Maintaining a beautiful property requires removing a lot of waste. And that means you need a quality trashcan to hold it all!
Sure, the need for a waste disposal container is easy to overlook. You want to keep it out of sight as much as possible, too. But yard work would be miserable without it! It’s a necessity for disposing of fallen leaves, broken branches, grass clippings, and even trash that’s blown into your yard.
In some places, your waste disposal service will provide curbside cans designed to work with their trucks. Often, though, these are too bulky to lug around the lawn. Or maybe they fill up too fast. So having separate cans for cleaning up your outdoor spaces is a plus!
The Kinds of Cans We’re Looking At
Waste cans come in all sizes, of course. Small ones work well for offices and bathrooms. In the kitchen, you may need something larger. And both of these usually get emptied into the enormous curbside cans that garbage trucks pick up.
For the yard, we will look at cans big enough to hold typical lawn waste. That includes twigs, small branches, leaves, and the like. They need more volume than your average kitchen can. But they might not be as large as the ones that get put out at the curb. On the other hand, they shouldn’t be so big that they’re too hard to move around.
Another factor is portability. And that’s where wheels come in. We’ll review some without wheels, too, but we used two sets of standards. For wheeled trashcans, we start with a 45-gallon size. But we went all the way up to a 96-gallon one, too!
For cans without wheels, though, we stayed lighter. The ones we review range from 32 to 38 gallons.
Wheels or No Wheels
Speaking of wheels, are they worth it?
In most cases, we think they are! It can be a matter of preference, though.
Wheels make it easier to move your trashcan, especially if your soil is hard. If you have to cross a sidewalk or driveway, they’re great, too. They guarantee less wear and tear on your trashcan and make it easier to move.
However, if you often work in damp soil, you might find that the wheels sink in too much.
If there are roots, rocks, or other uneven surfaces to cross, it can be a tough choice. Wheels seem to make the can “twist” a bit; that can be painful to your wrist and arm. On the other hand, there could be a lot of bumping against the bottom of an unwheeled can. It comes down to which is less irritating to handle!
We also touched on size already. And it always depends on your needs! If you have only a window box or a small strip of grass to tend, you don’t need the trashcans we’ll review here.
But for most yards, you’ll want a can large enough to serve you throughout the year. You may use it for leaves in the fall, branches and twigs after a severe storm, and grass clippings all summer long. You might even use it to drag your tools around if you don’t have a wheelbarrow.
You’ll see that trashcans list how many gallons they hold. That may seem odd, but it’s easy to visualize how many gallons of milk it would take to fill it up! Of course, trash bags use the same system, so if you’re using bags with your outdoor trashcan, make sure to match them to get a perfect fit.
What To Consider
Besides wheels and size, there are a few other things to think about when choosing a trashcan.
We consider a lid almost indispensable. You won’t always need it every time, but sometimes you will. You may want to keep bugs out. Or you might not have time to get it out of the rain.
A locking lid is the best choice. It doesn’t have to be a complex lock; the kind that snaps on may be enough. However, if you will use the can for garbage, you might want something more secure to keep pests from opening the can.
If your trashcan doesn’t include a lid that locks, or if it’s not enough of a challenge to critters, you may want to add a trashcan lid lock.
Material and durability go hand in hand. Metal trashcans are typically heavier, smaller, and prone to rust.
Polyethylene or resin are our preferences. These alternatives seem to be a better option. It’s lighter and nearly as durable as metal. And it won’t wear out as quickly.
Which Outdoor trashcan Should You Buy?
There are plenty of alternatives out there when it comes to trashcans. But some are better than others. We’ve picked out some of the best to recommend here. That’s not to say there aren’t other quality cans, but we think these are the best of the best.
We’ve divided our recommendations into wheeled or wheelless models since both have advantages.
Ok, we’re starting with a monster of a trashcan! This can holds 96 gallons, making it larger than most streetside cans.
We admit, most people won’t need this beast. But if you have a huge yard or lots of trees to clean up after, it may be worth it.
This can works with the trucks used by most waste disposal companies. You can probably leave it right at the curbside once you fill it.
Made of polyethylene, it’s a durable item. It’s even got a ten-year warranty, so the company backs up their product.
The handles are durable, too, and are a decent height for moving the can around. The wheels are large enough to conquer most normal obstacles.
The lid is hinged, and both the hinge and the lid itself are tough enough to handle all the wear and tear they undergo – and that includes the banging they endure when dumped into the truck.
This trashcan is 43 ½ inches high, 29 ¾ inches across, and 35 ½ inches front to back. As you can imagine, it’s heavy even when empty! It weighs about 35 pounds, making it tough to move if the ground doesn’t let you wheel it.
