Introduction: $5 Garbage Can Improvements

This is a simple hack to extend life to your plastic garbage cans.

Step 1: The Problem

Sanitation dudes in my area are very rough. Dragging plastic cans twice a week will quickly worn the bottoms off, and many’s the time the lids are lost, or blown 5 houses away. I refused to get metal cans, being they will be yet a louder instrument of morning destructions. Surely there’s a better way than buying a $30 dolly ...

Step 2: Build a Guide Post

To duplicate a trash dolly without building a base, I imagine wooden blocks that casters can mount to, but will need to blindly screw in casters! After some failed missed holes, I realize a guide post is essential.

Step 3: Build a Caster Template

Measure the trash can depth, commonly 27”. Using some scrap wood post (6x6 in my case), build a stand you can rest your plastic can on. Cut up some more wood pieces to be your backing blocks. These should be solid wood and slightly wider than your caster plates. Drill 2 diag holes thru backer plates outside of caster holes, partially to post, and insert long 3” nails. Holes should be several sizes larger that nail so block can easily slide out. Use good quality solid wood, since they will be inside your garbage can for years.

Step 4: Now Drill Away With Confidence

Step 3: Remove caster, invert nails and put your plastic cans over mounting post. Push guid nails thru the plastic, place caster between the guiding nails. Pre drill, then mount in the caster. All screws will now hit solid wood for better grip. Remove can from post, you should have the wheel firmly attached. Simple pry off nails that may get stuck.

Rotate to new wheel position and repeat.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

This one is easy. Get 2 feet 1/8” of vinyl cover steel cables, and same size aluminum ferrules. Drill holes in trash can lids, thread thru handles, ferrules and hammer in to anchor.

Enjoy your wheeled trash cans for years to come !