Should I Keep My Garbage Can in the Garage?

So, should I keep my garbage can in the garage? Should I Keep My Garbage Can in the GarageThis is one common question every homeowner will want to get answers to. Well, while the garbage can might be causing awful odor, there’re many reasons why you should keep it in the garage.

In this article I have summarized 4 good reasons why you should keep your garbage can in the garage.

Related: Best Bear Proof Garbage Cans

4 Reasons you Should Keep your Garbage Can in the Garage

1. Neighborhood Regulations

Most neighborhoods have home owners associations (HOAs) which govern several matters including garbage management. Most of the HOAs have rules that prohibit placing garbage cans in the open.

The main reason for not keeping garbage cans outside is to avoid giving the neighborhood an untidy appearance.

If there’re such rules in your neighborhood, you’d better place your garbage can in the garage to avoid penalties.

The alternative to keeping your garbage can in the garage is to place it outside and shield it with an alcove (enclosure). The alcove should completely hide the garbage can and be sturdy enough to resist damage from bears.

You can build your own alcove using simple materials and tools.

2. To Keep Animals and Other Pests Away

Rotting trash emits a sweet smell which attracts wild animals such as raccoons, squirrels, rats, bears, ravens and event pets. A bear will even tear through some garbage cans in search of something to eat.

When they tear or open the garbage can, these animals tend to scatter the trash all over the place thus making it messy. Cleaning such a mess might look awful since the trash has already started rotting.

If the garbage can gets severely damaged, then you’ll incur costs for buying a new one.

Apart from breaking into your garbage cans, bears will also invade your garden where they are likely to cause damage. Bears are also likely to attack people and pets.

Simply speaking, if you live in an area where bears roam around, keeping garbage cans outside is not a good idea.

3. Garbage Can Does Not Wear-Out Quickly

Most garbage cans are built with plastic which makes them prone to degrading elements. Harsh outdoor conditions such as scorching sun, hail stones and strong winds will degrade your garbage cans at a quicker rate.

Keeping the garbage can in the garage or in an alcove provides an effective way of prolonging its life.

4. Keeps the Garbage Can from Unwarranted Users

By keeping the garbage can outside, people passing by your house might toss all sort of trash in it. Your ill-behaved neighbors might also add trash in your garbage can in case theirs becomes full.

Therefore, you might become inconvenienced when you want to dispose trash only to find that your garbage can has been filled by strangers. As such, you will be forced to place the trash next to the garbage can.

How to Control Garbage Can Odor in the Garage

While there’re good reasons to keep your garbage can in the garage, you’ll have to deal with odor. This is especially true if you frequently use the garage for other purposes. However, you can minimize odors from the garbage can by cleaning it regularly and using deodorizers.

Here are some few things you can do minimize odor from your garbage can.

1. Cleaning and Disinfecting the Garbage Can Regularly

Despite using good garbage bags, the garbage can will accumulate grime and bacteria over period of time. However, by regularly cleaning the garbage can with a disinfectant you can minimize the odor.

2. Toss Deodorizers in the Garbage Can

Perhaps use of deodorizers provides the best means of suppressing odors that result from the rotting trash. Chemical-based deodorizers contain active ingredients which alter the odor molecules thus rendering them less offensive to our sense of smell.

You can make your own deodorizing agents at home using lemon, charcoal or baking soda. All you need to do is to place lemon slices or pieces of charcoal at the bottom of the garbage can.

3. Improving Garage Ventilation

If the garage is poorly ventilated, odor from the garbage can tends to linger around thus making the place filthy.

Therefore, you may consider doing a little damage to your garage walls to create additional vents. Good ventilation allows fresh air to get into the garage while letting the stuffy air out.


The decision on where to place your garbage can will depend on a number of factors. From neighborhood regulations to the fear of bear intrusion, these factors are geared towards safe and convenient waste disposal.

If bear intrusion is unavoidable in your locality, then keeping your garbage can in the garage is a brilliant idea. That’s because bears have become so crafty that they can break even into bear-proof garbage cans.

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