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12 Different Types of Garbage Bins for Outside the Home

A collage of different types of garbage bins.

The garbage bin first appeared in England in 1875 and was used to store ashes of burned waste. Homeowners were then charged to empty their trash bins on a weekly basis. Three years later, the U.S. followed suit with their own waste management system in New York City.

Bear proof garbage bins and recycling bin for home outdoor use.

In the mid-1900s, plastic was invented which led to the need for proper disposing methods and increased production of garbage bins. While the concept of recycling became popular in 1968, population growth and industrialization led to more garbage bin use.

Related: How Often is Garbage Disposal Cleaning | Types of Garbage Disposal | Garbage Disposal Clogs | Unclog Garbage Disposal | Trash Bag Sizes | Imperfect Zero Waste Practices

1. Traditional Steel Trash Can

Traditional Steel Trash Can

The classic image that you get in your mind when someone brings up trash cans is usually a steel can with a lid. That is exactly what this trash can here is. Even though many people have started to use hard plastic garbage bins, there are still a lot of steel trash cans out there. These types of trash cans are pretty rugged and will stand the test of time, so there is some merit to purchasing one.

If you want to own a trash can that can stand up to severe weather conditions, then look no further. This steel trash can is going to be able to withstand rain, snow, sleet, and whatever else nature can throw at it. You may want to secure it to something during bouts of high winds, but it will definitely be capable of standing the test of time. You’ll be able to use your steel trash can for years if you take care of it.

This steel trash can here will be able to fit either one really large garbage bag or two fairly large garbage bags. It is advertised as having a 32-gallon capacity, so it should work pretty well for your needs. You’ll be able to take this steel trash can right to the curb for garbage pickup. It’ll be an easy experience and you’ll be glad that you bought this durable trash can.

2. Standard Outdoor Trash Bin with Handles

Man holding a standard outdoor garbage bin with handles.

One of the more typical outdoor trash bins that people buy are the plastic bins that have handles. These types of bins can usually hold around two large trash bags inside. They will almost always have a lid for the top so that you can keep animals out of the garbage. You’ll be able to store your trash in the bin until garbage pickup day rolls around.

The trash bin being shown here is going to work out well for your needs. It is made out of a durable plastic that can stand up to even harsh weather conditions. Even if you live in an area where it gets really snowy, a garbage bin such as this should be just fine. You’ll be able to rely on it to store your garbage safely until garbage pickup day.

Another convenience of this trash bin is that it is available in multiple colors. You’ll be able to choose from several colors so that it can better meet your needs. This can be handy when you need to recycle your trash too. Some cities will have a color-coded recycling system where certain colored bins will be meant for paper products and others will be meant for plastic. If you are in need of multiple bins in different colors, then this one might be exactly what you have been looking for.

3. Rolling Garbage Bin

Rolling Garbage Bin

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Rolling garbage bins are definitely among the most convenient solutions that you can buy. These garbage bins are great to have around when you need to take out your trash. They are capable of simply rolling to the curb so that you can get rid of your garbage for the week. You won’t have to carry individual bags down your driveway when you have one of these bins.

Most of the rolling garbage bins on the market will be able to hold between two and three garbage bags at once. You can simply lean the rolling garbage bin backward and pull it where you need it to go. Moving it around shouldn’t be cumbersome even if it is carrying heavy garbage bags. This is a great solution for people who hate carrying garbage to the curb by hand.

If you live in an area where your house is quite far away from the curb, then this will be very nice to own. People who live in small residential neighborhoods may not find rolling garbage bins to be a necessity. They’re still common in these neighborhoods, though. It is hard to deny the general convenience of these garbage bins, and you should definitely look into purchasing one if you’re in need.

4. Trash Storage Shed

Trash Storage Shed

Some people also need trash bins that are capable of keeping the garbage out of the elements. Sometimes these types of trash bins are meant to keep animals away from the trash, too. There are people who live in wooded areas that have problems with animals such as raccoons. Raccoons can even be a problem in many cities, so it’s good to have a protective garbage bin for your trash.

The item being shown here is called trash storage shed. It really doesn’t look like much of a shed at all, but it is more like a dumpster with a lock. This is a large container where you can place your garbage bags to store them until your trash pickup day. It’s a way to keep the bags safe and out of the way until they can be disposed of properly.

Setting up a unit such as this shouldn’t be too tough at all. Many people like to keep these bins away from their home to avoid the garbage smell. This bin here helps to block out the trash smell as much as possible, but it is still a good idea to have a dedicated area for it. It’ll be a very important thing to own when you want to keep the garbage out of the elements and away from scavenging animals.