Overall, it seemed sturdy to us. Most reviews we’ve seen testify to this. We’ve seen some rare issues of the metal bar where the trash truck lifts it breaking, but this seems to be a very uncommon issue.
Consider this if you’re looking for a large can to hold a lot of leaves or branches. You don’t even have to transfer it to a different can for pickup!
This can is a more “normal” size, but will meet most of your lawn care and gardening needs! Its 45-gallon capacity provides enough room to get rid of large quantities of weeds, leaves, or other waste.
The manufacturer lists it as made of plastic. However, it’s more durable than the average plastic trashcan.
A hinge attaches the lid to the unit. It also snaps closed. Raccoons may be able to figure it out. And it will likely pop open if a bear knocks the can over. But it helps keep out most pests.
The can measures 34.8 inches high. It’s 22 inches wide and 25 deep.
The wheels are well-spaced, providing good balance to the can. They work well on smooth, paved surfaces. They’re a bit small for going over rough surfaces, though.
The material is one of the drawbacks. While positive reviews far outnumber negative ones, the negative ones we’ve read do fault the construction. Holes sometimes do develop around the base. It doesn’t happen often, but some people have experienced it.
Another issue is that the bar that holds the lid in place seems to slide out sometimes.
There is a 10-year warranty on this product.
Another Rubbermaid product, this entry is a commercial product. We all know that means it should hold up better, and this model does!
This can has a 50-gallon capacity and measures 36 inches high. It’s 22 ½ inches across and 28 inches front to back.
There are no seams in its construction, so you never have to worry about it splitting. It’s made of durable plastic. It holds up well year-round; we don’t see any sign of a cold winter affecting its stability.
Eight-inch wheels help it handle bumps and curbs pretty well, although we think they could be spaced a little more for better balance while moving the can. It’s not a major issue, though.
The lid is solid and doesn’t flop around when open. It does seem like a weak point, though; the plastic isn’t as durable as the rest of the can. Also, it doesn’t even snap shut, so rodents can easily lift it to get inside.
Overall, it’s a solid can that will hold a good amount of trash.
Rubbermaid, as you’ve probably noticed, is a long-time leader in this type of product. This smaller can doesn’t have wheels – but it does have everything else you need to get rid of your garden waste!
At 32 gallons, this is a manageable size. It’s great for picking up grass clippings, weeding, or cleaning up trash that’s blown onto the lawn.
It’s easy to pick up; there are even “handles” on the bottom to grab. The base is crisscrossed with reinforcing strips to keep it from cracking, too. That’s important if you have to drag it across the driveway!
The can is 28.6 inches high and about 25 inches in diameter. The lid fits well and automatically clips on when you place it on the can. As is normal with smaller, round cans, the lid is not attached.
The main negative we’ve heard with these cans is that sometimes the lids have “disappeared” in the stores! Be sure you get your lid when making your purchase. If not, contact the store and the manufacturer.
This stylish trashcan is fantastic if you do a little work at a time but don’t want to have to hide the can all the time!
AT 33 gallons, this is a great size for yard work. And the resin material is durable both for holding trash and under the sun’s harsh rays.
The hinged lid latches shut. It’s a solid enough lock to keep all but the most brilliant pests out.
At 31.7 inches by 16 by 15.75, it fits well almost anywhere. The brown finish lets it blend in well on your porch or patio. It has the appearance of wicker near the top – but it’s entirely made of resin. You don’t have to worry about bugs getting in that way!
The biggest complaint we’ve seen with this is that sometimes, the inner ribs of the can tear holes in trash bags. Of course, you don’t want that! You need to be careful with bags if you’re going to use them. Or, skip the bag. But then you have to hose the can out after every use. We do want to note that most people with this issue wrote their reviews several years ago. We didn’t have the problem ourselves, so perhaps some modification was made.
Here’s another great-looking outdoor trashcan! This one almost looks like stone and it can blend into almost any landscaping like it belonged there.
The can itself holds 38 gallons. It’s 34.4 inches tall and 16.14 inches square. It’s fashioned from resin with a grey body and black trim, base, and lid.
This can has a unique feature, too – and whoever thought you could find something “unique” in trashcans! There’s a tray at the bottom to catch liquids. That means you can clean it out without having to tip over the can.
Like the can above, this one seems to have issues with trash bags ripping when being removed. This time it’s due to some unprotected screws. However, this doesn’t seem to be a common issue.
This doesn’t have handles to carry it around, but it’s small enough and light enough that you can pick it up without them. Or just leave it in place and carry the trash to it!
A trashcan just for yard work can be a huge blessing. It means it’s there when we need it. And it’s chosen because it’s the right season and durability for outdoor tasks! Be sure to choose one that’s tough enough to last. And of course, capacity is key, too!