between Trash Can and Garbage Can : You Need to Know

Difference Between Trash Can and Garbage Can - You Need to Know

The followings are some of the key differences:

Size of the Cans

Trash cans are typically smaller than garbage cans, which makes them more suitable for use in tight spaces like under a sink or inside a cabinet. In general, plastic trash cans are designed for household waste, while garbage cans are intended for more enormous commercial or industrial junk.

By contrast, garbage containers are generally bigger and heavier, making them harder to move. They are also more likely to be equipped with wheels to make them easier to transport. Yet, many homes have large trash cans, and some businesses use smaller garbage cans.

They are also often made of more durable materials, such as metal, which makes them better suited for storing heavier or sharper objects. In short, when deciding which container to choose, consider the size and weight of the items you need to keep.

Cans Weight

A trash can is typically made from thinner material than a garbage can, making it much lighter and easier to move around. This is important because trash cans are often emptied multiple times a day, whereas garbage cans are usually only emptied once or twice a week.

Also, garbage cans are often made from heavier-duty materials such as metal, making them difficult to move. For this reason, many garbage cans come equipped with wheels, which makes them much easier to transport.

Material of the Cans

A garbage can is typically made of a sturdier material like metal or heavy-duty plastic and may have a lid to keep critters and insects out. In contrast, a trash can is usually made of paper or thin plastic with a lid.

Both garbage cans and trash cans are used to hold organic waste until it can be disposed of properly. Still, garbage cans are generally more durable and effective at keeping debris contained. These cans can hold a variety of droppings, from food and paper wrappers to household waste as construction remains.

As a result, they are often the preferred choice for commercial settings. Trash cans are more affordable and easier to store, making them a better option for use at home.

Design of the Cans

Essentially, trash cans are designed for dry solid waste, while garbage cans cater for wet or food-based waste. This means that trash cans are typically made of materials like plastic or metal, while garbage cans consist of heavier-duty materials like steel.

Many garbage carts come with built-in liners to make it easier to dispose of debris. By contrast, trash cans do not have liners. Some recycling carts have special features, such as handles or foot pedals, to make them more user-friendly.

Cans Capacity

A trash can is much smaller than a garbage can and is typically used indoors for small amounts of waste. Garbage cans can hold a lot more waste than a trash can, making them ideal for families or businesses that produce a lot of garbage.

Because garbage cans are so large, they can be challenging to move and may require special disposal services. Conversely, trash cans are easy to carry and can be disposed of regularly.

These are the common differences between garbage containers and trash cans. When deciding which one to use, think about the type of refuse you need to store. If you need to keep a lot of food-based or wet waste, then a garbage recycling cart is the better option.

When to Use a Trash Can and a Garbage Can?

When to Use a Trash Can and a Garbage Can

Depending on some factors, you might use either a trash can or a garbage can to dispose of your waste. Here are some tips on when to use each type of container:

01. Type of Waste:

A trash can is for household junk that belongs in the trash. This includes paper, plastic, and metal. A garbage can is for food waste and other junk that cannot go in the trash. This includes chicken bones, rotting fruit, and used oil. For large amounts of garbage, you can take it to the landfill; otherwise, you can recycle it.

Also, hazardous waste should never go in the trash or garbage can. This includes things like batteries, cleaning chemicals, paints, and oils. It is imperative to dispose of hazardous waste properly to avoid harming the environment. The best way to handle harmful material is to take it to a local hazardous waste facility. 

02. Weight of Waste:

A trash can is meant for light refuse, such as paper products and empty packaging. Alternatively, a garbage can is intended for heavier waste, such as industrial or commercial waste and yard debris. The difference in weight determines which container to use.

If you’re unsure whether something is light or heavy waste material, a good rule of thumb is to think about whether or not you could easily lift it with one hand. If not, then it’s probably garbage.

03. Volume of Waste:

The decision of whether to use a trash can or garbage can should be based on the volume of waste you have. For large amounts of debris, a garbage can is the better option. Garbage cans are usually larger than trash cans to hold more junk. When filled, they are easier to carry because they have handles.

But, if you only have a small amount of waste, a small trash can will be sufficient. Trash cans are often smaller and more accessible to store than garbage cans. They also tend not to have handles, which makes them less cumbersome to carry.

04. Smell of Waste:

People don’t think twice about using a trash bin or garbage can. But, you should be aware of the smell of your food scraps before you dispose of them. If your waste tends to smell bad, it’s probably garbage. And, if you put smelly garbage in a trash can, the whole can smells. So, it’s best to put stinking refuse in a garbage can.

Trash cans are designed to hold waste that is still relatively fresh. This means it won’t have time to start decomposing and producing a bad smell. But, garbage cans are meant for holding waste that has already started to decompose. So, they often have a more pungent smell.

05. Frequency of Waste Collection:

A trash can is typically smaller and is meant for general household garbage that is picked up regularly, such as every week or a couple of days. A garbage can, instead, is more significant and is meant for waste that will be collected less frequently, such as once a month.

Thus, it’s essential to choose a proper portable container to avoid problems down the road. A garbage can may be the better option in case of excessive waste or irregular collection schedules. Generally, a trash can will suffice if you have a lot of waste or your collection schedule is more frequent.

Can I Put Garbage in a Trash Can?

Yes, you can throw garbage in the trash. But, if the junk accumulates and the trash can does not get emptied often enough, it will start to smell bad. Also, the smell will escape if you don’t empty them often enough or if you don’t seal them properly.

What are The Big Garbage Cans Called?

The big metal garbage cans favored by businesses are called “dumpsters.” A dumpster is a recycling bin for waste, typically garbage. These early dumpsters were metal containers that held about a couple of cubic yards of trash. When inverted over a trash truck, the bottom of the container had a swinging door.

Is The Trash Can And Garbage Can Contain The Same Thing?

Both trash and garbage containers hold the same material, “waste,” but it is essential to know that a trash can is any type of container used to hold waste material. This could be anything from a small wastepaper basket to a large industrial dumpster. Alternatively, a garbage can is a container for storing household and kitchen waste.

How Often Should I Clean My Trash Can?

It’s generally recommended to clean your trash can monthly at a minimum. If you have a plastic trash can, give it a good scrub with dish soap and water. If you have a metal trash bin, you can use a vinegar and water solution to clean it. And if you have a compost bin, remember to empty it regularly and give it a good scrubbing every so often.

Final Thought

As seen from the above discussion, there are several essential differences between trash cans and garbage cans. Both trash cans and garbage cans help contain waste. Yet, it may be confusing to use the correct type of container for your needs since they vary in size and schedule of waste collection.

To prevent problems down the road, you must pick a suitable type of container. Whether you’re looking for a trash can or garbage can, consider how much waste you have and how often it will be collected.

Ultimately, the choice of which type of container to use depends on the specific needs of the individual or business. We hope this article has helped you understand the difference between these waste container cans.

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