How Big Should A Kitchen Trash Can Be?

Do you always have to deal with an overloaded trash can? Or are you concerned by that excessively huge trash can that never gets filled?

When people buy a garbage can without much thought, it can result in a lot of irritation. It’s easy to get carried away by the variety of garbage can types available these days, and to neglect size in the process.

Make no mistake, however: whenever it comes to garbage cans, size is a crucial determining element. Nice trash can make all the distinctions.

So, the next time you’re in the market for garbage can think about what you truly want from it. Consider the following factors:

Things to Consider When Selecting: How Big Should a Kitchen Trash can be

Several factors should influence your decision when choosing the size of your kitchen trash can:

1. What Room Is It For?

how big should a kitchen trash can be

Most houses keep their larger trash can in the kitchens because that is where the majority of waste is created.

Bathroom trash cans will most likely be quite small because they must accommodate a small room with minimal garbage. Other garbage cans, which are slightly bigger, are frequently put in bedrooms, garages, or offices.

While specific sizes will vary owing to the other elements on this list, a bathroom trash can be about 4 gallons, a bedroom or workplace trash can be 7–10 gallons, and kitchen trash cans should be 12–16 gallons.

2. Number Of People who Live in your House

The more the population, the more waste you are going to generate. If you live alone, celebrate since you will likely produce less trash.

You ought to be able to get by with a 7-gallon garbage container. If there are two of you, get a garbage can that holds 7 to 10 gallons.

A family of four would generate a significant amount of garbage. If you want to avoid bringing out the trash too regularly, you should acquire a trash can that is 12 to 16 gallons in size.

If your family is larger, consider purchasing a larger garbage can. Your primary waste container should most likely be a 20 to 30-gallon trash bin.

3. Trash Can Sizes Depends on your Needs

how big should a kitchen trash can be

A 32-gallon trash container that stands about 44 inches tall may carry several full kitchen trash containers. If you living in a small home or single house with limited outside space, a trash can of this size with a cover may be ideal; you may store it in the basement or garage.

If you living inside a big single-family home with a driveway on a couple of acres, you may purchase another garbage can twice the size and place it outside of the house as long as it has a tight cover.

The usual 14- to 28-quart workplace garbage can (the kind you’d put underneath a desk) stands between 12 and 15 inches tall.

4. Based on the Size Bag used for Trash Cans

how big should a kitchen trash can be

If you have a lot of old shopping bags to recycle, you could want to utilize those instead of typical garbage bags.

However, if the bag is considerably smaller than your trash container, you will just make a bigger mess. If you use a 30-gallon bag with a smaller 10-gallon trash can, you will make more garbage as well as more mess.

Don’t waste the dollars on trash bags that don’t suit your trash cans or on a trash can that doesn’t accommodate your favorite bag design.

5. Your Shopping Habits

If you buy a couple of packaged goods, single-serve or individually-wrapped products, or foodstuffs that come packed in general, you will generate a lot more garbage and disposal.

Because everything has to be packed in spill-proof packing, you’ll have more garbage after eating takeout than after preparing your food.

Even if it isn’t food-related, most of our household trash gets into the large garbage can in the kitchen, so if you’re a consumer or prefer to grab a coffee or juice to go, you’ll need a larger can than others.

What Size is Right for You?

It’s the right size for your space and becomes almost full by the time you’re ready to take it out. If you find yourself emptying the trash can while it’s half full, consider switching to a smaller can.

If you can fill up fast that you can’t keep up with emptying it (and you have room for a larger can), acquire a larger one. For example, you may spend a lot of time at home. You will most likely be responsible for a large amount of garbage in your home.

As a result, you will need a larger trash can. If on the other side, you are a student, working adult, or someone who is frequently traveling, you will produce less waste at home, allowing smaller trash cans a viable solution.

If you like to cook at home, you will generate more kitchen trash. Such a way of life necessitates larger kitchen waste bags, which translates into larger trash can sizes.

Finally, young kids! If you have children, larger cans are preferable. After all, children generate a greater amount of trash.

These possibilities are unlimited, ranging from diapers to chocolates and snack coverings. Furthermore, the larger size will benefit them in collecting the trash inside instead of outside.

Trash Can SizeCapacity (Gallons)Height (Inches)Width (Inches)Depth (Inches)
Small5 – 1012 – 168 – 128 – 12
Medium10 – 2016 – 2012 – 1412 – 14
Large20 – 3020 – 2414 – 1814 – 18

Kitchen trash cans come in various sizes to suit different needs:

  • Average Kitchen Trash Can Size: 15 gallons
  • Most Common Height: 18 inches
  • Most Common Width: 12 inches
  • Most Common Depth: 12 inches
  • Percentage of Homes with Small Trash Cans: 40%
  • Percentage of Homes with Medium Trash Cans: 45%
  • Percentage of Homes with Large Trash Cans: 15%
  • Average Trash Generation per Household per Day: 1.5 – 2.5 pounds
  • Percentage of Homes with Recycling Bins: 75%
  • Percentage of Homes with Hidden or Built-in Trash Can Solutions: 30%


The right size kitchen trash can depend on a lot of considerations, but the most essential ones are how much trash you’ll be generating and where the can will go.

Personal choice is something that only you can determine. At the end of the day, you must select the trash can that is best suited to your space and lifestyle.


how big should a kitchen trash can be
What is the Standard Size for a Kitchen Trash Can?

A standard large kitchen trash bag has a capacity of 13 gallons/50 liters. This bag will usually fit into a somewhat smaller garbage can with some fold-over. Usually, the majority of standalone trash cans on the market hold between 10 and 13 gallons, whereas 7 gallons or fewer are better suited for keeping within a cabinet.

How Tall is a 13-Gallon Trash Can?

Most 13-gallon waste bins are rectangular and wide, while others are spherical and tall. As a result, there is no standard size for a 13-gallon trash can. However, to answer this point, the following dimensions from popular 13-gallon bins are provided: The dimensions are 14 x 18.9 x 26.5 inches.

How Do You Measure a Kitchen Trash Can?

Measure the length, breadth, and depth of the cabinet for optimal performance. Typical pull-out cabinets range in width from 12 to 24 inches and can hold one or two containers. Cabinet trash cans that are 15 inches wide and 20 inches in height are rather typical.

What Size is a Small Trash Can?

Small trash can holds approximately 2.5 gallons (10 liters). The small trash can had a dimension of about 100 sq inches. Circular, half-round, and slender square-shaped waste bins are the most common shapes for smaller garbage cans.

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