Outdoor Trash Receptacle FAQ


| Dec 8, 2022

Investing in new trash receptacles? Whether implementing new solutions or refreshing existing ones, keep reading to get answers to some common trash receptacle questions. 

Table of Contents:

Why Are outdoor trash receptacles Important?

Indoor trash receptacles have many functions in outdoor spaces, making them crucial fixtures. Some vital benefits of trash receptacles include: 

  • Maintaining space quality and aesthetics: Regardless of your business type, you want to make an excellent first and lasting impression on your visitors. Having enough trash receptacles outside can ensure you better maintain a beautiful, clean space that continues to satisfy guests. 
  • Protecting the environment: Trash receptacles are essential for keeping litter and toxins out of local ecosystems. Animals can choke on pieces of trash, while plastic and other chemicals from the waste can leech into water and soil, further harming local populations. Available and clean trash receptacles encourage visitors to throw away items instead of littering, helping preserve your local environment. 
  • Enhancing visitor experience: When you have lots of trash cans for visitors, they can quickly and conveniently toss their waste. They can comfortably explore your property and interact with your business, creating a more positive experience with your brand and location.

What Types of outdoor trash receptacles are available?

Outdoor trash receptacles can have different designs and purposes to give visitors a chance to discard specific types of trash

Outdoor trash receptacles can have different designs and purposes to give visitors a chance to discard specific types of trash. Having more than one type of trash receptacle outside lets your guests dispose of all waste safely and efficiently, increasing convenience and improving the experience they have on your property. Some types of trash cans include: 

  • General bins: The first type of trash receptacle can accept any trash and have no specifications. They are unlabeled and more frequent, so they can accommodate all kinds of waste and higher volumes. This receptacle type allows visitors to dispose of trash properly instead of littering for a cleaner property and a more enjoyable space. 
  • Pole-mounted bins: A small pole-mounted trash can is suitable if your visitors don’t generate too much waste. By installing this bin type on an existing pole, you maintain ground space, making these options ideal for smaller outdoor areas.
  • Recycling containers: Recycling bins allow visitors to do their part for the environment and sort their trash for recycling efforts. These containers are often green or blue and have the three-arrow recycling symbol to mark their function. They might also specify what items they accept for more clarity. You can pair them with your regular trash cans to make it easier for visitors to throw away things while encouraging them to sort them correctly. 
  • Cigarette urns: Around 4.5 trillion cigarettes account for global pollution annually. If you want to accommodate people who smoke, cigarette urns can provide them with a safe space to dispose of cigarettes. These trash receptacles come in many designs and materials, but they all serve the same purpose and only accept cigarettes. Many have sand in them to help snuff out lit cigarettes and reduce fire threats.
  • Dog waste bins: Many larger outdoor spaces attract dog owners — open and grass-covered areas are great places to walk and play with their dogs. If you want to support dog owners and proper dog waste disposal, dog waste bins can help. These bins are typically smaller and closed with a lid. They often have a small symbol of a person walking a dog on them to indicate their purpose. 

Your trash can types further support your business’s function and visitors’ needs. Having multiple types of trash receptacles spread out through your property can give visitors opportunities to dispose of more types of trash, preventing littering. 

Which kind of lid must outdoor trash containers have?

You can customize your outdoor trash cans in many ways to support your business and its function. Trash receptacle lids come in many designs, each offering different functions and benefits. Some lid designs include: 

