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Trash Bag Sizes (Illustrated Charts)

From standard size kitchen trash cans to large 60-gallon garbage cans that are used for commercial use or even for recycling, you will need to determine the right size of trash can bags you will need to fit in the trash receptacle and will not be too small or too large.

Yellow rubber gloved-hands unroll a black garbage bag.

I recently ran out of the smaller white trash bags that I normally use in the trash can in my kitchen so I used the larger green bags that I had on hand. This seemed fine until I realized just how large that trash bag really was and had filled it to the point in which it was almost too full to pull out of the smaller trash can. I wondered what size of trash bag would actually be the appropriate size for the trash can that I have.

If this has happened to you or you own a business in which you have very large trash cans and are looking for the appropriate size and thickness of the type of bags you want to use, this article is for you, and me since I am still trying to figure it out.

Related: Types of Garbage Disposal | Types of Garbage Bins

What Size of Trash Bag Do You Need?

Here are two easy steps to determine what size of trash bag you need to use:

The first method to determine the appropriate trash bag size that you need is to use a handy dandy calculator method. There are many calculators on the internet that you can use to calculate the size of trash bag you will want to use. You simply will need to input the width, height, and diameter of the garbage can.

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Square or Rectangular Trash Cans

For square or rectangle trash cans you will take the perimeter which is the sum of all of the sides of you garbage can then divide by the number two. This will provide you with the width of your can. You then need to measure the height of your trash can before adding four inches to allot for the overhang of the trash bag once it is in the can. You will also need to add whatever the number is that you come up with that is equal to half the diameter that you already measured. This will ensure that the trash bag covers the bottom of your can properly without effecting the rest of the bag size.

Round Trash Cans

First you will take the diameter , which is the width of your trash can , and multiply that number by 3.14. You will then divide that number by two which will give you the width of your trash bag. He will then measure the height have your trash can then add 4 inches for the overhang as well as half of the diameter for the bottom part of the can.

Now that you have figured out the size you need, you can choose the bag that will fit properly. Here is our trash bag sizes charts that includes various sizes of trash bags and what they are best used for and why.

12 to 16 Gallon Trash Bag

12 to 16 Gallon Trash Bag Size Chart

This size of trash bag wonderful to use for a standard size wastebasket that is found in many homes and businesses as well. This size of bag can hold an array of different things, including waste from an office, linen fabric, old rags or newspapers, or food craps in your kitchen.

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16 to 20 Gallon Trash Bags

16 to 20 Gallon Trash Bags Size Chart

Most of the bags in these sizes come with a tie enclosure to keep odors out of your house or business. There is a decent amount of room in this size trash bag to put yard clippings in or other light trash outside.

21 to 25 Gallons Trash Bags

21 to 25 Gallons Trash Bags Size Chart

This size of trash bag is great for keeping your office tidy or keeping your home nice and clean. It is used for storage of extra items you have or to line your trash bin to dispose of waste.

26 to 30 Gallon Trash Bags

26 to 30 Gallon Trash Bags Size Chart

These trash bags fit pretty well in 40 to 50 gallon garbage cans and come in a variety of thicknesses, which most trash bags do.

3.5 to 4 Gallon Trash Bags

3.5 to 4 Gallon Trash Bags Size Chart

These are small trash bags that only hold a liter or two of trash. They are used for light trash and can even work as an oven bag. They are great for use in a bathroom or laundry room.

31 to 35 Gallon Trash Bags

31 to 35 Gallon Trash Bags Size Chart

As with most garbage bags in today’s market, you can get these plastic garbage bags with a drawstring tie to seal them after they are filled with trash and debris. Many people, including myself, love this aspect of trash bags since you do not have to mess with a twister tie.

40 to 45 Gallon Trash Bags

40 to 45 Gallon Trash Bags Size Chart

These bags work well with a trash can that is about 50 inches in width and 48 inches in height. They tend to be taller so they are not as apt to fall down into your can when you are attempting to for garbage disposal.

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50 Gallon Trash Bags

50 Gallon Trash Bags Size Chart

This size of trash bag is the also the right size for a trash receptacle that is about 50 inches in width and 48 inches in height.

56 to 60 Gallon Trash Bags

56 to 60 Gallon Trash Bags Size Chart

From commercial kitchens and restrooms to outdoor cleanups, these trash bags have multiple uses and fit well in a garbage can that is about 43″W x 46″H or even a little larger. They boast a good thickness and can even be used when cleaning up things like broken glass without hurting anyone when you pull them out of the can.

Many of the larger bags and some small ones are made of High-Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE). This type of material is made of petroleum and since this particular type of plastic is very versatile, it is used not only for piping and bleach, and shampoo bottles but trash cans and trash bags.

A larger trash can liner can also be used for recycling items, including glass, cardboard, newspapers, and aluminum cans.

7 Gallon Trash Bags

7 Gallon Trash Bags Size Chart

This type of bag is considered low-density and are mainly used in kitchens, for outdoor waste such as grass clippings and leaves, or even by janitors as they clean an office or building. They are made to be stretchable so they do not tear as easily if you place heavier or sharp items in them.

7 to 10 Gallon Trash Bags

7 to 10 Gallon Trash Bags Size Chart

These types of bags are wonderful to use at a food service business or even inside of a taller garbage can in your kitchen. It can also be used in a recycling bin, office, or bathroom.

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FAQs About Trash Bags

What is the smallest trash bag size?

If you have a small trash bin, such as one that is about 17 to 18 inches tall, that you use in a bathroom, bedroom, or laundry room, the dimension of this type of bag will work well for you and may even be an exact fit.

How are dumpster sizes calculated?

You would multiply the exterior dimensions in feet, which is the length, width, and height, to calculate the size of a dumpster. This will provide you with the volume in cubic feet so you can then divide by 27 to convert to cubic yards.

How big is the average kitchen trash can?

A standard kitchen trash can is normally about 13 gallons and holds about 50 liters of trash. A standard size kitchen garbage bag should fit fine in these and you can even purchase ones that are scented and of different thickness.