Trash Cans

We are a throw-away society. Where do we put all of our garbage? We put it in trash cans, which are made of metal or plastic. Trash cans include anything from indoor garbage cans, outdoor trash bins, wastepaper baskets, and recycling units.

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Trash Cans, Bags, and Recycling Units

Trash cans that are used for organic waste typically have lids to trap odors that result from decomposing organic materials and can be opened either manually, or with a foot pedal. Plastic trash bags are a convenient way to keep the can clean, as well as to provide an easy way to remove garbage for easy and hygienic disposal. Many communities have recycling services where customers put their recyclable goods in separate bins according to the material--glass, metal, plastic, mixed paper, or "green" refuse.

Moving the Trash Outside

Household waste is collected from indoor trash receptacles, put into either outdoor garbage cans, or in heavy-duty garbage bags, to be collected by garbage collectors. Materials to be recycled are generally put into their own designated bins and left curbside along with weekly garbage, or on a given day for recycling. Trash cans are not limited to home use - they are found in parks and other public places and are often designed so as to minimize theft and vandalism by being bolted down and or made of concrete or steel. Apartment buildings also provide garbage chutes, which direct refuse into the basement's large bin, or dumpster.

Varieties of Trash Containers

While the variety of styles of contemporary outdoor, industrial garbage collection containers is somewhat limited, the number of styles available for in-home use is much greater. Online retail outlets provide pictures of a plethora of sizes, colors, and styles of wastebaskets and kitchen garbage cans. They are offered in metal, stainless steel, plastic, and even wicker (often used in bathrooms). Prices range from very inexpensive, to rather pricey for designer trash cans. Hardware stores sell outdoor trash cans, garbage bins, and "green waste" carts, complete with pull handles, wheels, and air-tight lids. These outdoor receptacles are usually made of sturdy rubber and come in dark colors such as black or dark green to minimize appearance of dirt and other unsightly stains. The more industrial the item is, the higher the cost.