It should also be noted that some people decide to build their own trash storage sheds. If you want to, you can build very nice trash storage shed out of wood. This may even be a more cost-effective route to take. It just depends on whether you are handy enough to get the job done.

5. Outdoor Wicker Garbage Bin

Outdoor Wicker Garbage Bin

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If you are looking for something a bit more stylish, then you may want to consider purchasing an outdoor wicker garbage bin. These types of garbage bins are popular for people that want something that is functional while still looking nice. If you have a really nice patio setup, then you won’t want to put a gross looking garbage can next to your posh patio furniture. A wicker garbage bin is going to look much more natural in this setting.

There are some concerns about this type of garbage bin, though. Wicker is actually fairly durable, but it may not stand up to the elements quite as well as a metal or plastic garbage bin would. This might be an option that will work best in an area with an awning or a roof. Just know that you will want to keep it out of the rain if possible and everything should be fine.

The frame of this garbage bin is actually made out of steel too. It’ll last a long time for you as long as you take care of it. It’ll work perfectly on your patio and it is even UV resistant. You won’t have to worry about the wicker fading in the sun, so it will look as vibrant as the day that you bought it even after years of use.

6. Step on Garbage Bins

Step on Garbage Bin

There are some garbage bins that are made to be as convenient as the indoor models. If you want to be able to use a garbage bin outside, then you still might want to have some of the nice features of your indoor garbage cans. This step on garbage bin is a good example of an outdoor garbage can that has indoor conveniences. You’ll be able to step on the lever located at the bottom of the bin to open up the lid.

This will allow you to open the bin without having to touch it with your hands. Garbage bins are a bit unsanitary, so being able to avoid the germs is a nice feature that most will appreciate. You’ll be able to throw your garbage bags into this bin without having any problems. It’s a simple solution that you’ll enjoy making use of regularly.

If you want to put this bin right out to the curb for garbage pickup, then you will be able to do so. The garbage man will be able to simply step on the lever and grab your trash bags. You can then move your step on garbage bin right back to its intended location when you get home from work. It’s a good solution to your problem and it doesn’t cost too much money either.

7. Outdoor Open-Top Trash Can

Outdoor Open-Top Trash Can

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Outdoor open-top trash cans are among the most common that you will find in public places. These types of trash bins are typical sights in public parks and you will also find them being used at businesses. They can make throwing away large amounts of trash very simple. Most of these trash bins will be capable of holding a lot of garbage, so it makes it perfect for a public place.

A good trash bin such as this one isn’t even all that expensive. This makes it a really practical choice for those that want to have a trash bin outside of their home. If you need something for your trash somewhere in your yard, then buying one of these will be a good idea. It will be able to stand up to weather conditions and will always make it easy to throw garbage away while you’re outdoors.

This specific garbage bin has a pentagon design. It is made to blend in with the environment well so that it won’t stand out. It’ll look natural in your yard and you’ll be able to throw away whatever trash that you need to. This garbage bin can even be fastened to your pavement if you are worried about high winds or theft, so it’s a highly recommended option.

There are models of these garbage cans that are more portable as well. You’ll be able to take certain types of outdoor open-top trash cans right to the curb. Whatever type you are looking for, you’ll be able to find one that will work well for your needs. Just take the time to consider what you want to get to make your life as convenient as possible.

8. Outdoor Recycling Bin

Outdoor Recycling Bin

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Recycling and garbage are meant to go hand in hand. With modern environmental concerns becoming more prevalent every year, it is important to think about recycling whatever garbage you can. This helps to cut down on the trash that is being put into landfills on a yearly basis. A significant amount of your trash can be recycled, so this is going to be a good thing to purchase.

You will want to get a good recycling bin that can help you to indicate what type of recycling is supposed to go inside of it. As you may know, there are generally three categories of recycling. You have plastic, cans, and paper recycling. Ideally, you will want to have an individual bin for all three of these types.

The recycling bin being shown here is meant for aluminum cans. It says aluminum right on the side of the trash bin to help you avoid any confusion. Before you make your purchase, check into the laws of the land where you live. Some places require recycling and they may have a color-coded system that you are meant to follow. Just make sure you have the right information before you go out and buy anything.

Once you have everything that you need, you will be able to take your outdoor recycling bin to the curb every week for pickup. If your city does recycling pickup, then you will be good to go. Not every city in North America does recycling pickup though, so you may need to look into a private recycling center otherwise. Either way, you will be able to do your part for the environment.

