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How to choose a trash bag.

Posted on October 1, 2009 by Dan Dalton

A trash bag that tears as soon as you lift it out of the waste receptacle isn’t much help, and using a heavy-duty bag for a few sheets of paper is a waste. It's important to choose the right bags for the job. 

There are two factors to consider when choosing your trash bags: 

How large is your waste receptacle?
What are you disposing? shows you which trash bags will best suit your needs.

Trash Bag Size: how large is your waste receptacle? 

Trash bags and waste receptacles should match in size as much as possible. Can't find a bag the exact size of your receptacle? It's better to go too big than too small. Smaller bags won't properly fit the receptacle, and can't handle as heavy a load. 

55 Gallon Bags or larger

40 Gallon Bags or larger

32 Gallon Bags or larger

23 Gallon Bags or larger

10 Gallon Bags or larger

Trash Bag Density: what are you disposing?

Once you’ve figured out how big a bag you need, you need to determine whether you need a high-density (or Hi-D) or low-density (Low-D) bag. Each is designed with different applications in mind, so knowing their strengths and weaknesses, along with what sort of waste your home or office generates, will allow you to choose the proper density.

Low Density Trash Bags: best for rough, sharp objects.

Low-D can liners resist tears and hold together even when handled roughly. The trade-off for this strength is that Low-D bags don’t accommodate as much weight as their High-D counterparts, so you don’t want to fill them with heavy objects. Low-D bag thickness is measured in mils. The larger the waste receptacle, the more mils the required for the liner. 

Common uses for Low-D trash bags:

  • Sticks
  • Rough yard waste
  • Metal with sharp edges
  • Objects with rough corners
  • Plastic utensils
  • Glass bottles

High Density Trash Bags: best for general office waste.

High-D bags are better for general office conditions than Low-D bags. They can hold heavy loads (such as large amounts of paper), but are much less resistant to tearing. For this reason, you should try to avoid throwing away rough objects into a High-D bag. High-density bag thickness is measured in microns, which are equal to one-thousandth of a mil. The larger the bag, the more microns required. Common uses for High-D trash bags:
  • Office waste bins
  • Dense yard waste (dirt, grass)
  • Rags
  • Paper (including paper plates and napkins)
  • Aluminum cans (without sharp edges)
  • Smooth heavy objects
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Document printed / saved on 07/13/2020. Prices subject to change.
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