How Many Trash Cans Do I Need for a Wedding?

how many trash cans do I need for a wedding

Trash disposal for an even is an important thing to consider. People eat and drink at a wedding, so the plastic bottles, nylons, disposable plates, and other stuff needs to be taken care of. Even the caterers need to throw food waste and nylons if they cook at the venue. So you will be needing proper systems in place for trash disposal. But what’s that system?

How Many Trash Cans Do I Need for a Wedding?

You will need more trash cans if the guests are high in number and the food being prepared is high in variety. On the contrary, a small wedding will require lesser number of trash cans. Also the kind of trash expected is also an important consideration.

Before jumping to the conclusion, you will need to individually assess the below factors in calculating the expected amount of trash.

Factors That Decide the Amount of Garbage in a Wedding

1- The Number of Guests

This is the main factor that determines the amount of garbage. Inviting a large number of guests means there are more plastics and packaging materials to be used for both food and drinks.

In the U.S., people may plan a small wedding (Less than 50 guests), a medium wedding (51-100 people) and a relatively larger wedding (more than 101 guests). Out of all these types, this study conducted by theKnot, most wedding fall in the category of large weddings, where the invited guests are more than 100.

2- The Kind of Trash

The kind of trash that is expected will determine how many trash cans will be needed for the event.

There can be several types of garbage at a wedding event but here are a few common types:

A- The Food and beverages contribute to the most amount of garbage in a wedding with a large number of guests. The wrappers and containers used for the foods and the empty bottles also make a large chunk of the waste. This should always be accounted for unless you are having a no-food wedding. The more the guests, the more this kind of trash is expected.

B- The pieces of Decor, lighting, and flowers used for the decoration of the venue can be littered around contributing to the amount of garbage and after the event, it becomes garbage as each event will want its new decorations.

You always know before hand, the kind of decoration you will be using. Usually, the venue arranges this decoration and they can work with you easily for any trash disposal for this kind of waste.

C- Wedding stationery and favors like invitations, menus, and program lists being used can only be used at that wedding, and after the wedding, it litters around as no one would want to take that home with them except souvenirs. The number of guests that will come may bring with them the invitation cards you sent them. You can have a rough idea of the number of these invitations that might turn up. Then there are the lists and menus being moved around.

D- The wrapping paper of the Gifts and Jewelry also contributes to the amount of garbage, if they’re opened then and there. You don’t really have a idea about this type of trash as you don’t know who will bring what size and number of gifts. So plan for a little extra room.

E- Any sprays, or confetti, fake notes, etc. used to add a fun element to the wedding will make a crazy mess of the place. Just like the guests and wrappings, these will be brought by the guests and you are their mercy.

Why is Wedding Trash Management Necessary?

It’s not just necessary but a must to have trash cans at a wedding as it adheres to government guidelines and trash management for an event.

1- Trash Management for an Event

Managing trash by reducing (using fewer plastics and paper), reusing (using plastics to keep some items), and recycling (giving it to the waste management system for better use of it) helps to decrease the amount of waste for disposal, saves space in landfills and conserves natural resources.

2- Government Guidelines

It’s part of the guidelines which prohibit the carrying, depositing and dumping of harmful waste on any land which protects public health. So knowing the right number of trash cans for your wedding can save you a lot of worries.

3- Clean Memories

Just imagine taking your wedding picture at the venue and the background is full of plastic bottles and wraps without editing or a child falls on the ground because of wraps and is injured. Embarrassing right? A clean venue will be a part of the lifetime memories!

What Size of Garbage Cans Do I Need for a Wedding?

The size of garbage cans depends mainly on the number of guests, the number of plastics & packaging materials used, and the venue. Some wedding venues provide dumpsters depending on the number of guests to keep the environment clean.

How to know the right size

There are various sizes like 20, 35, 60, 90, and 200 gallons (a dumpster) which can hold 60, 85, 135, 175, and 350-400 pounds of garbage respectively.

90-gallon plastic garbage can do but how many? A single person produces an average of nearly five pounds of garbage each day and a 90-gallon garbage can holds 175 pounds of waste so just 1 can hold the garbage of 35 people.

So do the math, with all the data you have at hand, and you’ll know how many to buy or rent. But if you are inviting a lot of guests, you may rent a commercial garbage can, i.e. a dumpster.

You need to know the type and quality of trash can to use if buying because you need it to be convenient for the guests and last long. After all, your relatives, neighbors, or friends might need to borrow it for their event.

Having a larger garbage can hold more stuff even if it’s more than enough, it’s better to have an excess garbage can than having a venue full of trash lying on the floor.

Creating a list of all the items can help you decide on the size of garbage can you can buy as you would know which to donate, recycle or even sell, therefore record keeping is very important for wedding events.

Taking stock of all the goody bags for guests, not just table toppers or sashes but also pictures and gifts is a good idea.

There are 2 Types

1- Commercial trash cans are used for large events in which they can be in the form of disposable, outdoor, and space-saving trash cans.

2- The decorative trash cans can be used for both outdoor and indoor events which can be step-on, wheeled, countertop, and ash trash cans. Wheeled trash cans are easier to move after use.

What Happens If the Garbage Exceeds the Expectations?

Here are a few things you can do in such an emergency:

1- Cleaning or Waste Companies

Call a waste company to do the pickup but most likely they’ll charge higher because it’s a sudden unplanned appointment with urgency. You can quickly place a call to hire a dumpster from a close-by company.

2- Family Assistance

Your friends and family can help by lending their trash can/s for some time.

3- Get Your Hands Dirty

If you can’t go with any of the above options, Just try taking the smaller trash and put it in larger nylons or wraps that are also trash. It saves space as well as creates more space to put in the excess trash.

Final Thoughts!

The right number of trash cans you need depend upon the number of guests you invite to the wedding, the kind (and size) of garbage and the the size of the individual garbage cans that you plan on bringing.

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