I never expected to ask my first question about trashing something, but after 4 failed attempts to trash the trash can, I have no choice but ask you.

Here is the problem: I have a trash can, which needs to be trashed. Simple, right? Not so. I've started last week.

First attempt was to tie a trash bag to the trash can (I hoped they will be angry and will take trash can wit them), but they left it.

Second through Fourth attempts were to leave a note inside the trashcan on top of the trash bags asking to take the trash can and put into garbage truck.

I still have that trash can.

My next attempt will be to find a large enough trash bag and put trash can inside, but that would be problematic - finding large enough trash bag.

We have twice a week garbage pickup from the curb.

So question is how to trash the trash can?

  • 7
    Easiest way is probably to dismantle the can ... Cut it down to size, as it were. Then put the pile out for trash. Jan 24, 2015 at 4:24
  • 2
    Have you tried writing "Trash" on the side of the can?
    – Tester101
    Jan 24, 2015 at 13:21
  • 1
    It may differ from country to country, but in Germany one would phone call the company collecting the garbage and ask to collect the trash can. Most likely they would ask one to fill a form of course. Is the trashcan your own property? As general answer about safe destruction of any kind of cans, I suggest to use a tiger saw. Jan 24, 2015 at 17:57
  • 3
    If you haven't bought that axe yet may I suggest tin snips instead. They're probably cheaper than an axe and will work fine with plastic or metal - although if it were metal I'd stomp it to death. An axe on round hollow plastic is fairly dangerous and a trip to the ER to sew your leg up after the axe bounces off the plastic into your shin will be costly and painful. Tin snips might take a little longer but it's a hell-of-a-lot more appropriate. Jan 24, 2015 at 20:27
  • 1
    Just use a Sawzall or similar tool to cut it up. Jan 26, 2015 at 17:37

4 Answers 4


I have trashed many a trashcan. Simply get axe and have fun for 10 minutes and throw it in a few bags. Note that whether metal or plastic, the axe ricochets so make sure no one is around you and that you have space.

  • An axe? That sounds really unsafe. Jan 24, 2015 at 20:20
  • Do you own a saw? That would work too. Or just sit on it and squash it flat.
    – Ariel
    Jan 25, 2015 at 0:45
  • A reciprocating saw might be a safer choice if it's metal. Jan 31, 2015 at 13:11

I believe George Carlin had a commentary on this in one of his early routines, and suggested bending it to the point where it does not have a top opening anymore. After all, the garbagemen don't want to get in trouble because they threw away your somewhat beat up trash can that you were planning to use for another 20 years. So you have to make it obviously no longer useable as a trash can.


The trash collectors are too busy to care about pieces of paper inside the can. I'd suggest writing a new note in large bold letter on large paper saying a very simple message like "please take the can. It is also trash." the note should be placed on the outside in a way that makes reading it easy, fast, and inevitable.

  • It was large type (80 pt) on letter-size label, printed in portrait. So, it was large enough for someone to see it. Unless the took trash can and didn't look at label :)
    – sashk
    Jan 24, 2015 at 17:40
  • 1
    I recommend turning the empty can upside down and attaching the note to the bottom of the can. Next to your regular, upright cans full of trash, it should be obvious to the collectors.
    – Joe Shaw
    Jan 27, 2015 at 19:01

In our state you trash collectors will no longer pick up metal items You either take it to the dump as garbage or to a metal recycler. Large metal items are not recyclable through trash collection either. Check with you trash collection company or town.

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