Trash cans, obviously, are designed to collect, store and transport garbage for pick-up day. But, that is hardly the extent of what they can be used for. Probably the most amazing use I have ever seen was to make an elaborate Halloween costume.
But seriously, below are some very common uses for trash cans that people have shared with us:
Yard Debris (grass, pruning, leaves, weeds, etc.) – This is by far that biggest alternative use for trash cans. In the yard a trash can is extremely versatile because many tasks require a similar solution – bagging yard debris. Each city has a slightly different policy on how to dispose of that debris, but in all cases a trash can will make collecting it, bagging it and disposing of it easier. Even if you just need to collect the debris to be moved and dumped somewhere else on your property, trash cans can aid you greatly.
- Recycling (paper, aluminum, plastic, glass, etc.) – If you are provided a 14 gallon recycling bin, that is great. I’d venture that if you are recycling all that you can the bin you are provided isn’t big enough. Just like storing garbage, trash cans store recyclables just as well. Mark it “Recycling” with a silver Sharpie for your hauler to pick up. Or if your hauler will only take extra recycling in bags, make sure you line the can prior to filling it up and just take the liner to the curb. If you live in a state with a bottle bill, cut a whole in the top just large enough to slide a 2 liter bottle through, put it in the garage, and the family will know where to throw all of their empty cans and bottles until it is time to take them in for redemption.
- Animal Feed Storage (dog food, bird seed, livestock feed, etc.) – Sure, the food comes in a bag, but there are a lot of reasons not to store it in that once you get home. Mice and rodents can get in to eat the food and contaminate it in the process. Water damage can spoil the food. Smart pets can eat through the bag if they get to where it is stored. Not to mention, no one likes picking up the spill if the bag happens to split open. Putting that food in a durable, plastic garbage can will both protect the food and make it easier to store. For instance, a 40lbs bag of dog food fits nicely in a 20 gallon trash can (Part Number 2892). Or, for more space efficiency in tight areas check out the 30 gallon Slimfit trash can (Part Number 2979). Heavy feedbags for light agriculture can be dumped into wheeled trash cans so you have a portable storage solution.
- Gardening (mulch, potting soil, etc.) – My least favorite job each gardening season as a kid was spreading peat moss and having it spill all over our garage only to have to sweep it up over and over. Storing those types of gardening substances in containers helps to manage moisture and store without spills. Again, a wheeled trash can will allow you to roll it out to the garden area where you need to use it instead of using buckets, carts, or wheel barrows.
- Sporting Goods / Equipment Storage – What do you put 3 basketballs, 2 footballs, a frisbee, soccer ball, and baseball gear in to store in your garage? For years, elementary schools around the country have used garbage cans to store sports equipment. The same goes for camping and other recreational gear.
- Tool Storage – If you haven’t invested in some type of rail system in your garage, and you hate having your shovels, rakes, edgers and other long-handled tools falling all over the place, putting them in a trash can in the corner can make storing them a lot easier (and safer).
- Charcoal/Firewood Storage – While not a lot of people use trash cans for this, we have heard that this is another solution that trash cans provide.
What have you used your trash can for in the yard and around the house other than to store garbage? Submit your comments. We’d love to hear from you.