Can you help me find a garbage can that can use paper grocery bags?
July 15, 2021 7:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a garbage can with a lid that can use paper grocery bags for my recycling. I've done searches but the results seem to bring me bins that are designed for the plastic grocery bags. I'm in the US . Thank you in advance for any suggestions!
posted by missmerrymack to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I feel like I am missing something. It seems like most of these would work:
posted by NotLost at 8:31 AM on July 15

Response by poster: I I feel like I am missing something.
I need one that is the correct size and shape to use a paper grocery bag instead of a plastic garbage bag.
posted by missmerrymack at 8:48 AM on July 15

I am following this question with interest too -- my family is also stuck choosing between "put the recycling in a paper bag on the floor, which works but is ugly," "put the recycling into a trash can without a bag, which requires lugging the whole can outside and dumping it into the recycling bin when it's full," and "put the recycling into a trash can with a plastic bag, which sort of defeats the purpose." I would love something that looks like a bin, but has the right inside dimensions to sit a paper bag inside, maybe with some clips to hold the bag open when it's mostly empty. I think missmerrymack is after the same thing, maybe this detail helps clarify the use-case further? Please tell me this exists somewhere! I'm starting to think I should design such a thing, though I have no idea how you get something manufactured and sold for reasonable cost these days.
posted by Alterscape at 8:58 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]

Best answer: So we use our trash compactor to hold a paper grocery bag and fill that with recycling, which doesn't help anyone, but it got me looking online for things that are a similar size and I found this one from Amazon which includes this review stating that the reviewer uses paper grocery bags and they fit well. So if this one's not to your liking, it might be worth searching reviews for other products on Amazon for "paper" to see if people use grocery bags and how they fit.
posted by jabes at 9:07 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]

I have purchased a three pack of reusable diaper pail liners for this. I have been very pleased with their ability to be washed and retain their water resistance. I dump it out in the outside recycling as needed, throw it in the wash, and put in a new one.
posted by stormygrey at 9:08 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]

Paper grocery bags are not standardized in size - they're usually about the same size, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I use this Polder bin which does not have a lid, and indeed paper bags from different stores fit differently well. I would say measure the bags you actually intend to use, and search for bins with lids that best match the dimensions you want.

When I was growing up (before grocery bags had handles on them because I'm old) we had an under-sink trash can that we lined with grocery bags - we would always fold the last 2" or so of the bag over - I'm not sure if that was to make it fit, or just to give it a big more rigidity so it would hold open on its own, but it certainly had that effect.
posted by aubilenon at 9:09 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Googling gets me close: 20L/5.3 Gallon Rectangular Wastebasket with lid but it is slightly larger (taller) than the typical grocery bag which I figure is 12"w x 7"d x 17"h.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:10 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]

I can confirm Umbra Flippa 8 gallon has a lid and can fit a paper bag.
Unfortunately looks like it's no longer widely available.
posted by paradeofblimps at 9:41 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]

A typical grocery bag is 12 x 7 x 17". It would be pretty easy to have something made from plywood (lumber prices have receded a bit) with a hinged lit. If you have a jigsaw, and screwdriver(power, preferably), you could do it yourself. It's just a box. I suck at building, but could do it. Add 2" to each measurement, and keep newsprint flyers in the bottom, in case of wetness.
posted by theora55 at 11:48 AM on July 15

I have one of these from Ikea and I line it with paper grocery bags. It's not a perfect fit, because the bin is round and grocery bags are rectangular, but it works. I fold over the top edge of the bag so that it fits better in the bin. Folding over the edge of the bag also helps keep the bag open at the top.
The bin is metal. I use it for compost but you could use it for other things.
posted by cleverevans at 1:39 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]

Do you empty your recycling into an outdoor bin when you’re taking it out? We have matching trash and recycling bins, both take identical plastic liners (SimpleHuman K bags). When I take out the trash and recycling I throw out the garbage in its liner, empty the loose recycling, move the recycling bin liner to the garbage bin, and put a fresh liner on the recycling. We use zero dedicated recycling liners this way.
posted by migurski at 1:47 PM on July 15 [4 favorites]

I have this one from Target. I have never tried a paper bag in it, but it looks like one might fit if it is more rectangular than square. As an added bonus, it has two pieces - an inner can and the outer housing. You can take the inner can out and dump it straight in the outdoor tote, easily clean it, etc.
posted by DEiBnL13 at 8:34 PM on July 15

I have this guy from IKEA and, while I use it for trash, I think it would fit brown paper bags well. It's somewhat (maybe 5") taller than a standard bag, but that wouldn't be an issue if you're okay with things poking out of the top of your brown bag (or taking the recycling out regularly enough that that's not an issue).
posted by mosst at 7:34 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]

There's also this size from the same IKEA line which has a similar brown-bag-sized footprint but is instead a bit shorter than a brown paper bag. You could cut the bag down or use the interior ring to fasten the bag inside - the product videos appear to show someone doing just that.
posted by mosst at 7:42 AM on July 16

I also use this one from IKEA and just set the paper grocery bags inside. Works well for me.
posted by funfettisquid at 2:38 PM on July 16

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