How to Move Your Garbage Bin to the Curb for Collection

Jim hauled a bulging bag of garbage out to the dumpster in his driveway and tossed it in with a grunt. It was Sunday night, and the garbage truck was due to collect trash in the morning, possibly even before Jim was awake.

With very little thought, Jim closed the dumpster lid, tilted it back onto its wheels, and began pushing the large receptacle towards his curb for morning collection.

What Jim didn’t take into consideration, however, are how many variables enter the equation and make the seemingly simple task of relocating a dumpster a maze full of booby traps, dangers, upsetting neighbors, and potentially serious injury.

Consider this checklist of items before embarking on the short trip to your curb!

  • Ensure the path is clear. If cars are parked in the driveway, ensure you have ample room to navigate around the vehicles without accidentally scratching the paint or bumping into a sideview mirror! Additionally, look for obstacles such as bicycles, rakes, or even lawn ornaments.
  • Consider loudly announcing that you are moving the garbage bin. “Coming through! Make way! Watch out!” This will ensure anyone in your path takes cover. Because let’s face it, we’ve all almost been hit by someone moving a garbage bin, unable to see over the top of it.
  • Check the weather forecast. You may consider waiting a few minutes to move the bin if it looks like that nasty thunderstorm is about to clear out. Snow and ice can cause serious injury as well. Use common sense and wear appropriate clothing for the weather.
  • Wear proper footwear. When dealing with garbage (and especially recycling), it’s conceivable that broken glass or slippery items such as banana peels are lying in your path.
  • Consider the time of day you’re moving the bin. A general rule of thumb should be to move the bin before dark. Plastic wheels rumbling across a concrete driveway is a recipe for thunderous noise that can jolt babies from a deep slumber.
  • Additionally, moving the bin out to the street too early can backfire on you. What if you make more trash between now and then? You’ll now be forced to carry garbage a further distance.
  • Make certain the bin isn’t overloaded. An exceptionally heavy bin could fall backwards onto you and crush you, injuring your spine, legs, and feet.
  • Consider wearing gloves to avoid having your hands slip off the bin handle, and also to keep them free of germs, grime, and dirt.
  • If you do spill anything on your journey, use a broom and dustpan to recover the garbage and place it back into the can.
  • If there are adolescents present in your home, this may be a good time to ask them to perform the bin moving task. It’s about time they learn some responsibility!
  • Neighbors love to stop and chit-chat with you when you’re taking out the garbage. If you wish to avoid them, consider waiting to move the bin when you know they’re away. Or if you do wish to engage with them, consider preparing some small talk topics in advance.
  • When the bin is all the way to the curb, make certain its placement is in the optimal spot. Ideally, you would back the bin all the way up to the curb, ensuring that no traffic hits the bin. Furthermore, move it far enough away from the corner (if applicable) so that turning traffic can see if the coast is clear.
  • Also consider the bin is in a place that the garbage men will easily see it. Look at how your neighbors have set theirs out and try to mimic them.
  • Above all, make sure the garbage is in fact inside the body of the receptacle. Ensure no bags are protruding from the lid. A spilled bag of garbage on your driveway is every homeowner’s worst nightmare.
  • Once in its final location, consider closing the lid so nothing blows out, and that raccoons and cats keep clear.

If Jim follows these steps, he can be assured his trash will almost certainly be collected in a proper manner by the garbage crew. Once collected, it is imperative that Jim return the bin back to its standard location in a timely manner.

What about you? What tips do you have for moving your garbage container out to the street for trash pickup? Share in the comments!

My Hot Take:
I like to use trash moving as an opportunity for my 3-year-old to feel useful by “helping” push the containers with me. It has been noted in our neighborhood that the sound of bins being pushed can in fact replicate thunder, making neighbors momentarily believe rain is coming.

This isn’t rocket science. Basically just push your trash can out to the street.

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