Kitchen Trash Can Size (Gallon & Bag Dimensions)

Kitchen with trash can moveable table brick wall

Kitchen trash cans are mostly inconspicuous, usually placed in a far-away corner. We mostly notice them when they’re overflowing and reeking with three days’ worth of garbage. 

Trash cans are an essential fixture in any kitchen because they keep the space clean and tidy. Buying the perfect size for any homeowner is another story, and one would be surprised that there are many things you need to consider to come to the ideal size of a garbage can

There are a variety of sizes for garbage cans, and choosing the perfect one will keep a kitchen cleaner and more organized. [toc]

Standard Kitchen Trash Can Size 

Type Details
Standard Capacity
The standard size for most households ranges between 12 to 16 gallons.
Popular Capacity 13-gallon garbage can 
Widely used due to its versatility, capacity, and space efficiency.
Dimensions (approx.) Height: 25.5 inches or 65 centimeters
Width: 16.4 inches or 42 centimeters

Standard kitchen trash can size

You can choose from various sizes based on your home requirements. If you want to buy the regular one, widely manufactured and sold to almost every household, choose the standard-sized ones. 

A standard size kitchen trash can hold up to 12 to 16 gallons of garbage. This capacity is perfect because it can not only hold miscellaneous items but also food waste. The most popular of them are the 13-gallon trash cans for kitchens. 

Once you have a rough estimate of the holding capacity you will need, you can choose from various sizes available to fit any space, even the smallest crannies. 

Trash Can Gallon Sizes

The gallon capacity of a kitchen trash can will differ depending on your needs. The standard 12 to 16 gallons are the ones you get for your kitchen. They are big enough for miscellaneous stuff like food packaging and food waste but won’t crowd a smaller floor plan with their bulky size

13 Gallon Trash Can Size

13 gallon trash can size

13-gallon capacity is the most common size for a kitchen trash can because of its versatility. It is not too small not to fit all our waste, yet not too big to fit under a counter overhang or crowd a walkway.

A 13-gallon capacity kitchen trash can come in different dimensions, but the most popular are the taller ones with a smaller depth. Most of them will have a length of 25.5 inches or 65 centimeters and a width of 16.4 inches or about 42 centimeters. 

Cabinet Trash Can Size

Cabinet trash can size

One of the most convenient ways to store your garbage and ensure it is concealed is by opting for an in-cabinet kitchen trash can that you can easily slide in and out of a drawer.

The most important thing to consider here is that the trash can fit the cabinet, so measuring the length, width, and depth of your kitchen cabinet dimensions is the way to go. 

A standard pull-out cabinet for the kitchen will be 12 to 14 inches or 30 to 36 centimeters wide, and most can fit up to 2 bins of trash cans.

A rough estimate for this size is trash bins with a width of 15 inches or 38 centimeters and a height of 20 inches or 51 centimeters. 

Trash Can Bag Sizes

Trash can bag sizes

Once a homeowner has the perfect garbage can, it’s time to look at the different sizes of garbage bags or liners available inside the can. There is a variety to choose from, and it will depend on how big your garbage can is

For a standard 12 to 16-gallon can with a width of 30 to 33 inches or 76 to 84 centimeters and a length of 39 to 43 inches or 99 to 109 centimeters, the bag perfect for this size has a width of 24 inches or 61 centimeters and a height ranging from 31 to 33 inches or 79 to 84 centimeters. 

If you have a bigger garbage can that can hold 16 to 20 gallons of garbage with a width of 30 to 33 inches or 76 to 83 centimeters and heights ranging from 36 to 43 inches or 91 to 109 centimeters. 

The ideal bag size for this trash can should have a width of 30 inches or 76 centimeters and heights ranging from 36 to 43 inches or 91 to 109 centimeters. Most bags with these dimensions will have a tie enclosure to ensure that no unpleasant odors come from the waste. 

For garbage cans that can hold up to 21 to 25 gallons of waste with a width of 30 inches or 76 centimeters and heights ranging from 37 to 49 inches or 94 to 124 centimeters, the size of the garbage bag you need has a width ranging from 30 to 33 inches or 76 to 83 centimeters and heights 37 to 43 or 94 to 109 centimeters. 

What Size Trash Can For the Kitchen?

Kitchen trash can sizes

The first factor you need to consider when determining what size of garbage container you should get for your home is how many people are living there. The more people living in the house, the more garbage they will generate; thus, the bigger capacity of trash cans you should get. 

If only a couple of persons live in the house, a bin with a capacity of 7 to 10 gallons should be enough for them both.

A standard 12 to 16-gallon type is the perfect size for a household of four people at a given time. A bigger family with six members will need more sizable garbage cans to hold 20 to 30 gallons of waste the family will generate. 

Waste management planning in the kitchen begins by understanding the different types of waste that are generated in the space and the different disposal methods. – Kitchen Planning: Guidelines, Codes, Standards, NKBA

The second factor is how much waste your household generates. For miscellaneous and dry garbage, a can holding 7 to 10 gallons of waste will suffice.

Try sizing up to standard cans at 12 to 16 gallons if you throw food waste in the can. If you also throw recyclables in the garbage, a bigger garbage can that can hold 20 to 30 gallons of waste is perfect for your home. 

The last is the garbage can’s location. Trash cans under the sink are smaller at 7 to 10 gallons capacity. A standard 12 to 16 gallons can is ideal for corner garbage cans.

For garbage cans in the pantry or leaning on the kitchen island, you can go up to 20 to 30 gallons of holding capacity

Choosing Kitchen Trash Can Size Based on Location

Trash can size for bedrooms and kitchens

One foolproof consideration for what size to get for your home is determining where it will be located. Most households will have a bigger garbage can for their kitchen since it will most likely be the room that will generate the most waste. 

On the other hand, the bathroom garbage cans are the smallest since less waste is generated in the room. For rooms like home offices or bedrooms, a mid-sized can will probably suffice for house papers and other waste. 

The specific size for each garbage can you need for different rooms in your home will vary, so the safest capacity you can get is a rough estimate of how many gallons of waste each can will carry. 

A can carrying about 4 gallons of garbage for the bathroom is ideal. The bedrooms and offices will benefit from garbage cans that can hold 7 to 10 gallons of waste, while bigger cans at 12 to 16 gallons are the minimum size for kitchen trash cans. 

Visit our guide to trash compactor sizes for more related content.

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