Outdoor Garbage Bin

2 Materials
2 Days

If you live in the country like we do, you may have seen little trash bins like this at the end of people's driveways. Instead of having to roll out a heavy trash can, trash bags can be put directly into the bin throughout the week. Here's what you need to build your own.

(***FYI-A lot of people have asked how to remove the trash cans. This bin is not intended to house trash cans. Our trash collectors collect the trash bags directly from this bin. If this isn't the case where you live, then this trash bin may not be for you. I'm sure the rules are different within city limits and larger towns regarding acceptable trash containers.)


  • 24-1x6x6′ treated cedar fence boards (there were several cedar options, I went with the cheapest one)
  • 4-2x2s (treated)
  • 2-1x4x8′ (treated)
  • 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws
  • 1 1/2″ wood screws
  • 1 1/4″ wood screws
  • Two hinges
  • Handle

Cut List:

  • 4-2×2@46 1/2″
  • 4-2×2@18 3/4″
  • 2-1×4@43 1/4″
  • 2-1×4@15 7/8″ (see step 3)

Cut each piece of fencing in half and separate into two piles. The bottom halves will be saved to use later for the floor and the lid of the bin. Also cut all your 2x2s for the frames.

Drill pocket holes on the ends of the shorter 2x2 boards then attach all the 2x2s together to build two frames.

Take eight of the top halves of the fence boards and run through a table saw or use a circular saw to remove 1″ from the width. You are essentially just cutting off the angled side so now you will have eight boards that have one straight side. These will be the corner pieces for the bin.

Attach the corner pieces to the frame. The upper frame is positioned 3″ from the top of the boards and the lower frame is positioned 2″ up from the bottom. Below is a close up to see how the corner pieces are positioned.

The board on the left is on the longer side of the bin and the board on the right is on the shorter side. The corner piece for the short side needs to go all the way to the edge of the frame as pictured.

Attach the board to the frame with two 1 1/2″ wood screws. Bring the other corner piece all the way flush to the edge of the other board and attach to the frame. If the corners aren’t done this way, it will affect the spacing of the rest of your boards! Repeat for all four corners.

While the inside is easily accessible, go ahead and screw the floor boards to the bottom frame leaving a 1/4″ space in between each board. I just used one 1 1/2″ wood screw on each end of the board.

Now work your way around the bin attaching the rest of the boards to the upper and lower frame leaving 1/4″ spacing in between. Use the floor boards as a spacing guide.

Now for the lid. Lay out eight of the bottom halves of the fence boards on the ground. Measure 1 1/2″ down from the edges of each corner and mark (see picture) This will allow room for the 2×2 frame when you close the lid. Line up the 1×4 with your marks then start attaching the 1×4 to the fence boards using 1 1/4″ wood screws and check for 1/4″ spacing between the boards as you go.If you haven’t already, cut two 1x4s at parallel 45-degree angles and attach with the 1 1/4″ wood screws. Each angled side of the 1×4 should measure 15 7/8″.

Attach two heavy duty hinges and a handle and your trash bin is complete!

For more info on this project click here.

Resources for this project:

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Chris
    on Nov 8, 2020

    I don't see how you can put in & remove the trash cans. Need more supplies?

  • Ray
    on Nov 8, 2020

    How do you get your bin in and out

    • Build It Thrifty
      Build It Thrifty
      on Nov 9, 2020

      Thanks for your question Ray. This particular bin is for bags of trash not trash cans. Sorry, I should've stated that. I updated the post to reflect this.

  • Debbie
    on Nov 20, 2020

    What are the finished dimensions? I'm trying to figure out if this will fit in the space I have or will have to adjust. Thanks

    • Build It Thrifty
      Build It Thrifty
      on Nov 20, 2020

      I’m thinking about 48 x 28 1/4 if my math is correct LOL Those fence boards are about 3/4” think so I just added that to the measurements of the 2x2 frame. This was sold so I don’t have it here to measure anymore!

Join the conversation

4 of 9 comments
  • Christine Ewing
    Christine Ewing
    on Nov 21, 2020

    I like Melissa's idea to adjust it because my small town just got a new truck to lift the can making it easier for the employee. Great plan to begin with Build it Thrifty.

  • Loree Stickles
    Loree Stickles
    on Nov 29, 2020

    I sent a Pic to my husband. For us, we live out in the country and need to protect from wild animals. So our plan is to make it acessable from the top and side. We are going to adjust the size to suit two large trash cans. I'm so excited by this, I've been storing trash in the bathroom overnight to keep my dogs out... This is a game changer!

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