wikiHow to Take out the Trash

Four Methods:Taking Out the TrashMaintaining a Trash ScheduleCompacting the TrashRecycling When Possible

Taking out the trash is something that most of us have to do on a regular basis. Not taking out the trash can create an unsanitary home or office environment. Although this is not a difficult task, there are tips that you can use to make it even easier.

Method 1
Taking Out the Trash

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    Secure the bag. Use the extra room at the top of the bag to securely tie a single knot so that the garbage does not fall out of the bag. Sometimes trash bags come with twist ties. Using these ties makes it easy to secure the contents of the bag. Gather the entire opening of the bag, close and place the twist tie around it.
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    Double bag the trash. Check to see if there are any holes in the bag. If so, double bag it by placing the entire bag inside of an empty bag.[1]
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    Take your bags to the designated pick-up location. Be sure nothing has been left behind or dropped during the transportation process.
    • To transport heavy items or more than one bag, either take more than one trip, ask for help, or use a dolly or wagon.
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    Move the dumpster to the street. If you live in a house and not an apartment, there are specific waste management guidelines to follow. Be sure to follow the rules for dumpster placement and pick up. You should set the trash out on time so that it does not pile up.
    • You can find your neighborhood’s trash pick up schedule with a quick online search. Most residents receive this information by mail from their local waste management service. It is generally provided when the trash pick up service is first scheduled.
    • If you place your trash in a community dumpster, replace the lid after dropping your trash bag into it. This will prevent rodents and animals from entering the dumpster.

Method 2
Maintaining a Trash Schedule

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    Conduct a weekly sweep. Choose a set day of the week to pick up trash. This can include trash in containers at home and junk you may have in your car.
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    Set an alarm. Schedule a reminder on your smartphone, or another device, to take out the trash. Set your schedule based on trash pickup times.
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    Keep trash bags on hand. You can find trash bags at the grocery store and most retail establishments.
    • Trash cans are standard in size, especially those used in the kitchen. Many trash cans are measured in gallons.
    • There are odor absorbing and scented trash bags available in stores.
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    Periodically clean the trash can. Cleaning the trash can every few months can help to reduce odor and insects. Use warm soapy water for general cleaning. You can also use a mild disinfectant to sterilize the trash can to reduce odor. [2]

Method 3
Compacting the Trash

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    Press down the contents of the bag. Compress trash into the trash bag as much as you can while it is still in the trash can. This process maximizes the amount of available space so that you can place more trash into the bag.
    • Compacting the trash can yield cost savings because you will buy trash bags less often.
    • Be careful not to tear the trash bag when compressing the contents.
    • Do not use your hand to compress trash. This could result in injury if there are unseen sharp objects in the trash. You can use a hand held compressor instead.
    • Use an electronic trash compacter to reduce the volume of your trash. An electronic trash compactor can turn six bags of trash into one bag.[3]
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    Remove overflowing trash. If you are unable to compress overflowing trash, place the overflow into a new bag. If there is a lot of room left in the overflow bag, it may be best to place it into the trash can until it is full.
    • If you have a trash can that is not lined with a bag, place a bag over the top of the trash can, then turn the can upside down. This will allow the contents to fall into the bag. Take your time so that you do not drop trash all over the floor.
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    Remove sharp or other hazardous objects. Keep a look out for hazardous items, such as broken glass, knives, and toxic substances. These items may require special handling for disposal.[4]
    • Put on gloves. It is a good practice to use gloves when handling trash. This is especially true if the trash contains liquids.
    • Secure sharp objects so that they do not harm you or anyone else who may encounter them. For example, place broken glass in a labeled and puncture resistant container. You can use a box as the container. Place the box labeled “broken glass” in the designated trash pick up location.
    • Acids, pesticides, fluorescent lamps, and batteries are examples of items that must be recycled. These items should not go in the trash. You can contact your local waste management company for questions about toxic substances.[5]

Method 4
Recycling When Possible

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    Find recycling resources. It is always a good idea to recycle whenever you can. Most counties provide resources for recycling.[6]
    • Conduct an online search for recycling resources in your area.
    • Some businesses provide designated recycling containers for all employees and visitors.
    • Common recyclables include paper, cans, glass bottles, and batteries.
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    Choose a storage location. Store your recycling container in a shaded area. This is important for sanitary purposes since heat can cause bacterial growth.[7]
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    Receive cash for recycling. You can earn extra cash by recycling items such as cans and bottles. Save them in the designated recycling container and take them to a recycling center.
    • The amount paid for recycled cans varies based on the price of aluminum.


  • Try to take the trash out before the bag is overflowing.
  • Rinse plastic cups and food containers before placing them in the trash.
  • Use trash cans with a lid to reduce problems with insects.
  • Keep your trash in the garage between trash pick up days.
  • Follow company policies related to emptying your trash and recycling while at work.
  • Write your house number on your dumpster before rolling it out to the sidewalk. This may prevent someone from stealing it or it may help if the dumpster is shifted by heavy winds.
  • Share the responsibility of taking out the trash with housemates. You can create a rotating schedule.


  • Be careful when disposing hazardous materials. Items such as broken glass and knives can cause physical harm.
  • Not removing trash can increase stress by signaling to your mind that there is always more work to do.[8]
  • In some parts of the world, rodents and insects will infiltrate a trash can that has a strong odor. It is best to set your trash out for pickup whenever possible to address this problem.

Article Info

Categories: Cleaning