Trash Can Buyers' Guide

Keep Your Business Neat with Commercial Trash Containers

Every business generates trash. Trash is generated in kitchens, serving areas, offices, in the dining room, and even outside your building. Having the right commercial trash can available in each of these areas can help your business stay neat and clean.

Outdoor Trash Cans

The outside of your business will give your customers their first impressions, so it is important that it be clean. Outdoor commercial trash cans in convenient locations encourage customers to dispose of their trash properly instead of littering.

Commercial outdoor trash containers start at 5 gallons, with the largest models holding as much as 50 gallons. The utility trash cans are usually made out of galvanized steel, while the more decorative models may be made out of see-through mesh, painted steel, fiberglass, or heavy-duty plastic.

Some outdoor trash cans have specialty features such as metal or plastic removable liners, ash tray tops, leveling feet, and sloped sides to catch trash that might otherwise bounce out. Some trash cans also have replaceable panels, so that any damage can be repaired without replacing the whole trash can.

Outdoor trash containers often have special features to make them more able to stand up to the difficulties of being located outside. Some include lids with screws or steel cables to prevent theft, or locks to deter vandals. Some models feature especially heavy construction, bases weighted with sand or water, or include anchoring kits to ensure the trash can stays in place, even through attempted theft or high winds. To prevent fading, some outdoor models have a protective UV coating, or UV inhibitors molded into the plastic. Powder-coated exteriors are durable and weather-resistant.

Indoor Trash Cans

Where your trash container will be located can help you decide what type is best for you.

  • Brute® trash cans are Rubbermaid's most popular utility cans, found in countless commercial operations of all types the world over. They range in size from 10 to 95 gallons, and are made of heavy-duty polyethylene for durability. These are ideal for use in kitchens, stockrooms, and industrial applications.
  • Step trash cans are trash containers with a lid that opens when the foot pedal is stepped on. These are popular in restrooms and doctor's offices, as their hands-free operation prevents the spread of germs.
  • Decorative trash cans come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to fit any building's décor. Some designs include half-round cans, fiberglass cans designed to look like concrete, wood-paneled cans, and cans with messages such as 'Thank You' or 'Come Again' often seen in quick serve restaurants.
  • Slim trash cans are designed with a reduced footprint. Some models are made to sit flush against the wall, so they do not extend too far into the room, and others are made to slide into tight spaces. These cans are available with capacities from 15 to 36 gallons.
  • Bathroom trash cans are usually made out of stainless steel to prevent corrosion. Wall-mounted units help save space and often serve the dual purpose of dispensing paper towels. A waste chute recessed into a counter gives you the option of putting a trash can under the counter to be out of the way.
  • Waste baskets are small trash receptacles that are light and meant to be tucked away under desks out of the way. Most are plastic, but some decorative metal models are available.

Mobile Trash Cans

Your trash eventually has to be collected for removal, whether that's to a dumpster or to the curb for pickup. Wheeled trash cans can make transporting trash easy, and they are available with lids to keep animals and pests out of any trash stored outside.

If you will be transporting a higher volume of trash, a trash cart may work best for you. These do not come with lids, but they are available sold separately for many models. Some trash carts have slanted sides to make tilting easier, but those with straight sides typically have higher capacities. Forklift-compatible trash carts are also available.

Another option for transporting trash cans is a trash can dolly. These are made to fit specific sizes of trash cans and allow you to set the trash can on top of it to roll it around.

Specialty Trash Cans

Some trash cans are made to serve a specific purpose. One example is the cigarette receptacle, which can be built into the top of a trash can, or stand alone as a pole with a holding space at the bottom or in a wall-mounted design.

Another type of specialty trash can is a recycling bin. These are available in many of the designs mentioned above, such as slim trash cans, waste baskets, and wheeled trash cans, but are marked for recycling. Many of the recycling bins feature the universally-recognized recycling symbol, while others are more specific with labels specifying what type of recyclable material the can is intended to hold, such as cans, glass bottles, or paper.