An ashtray lid filled with cigarettes
  • Ashtray: These lid types come with small ashtrays on top of the lid. Ashtray lids make it easy and convenient for people to dispose of used cigarettes safely. Depending on your location, this lid type can reduce the risk of lit cigarettes catching on leaf litter or other dry materials. 
  • Bullet: The bullet lid model has a smooth round top with a push door that swings back into place when people throw something in. They are easy to use, encouraging people to throw away their trash and reduce litter on your property. Their simple style helps create a more minimalist, sleek look that fits perfectly into your aesthetic. 
  • Dome: The dome top lid is similar to the bullet in its circular shape and style, but its door has a handle that visitors must lift to access the trash can. This option is excellent at keeping most weather out of your trash, preserving it better until collection. The handle also prevents smaller animals like squirrels and chipmunks from getting in the garbage and making a mess. 
  • Hooded top: The hooded lid has a similar design to the bullet but without the door for a more contactless experience and some weather protection. It usually has an opening on both sides of the hood, allowing visitors passing in multiple directions to get rid of trash efficiently. 
  • Flat top: The flat lid option is ideal for minimizing visitor contact. This lid creates an accessible opening, allowing individuals to throw away waste from any direction and without touching the receptacle. You can use this option if you want to reduce the spread of germs. Some flat top lids also come with a tray bonnet, ideal if your business offers outdoor dining and needs a convenient place to collect customers’ trays.
  • Recycler: If you want to promote recycling in addition to trash collection, you can use a recycler lid. This option has multiple holes for various materials, like paper, plastic, aluminum and glass, so visitors can keep them separate and abide by recycling requirements. These options may also have a space for regular trash. 

Knowing the various trash receptacle lids available can help you find the option that best fits your needs. You can better choose the lid that can encourage visitors to throw away their trash while meeting conditions that are more specific to your location or business, like keeping out animals or gaining weather protection. 

What are the benefits of keeping trash in a covered waste receptacle?

When considering using a closed lid for your trash receptacles, understanding the benefits can help you make a more informed choice. The advantages of covering waste bins include: 

  • Hiding the smell: Closed trash receptacles contain everything they hold, including the smell of trash. You can create a more comfortable outdoor environment with a covered waste receptacle. 
  • Deterring animals: From small animals like squirrels to bears and raccoons, trash can attract critters that smell food scraps. A closed waste solution can keep them from making a mess and consuming harmful materials by preventing access to garbage. 
  • Keeping the weather out: Well-preserved trash is easier to collect and decreases poor smells. A closed waste receptacle can keep out rain and snow, keeping your trash dry. It also prevents the wind from blowing litter onto the grass or sidewalk for a cleaner environment. 

What are the requirements for outdoor trash receptacles?

Your trash receptacle requirements will depend on your local government’s legislation and trash collector’s policies. You will want to remain compliant with these organizations to create a safe and healthy environment for visitors and employees. For example, your local government might require you to regularly maintain and inspect metal outdoor trash receptacles for corrosion to protect people from contacting rusty metal. 

What size trash receptacle is best for commercial outdoor purposes?

Most outdoor trash receptacles are larger to accommodate longer periods between collection and higher traffic. Your waste bins will need to serve people entering your facilities, those visiting your property and people just passing by. While it can be challenging to determine what size will best suit your business and community, you can use density patterns and current solutions to guess. 

Higher traffic areas, like intersections in sidewalks or areas outside of building entrances, might need bigger receptacles to match demand. Those around eating areas, like picnic tables, should also be large enough to accommodate food waste and tools, like paper plates and plastic utensils. 

At Wabash Valley, our outdoor trash receptacles come in three main sizes — 22-gallon, 32-gallon and 55-gallon

What size bags are best for outdoor trash receptacles?

Your trash bag size will depend on your receptacle. Generally, you can purchase bags in the same gallon size as your bins. When investing in bags, you can also use your receptacle size to calculate what size bags you’ll need: 

  • Height: Regardless of what type of waste receptacle you have, the height calculation will always be the same. Add a few inches to the height of your can. This equation gives your bags enough room to cover the bottom of the receptacle while leaving space at the top for overhang. 
  • Round receptacle circumference: Your bag needs to be wide enough to fit around the side of your trash receptacle and optimize space. For a round receptacle, take the diameter of the can and multiply it by 3.14, or pi, to get the circumference of the bin. Then, divide the result by two to see how wide the trash bag should be. 
  • Rectangular or square receptacle width: For non-circular trash receptacles, you will take a similar process but with different factors. In this equation, multiply the diameter by four and divide the result by two. 

