The 7 Best Wheeled Trash Cans
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in February of 2017. Taking out the garbage is no one's idea of a good time, but it might as well be as quick and painless of a process as possible. The wheeled trash cans featured here will help you move heavy loads of refuse to the curb with minimal effort, and some are equipped with mechanisms that can prevent hungry critters from getting into your rubbish and making a mess. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 03, 2019:
Unless a racoon gets into it and makes a mess, you probably don’t spend too much time thinking about a household garbage can. However, they’re clearly not all built alike, when it comes to sturdiness, maneuverability, and overall design. In addition, it makes sense to get one with wheels, considering the average family of four produces around 80 pounds of trash per week. Whether you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor option that rolls, our list has something for you.
Joining the selection is the iTouch Glide, which, true to its name, can be pushed effortlessly around your home as needed. Waving your hand over its lid will activate its touch sensors to open it automatically, making it a choice that’s hygienic as well as convenient. It comes with a replaceable carbon filter to absorb trash odors. (Replacement ones are readily available in three-packs.) It requires 3 D-cell batteries, which are sold separately.
The Rubbermaid Brute moves into the top spot on our list, thanks to its easy maneuverability and durable plastic material that resists fading and cracking. Its ergonomic handle is comfortable to pull, and the snug fitting lid does a good job of keeping odors in and critters out. Leaving our list is the Toter Bear Resistant, which, as it turns out, isn’t too bear resistant after all. (If bears are an issue, the best solution just might be keeping your cans in your garage or other securely locked enclosure.)
Incredible Solutions 45 Gallon This basic yet heavy-duty solution offers durable construction that withstands intense sunlight as well as freezing temperatures. Its hinged lid stays securely attached to the can, while its oversized handle makes for a comfortable grip. The wheels are built to roll easily, making your weekly trips to and from the curb as effortless as possible. incrediblesolutionsinc.com
Choosing Your Wheeled Trash Can
A twist-and-lock or clamp down top is essential if you live in an area where curious critters try their hardest to upend your cans.
You’d think purchasing something as straightforward as a trash can would be an easy decision, but, alas, it’s not. Manufacturers actually put a lot of thought into their designs, so whether you’re the resident of a city that doesn’t provide you with your own receptacle or a property manager who needs to supply your employees with something hardwearing and maneuverable, there are certain aspects you’ll want to focus on to find the right model for your personal situation.
Consider the locking system that works best for your needs. A twist-and-lock or clamp down top is essential if you live in an area where curious critters try their hardest to upend your cans. There are even bear-proof designs that trap odors and boast clever locking mechanisms that will stay secure when tipped over, rolled around, and generally mishandled. To that end, a cover that is double-walled and supported by a steel-reinforced rim will survive most clawing and chewing. It’s also preferable to have a model with an impact-resistant body, so when it eventually does see some abuse, be it at the hands of man or predator, it won’t look like it did.
An ergonomically-designed body is important, as well. Specially molded products will be narrow enough to fit through any door and effortless to tilt and roll. Some may need to stay upright if you happen to leave one out during a storm, or if the lid flips back after an automated garbage truck sets it down. Of course, you'll also want your new bin to stand up to the elements. UV-stabilized and corrosion-resistant materials will combat sun and water damage, while a reinforced bottom will hold out through years of scraping. Some designs even have a push pedal, so you can lift the lid to drop in trash bags without having to get your hands dirty. Try to take note of wheel quality, as well — durable, non-marking inset wheels with molded-in axles and exceptional tread should move effortlessly over curbs and uphill, even when the can is completely full.
Ways To Repurpose Your Receptacle
Getting rid of your old garbage bin can be a tricky task. Since they’re cumbersome and large, you’ll likely have to drive it to a recycling center or contact a local agency to arrange a pickup. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can repurpose a used can, so you don't have to beg your friend with a truck for help.
These uses require few tools and little effort; simply drill drainage or air holes and if you’re feeling flashy, brighten things up with a coat of paint.
If you’ve got a green thumb, then a large trash can will make a suitable planter as long as its lid is removable. Vegetables and plants with deep root systems fare especially well in tall containers — you can easily grow a generous crop of potatoes or yams that yields more than enough to feed your family. If you’re a seasoned horticulturist or landscaper with a defunct waste container, consider yourself the proud owner of an excellent new composting bin or rainwater collector. These uses require few tools and little effort; simply drill drainage or air holes and if you’re feeling flashy, brighten things up with a coat of paint.
Old receptacles are great for storage in general — long-handled tools such as rakes, shovels, and spades or sports equipment will stay neat and out of the way in such a bin, or you can sanitize and decorate one to create an upcycled toy chest for your little one. If you have a large amount of animal seed or garden soil, a spacious trash can makes an ideal container to keep it protected from the elements and invasive wildlife. And for those who live in rainy or snowy climates who receive packages often, keep them safe by instructing delivery drivers to leave your gear inside a bin rather than exposed on your porch.
The Odious Origins Of The Trash Can
Humans have had a toxic relationship with trash since antiquity. Although we've been producing waste for thousands of years, the garbage bin didn't make its debut in the western world until the late 1800s. Ditches, incinerators, rivers, and even the street were acceptable places for detritus, and it took a long time for populations to figure out how to manage their refuse in a more efficient way.
Reusable items were kept and repurposed, and edible scraps went to livestock.
Our junk didn't always consist of single-use containers and plastic bottles; in the beginning, our ancestors tossed out bones, ash, wood, and food waste. Reusable items were kept and repurposed, and edible scraps went to livestock. When communities grew large and had more rubbish than they could recycle or give to animals, they began to test out different removal strategies.
A precursor to modern-day garbage collectors popped up in Rome as early as 200 C.E. This sanitation force consisted of men in teams of two who patrolled the streets looking for waste to cart away to remote areas. This strategy was relatively rare, as up until the Middle Ages most people simply chucked everything out into the street. Not only was this extremely unsanitary, but from what we know of the mortality rate of the period, deadly as well.
Great Britain began to enact laws to keep its citizens in check around 1350. One of the earliest mandates was that front yards must be kept free of litter, but since the rule wasn't really enforced, it went largely ignored. When King Edward III ordered a fleet of men to remove rubbish once a week, they would cart it off to the Thames or other nearby bodies of water for dumping. It took a few more years, but Parliament eventually banned people from tossing garbage into public waterways and required them to keep it inside until someone could collect it.
The Industrial Revolution brought mass production to the people, and with it, waves of new disposable materials. Europeans and Americans had to come up with a plan. They built destruction plants, enacted strict laws, and finally, a garbage collection system was put in place. Citizens placed their rubbish in bins like we do today, and workers took them away to incinerators and dump sites.