Trash cans are imperative to any office, but they often aren’t given much thought. But, did you know, the number of trash cans you have in an office and whether they’re individual or communal can reduce overall office waste.
Read our guide below on how many trash cans your office needs and how to use them.
How much trash does each person create?
According to the EPA, the average office worker generates 2 lbs of paper waste every day and 90 percent of all office waste is paper. That number doesn’t account for additional waste from food and other things.
Should you have individual or communal office trash cans?
Whether you have individual or communal trash cans in your workplace can not only decrease how much waste is created, but also increase the frequency with which your associates interact.
In 2013 Etsy got rid of all their individual trash cans. By getting rid of individual garbage cans and creating communal trash stations with recycling, compost, and landfill sections, Etsy’s waste dropped 18%, while its compost rate jumped 300% and its recycling rate increased 20%. And, besides the obvious environmental benefits, Etsy associates now have more spontaneous interactions as well.
How many trash cans do you need in an office?
Before you purchase new trash cans take inventory of how many you currently have, along with their sizes. If you have noticed that the general trash cans are kept empty for longer amounts of time, while your recycling bins are continuously filled to the top, you may want to consider buying more recycling bins instead of trash cans.
Next, ask yourself a few questions.
- Do you want each associate to have a personal trash can?
- Or would you prefer communal trash cans ?
- How many associates work in each area?
- Do your associates work in the office everyday?
Depending on your needs you’ll need a different number and different sizes of trash cans.
Below we’ve outlined a list of various trash can sizes and how many people they typically serve. These numbers are averages and can vary depending on the type of facility and workplace.
- 3.5 Gallon Desk-side Plastic Trash Can
Our 3.5 gallon trash cans are designed for personal use and for each individual to have one at their desk. However, in an open space floor plan you could share one of these trash cans among multiple people.
- 15 Gallon Dome Steel Trash Can
Our 15 gallon trash can is designed to be used by up to 60 people before it’s full.
- 33 Gallon Stainless Steel Trash Can
Our 33 gallon stainless steel trash can be used by up to 132 people before it’s full.