Keep the durability of bags in mind, too. If your business sells heavy items like glass bottles, you’ll want bags that can handle a lot of weight. Choose heavy-duty bags that won’t puncture to make emptying the receptacles easier and safer.

How many trash receptacles should i buy?

Your receptacle numbers will depend on your location and available space. Too few trash receptacles will encourage littering, while too many might distract from your location’s design choices and functionality. In general, you’ll want to place bins around entryways and intersections, giving people a chance to get rid of waste before going inside or proceeding in another direction. You might also consider putting them around benches and tables for easy access. 

We recommend placing trash receptacles within 27 feet of benches, entryways, tables and each other. This distance optimizes cleanliness without overwhelming visitors. 

How can i remove the smell from outdoor trash receptacles?

Trash can smell. Depending on weather elements and trash types, the smell can grow quicker than teams can collect trash and empty receptacles. Implementing strategies to reduce and remove the scent can improve the visitor experience on your property and enhance your area’s natural smells. Some techniques include: 

  • Clean trash receptacles regularly: Trash is dirty and can leave behind residue, even with suitable bags. Coffee might spill over the rim as people toss cups in or saucy food might leave lingering scents. Caring for and maintaining your bins can ensure you remove all remnants of past trash so they can better serve your business’s aesthetic and functions. To clean them, all you need is soap and water. Hose bins down gently and let them air dry. Sponges can be helpful if you want a deeper clean. 
  • Use a closed lid: Your lid solution can help create a more pleasant environment for your visitors. Closed lids can keep trash smells within your receptacle, whereas open tops allow scents to disperse. Especially for trash cans around entrances or seating areas, you can make spaces more comfortable and inviting with closed lids. 
  • Protect them from the weather: Rain and sun can cause food to decompose faster and interact with other trash to make it smell more. A closed lid can help keep smells in, but it can also keep the weather out, preserving garbage as much as possible. You can also consider placing trash receptacles in the shade or under overhangs to better protect them from the elements. 

How should i dispose of my old trash cans?

As you begin integrating new trash receptacles around your business, you will need to get rid of your old ones. If you have a trash service come around and take waste from dumpsters or trash cans, you can set your old receptacles out alongside them. You can set them apart by placing them upside down or labeling them as trash. For those without trash services, you can also take your old receptacles straight to the dump. 

How can i hide my outdoor trash cans?

When planning waste solutions on your property, you will want them to be visible. When your visitors and customers can easily locate your trash cans, they are less likely to litter. However, you can make them less noticeable to preserve your location’s aesthetic and branding standards. Here’s how to hide outdoor trash cans through their design: 

  • Color: Trash receptacles come in endless color schemes and possibilities. When you want to make your trash cans less noticeable, choose a color option that blends better into your location’s features, like natural and design elements. For example, green is an excellent option for parks because it blends well with grass and trees, while browns, grays and blacks are ideal for corporate settings full of neutrals. 
  • Material: Your receptacle’s material can impact how well it matches its surroundings. Trash cans come in various metal finishes, plastic options and even wood. While each option has different durability standards and appearances, you can explore these options to find the bin that works best for your business. 
  • Style: Trash receptacles come in many unique styles, allowing them to fit into your pre-determined aesthetic. When your trash cans match your design standards, they will look less out of place, helping them seamlessly blend into your existing structures. If your outdoor space is modern with sleek lines, consider square receptacles, for instance.

Find the right outdoor trash receptacle with wabash valley

Find the right outdoor trash receptacle with Wabash Valley

Wabash Valley Site Furnishings offers a wide selection of outdoor trash receptacles in many styles and colors. With our available accessories and features, you can find the right waste receptacle solution that optimizes the appearance and functionality of your business. 

Want a cohesive design for your outdoor space? Explore our entire product collection today!