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Buyer’s Guide to Trash Receptacles

There can be many things to consider when shopping for commercial trash receptacles. Dawn Enterprises offers a wide variety of trash receptacles in various materials and designs, including several lid options for most of our trash cans. To help you get a product that fits your needs, this buyer’s guide can help you narrow down the options. For specific questions, our knowledgeable sales team is here to help.

Trash Receptacle Placement to Reduce Littering

Before making a purchase, decide how many trash receptacles you need, what size will be adequate, and where they will be placed. Placing the correct number of trash receptacles, recycling units, and ashtrays in high-traffic areas is among the best ways to help eliminate litter.

According to research done by “Keep America Beautiful” in 2009, 17% of trash ends up improperly discarded as litter. The proximity of trash receptacles makes a huge difference to this number: the farther away people are from a trash receptacle, the more likely they are to litter. The study found that when individuals were observed littering in public, the closest trash receptacle averaged 29 feet away. This rate dramatically decreased when people were within 10 feet of a trash receptacle. Walt Disney Co. also conducted a study observing theme park visitors, and concluded that in order to achieve proper disposal of trash, receptacles must be placed every 30 steps.

When conveniently presented with trash receptacles, the majority of people will choose to do the right thing.

Price Point

Deciding on a budget is a great place to begin when thinking about buying commercial trash receptacles. The amount you are prepared to spend can impact the features, size, and material of the receptacles available.

Indoor / Outdoor

Where will the trash receptacle be placed? When you are selecting receptacles for indoor or outdoor placement, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How often will the receptacle get emptied? This will affect the size or gallon capacity you choose.
  • Will the receptacle be under a roof, shade, or awning cover? The level of exposure to direct sunlight and extreme weather conditions may affect which material lid you choose.
  • Am I concerned about theft or vandalism? This may affect the weight or material you choose. You may also want to consider additional security options, such as chain kits.

Styles / Materials

Dawn Enterprises offers several materials to choose from when selecting a trash receptacle, including:

Each material has unique advantages. Contact our sales team if you need help determining which material is best suited for your property.


The durability of a receptacle can vary based on the materials used. All of our cans offer great durability for their respective price point.

Size / Capacity

Size and gallon capacity will vary depending on where the trash receptacle will be used.

Lid Types

Picking the proper lid is important for both style and functionality. For example, drive-thru chutes are intended to make it easier for people to dispose of trash from their vehicles. Dome top lids provide a protective shield from rain, snow, and outdoor elements. Other lids are specifically marked for recycling.

Need Help Choosing a Trash Receptacle?

Get in touch with our knowledgeable sales team!
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Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm EST.