9. Double-Sided Recycling Bin

Double-Sided Recycling Bin

Double-sided recycling bins can be even more convenient for some people. There will be times where you will see bins such as this out at different parks or businesses. These bins can also be very useful to have outside of your home. This will allow you to more conveniently sort your trash without having to purchase multiple bins.

Of course, since recycling has more than one category, you may want to buy two of these. You would also be well served by labeling the recycling bin so that you know what you need to put in each side. Once all of that is figured out, you will be able to make good use of a bin such as this. It’s very simple to use and will likely save you a bit of time.

People place these outside recycling bins on their decks pretty often. It makes it easy to throw things away properly while you are hosting an outdoor function during the summer months. You’ll be able to stay on top of your recycling far easier if you own something such as this. Keep it in mind when you are looking into new garbage bins.

Another good thing about these bins is that they can be placed on the curb for pickup. If you are lucky enough to live in an area with recycling pickup, then you can have your recycling picked up conveniently inside of a bin such as this. So long as you are meeting the requirements of your city, everything will work out quite nicely.

10. Compost Bin

Compost Bin

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A compost bin may not be something that you think of when looking up traditional garbage bins. Even so, this is an item that will help you to dispose of your trash. It makes sense to include it in a list of outdoor garbage bins due to it being useful for so many people. If you want to be able to dispose of most of your organic garbage in an environmentally-friendly way, then you should definitely look into buying a compost bin.

You will be able to put trash items such as banana peels, vegetable peelings, paper, cardboard, leaves, and much more into your compost bin. This will allow you to create a fertilizer that will aid your garden significantly. The fertilizer produced by your compost bin will take weeks to create, but once it is ready, it will be very nutritious for your plants. You’ll be able to grow bigger and better vegetables in your garden if you make use of this method.

It will take a bit of getting used to, but eventually, you will feel natural saving certain trash to go into the compost bin. This can even potentially cut down on your garbage pickup costs, depending on where you live and whether trash pickup is a public service or not. This is fairly convenient and you’ll be doing your part for the environment. Consider buying a compost bin if any of this appeals to you.

11. Touch-Free Garbage Bin

Touch-Free Garbage Bin

Touch-free garbage bins might be something that you have heard of. You may have even seen one of these garbage bins in one of your friend’s homes. They are trash containers that allow you to open the lid without even having to touch it with your hands. It has a motion sensor that it can use to detect that someone is in front of it.

Some of the touch-free models will require you to wave your hand above the garbage bin for it to open it up. Either way, you won’t be forced to actually touch the garbage bin when you are throwing something away. This makes it a really appealing option for anyone who considers themselves to be a bit of a germaphobe. It’ll be a good idea to place this type of garbage bin somewhere on your patio or maybe on your deck.

These garbage bins aren’t commonly used outside, but there are some touch-free models that are made to work outside. You will more commonly see these bins in people’s kitchens or bathrooms. If you want a convenient garbage bin for one of your outdoor recreational spaces, then this makes a lot of sense. You’ll like not having to touch the garbage bin and it’ll look pretty nice too.

You may not want to take this garbage bin directly to the curb on garbage pickup day. You can do so if you want to, but these garbage bins are a bit more sensitive. Having the garbage man bang it around may not be the most practical thing in the world. It is probably better to transfer the bag to the curb yourself to avoid any problems.

12. Swing Top Garbage Bin

Swing Top Garbage Bin

Much like the touch-free garbage bin mentioned above, the swing top models are much less commonly used outside than they are indoors. Even so, there are swing top garbage bins that are made to be used outdoors. If you want to put this type of garbage bin outside of your home, then it will work nicely on your patio. It’s a fairly attractive garbage container that will allow you to easily throw away any trash while you are outside.

People like being able to have convenient trash bins on their patios or decks. This is going to be one of the best that you can buy for these purposes. There are some people that will prefer the touch-free garbage bins for this, but a swing top is probably going to prove to be more durable. The way a swing top garbage bin operates is much simpler than a touch-free garbage bin, and this means that it won’t stop working after a while.

All you will need to worry about with the swing top garbage bin is keeping it clean. You may need to wipe it down from time to time, but it should always work very nicely. The swing top is a convenient way to throw items away and will always be easy to use, so long as the garbage bin is not too full. Since the bin is already outside, it will be easy to dispose of your garbage bag when the time for your garbage pickup has arrived.