Paracord Garbage Can Lid Tether

Introduction: Paracord Garbage Can Lid Tether

About: No matter where you go, there you are.

This instructable will show you how to make a quick and easy retention strap/tether for your garbage can lids using paracord.  A paracord strap will keep your garbage can's lid tethered to the garbage can, so that it doesn't get lost or blown away on windy days.  It's no fun coming home on garbage day to find the lids from your garbage cans nowhere in sight, possibly blown somewhere in the neighborhood down the street, in someone's hedges, briarpatch, or backyard, or into a gutter, ditch, or storm drain out of reach.  More knotty stuff on my blog:

*You can add some weight to the bottom of the trash/garbage can itself, to help keep it from blowing over.  Add some rocks, a few bricks, sand, or a cinder block to the bottom of the can, and it will help keep it upright and in place unless it's just extremely windy.  Do this with wheeled cans, but I wouldn't recommend it with the type you have to carry, unless you just want the exercise.  ;)

Step 1: Supplies

-Garbage can with lid
-3 feet of paracord, but you can use more or less depending on how long you want the tether to be.

Optional supples:

-For thick plastic or metal garbage cans, a drill and 1/8" drill bit can be used to make the holes in the can and lid, if an awl won't work for you.
-A small metal or plastic washer may be glued in place around the hole on the inside of the can and lid for added strength, so the knot isn't pulled back through the hole, but I've never found one necessary .

Step 2: Make a Hole

Use your awl or drill with 1/8" sized bit, to make a hole in the garbage can and the lid, where you want the paracord to fit through.  Make sure the holes are placed where they won't interfere with the lid securely closing on the can.  Push the awl through and twist to round out the hole.

Step 3: Feed the Paracord Through the Hole

The hole should be just large enough to push/pull your paracord through, starting with the garbage can first, just so you don't have to hold on to the lid while you're working. Put enough paracord through to be able to tie your stopper knot at the end of the strand.

Step 4: Tie a Stopper Knot

I've just used an overhand stopper knot to keep the strand from pulling back out through the hole and it's worked fine for me with years of use.  A drop of super glue on the knot will further secure it if you worry that it'll come loose.  You can use many other types of stopper knots, but there's no need to get fancy.

Step 5: Repeat With Lid

After you've attached the cord to the garbage can, repeat the process with the other end of the strand and the lid.

Step 6: Final Thoughts...

You can get decorative with the paracord strap and add a cobra stitch/Solomon Bar/Portuguese sinnet, hitching, or spaced out knots along the length, to impress your neighbors, the dog walkers, joggers, and your local sanitation workers. But, I wouldn't put to much effort into it where it might also draw attention from bored miscreants that feel the need to cut the cord and destroy the strap...

The hole in the lid and garbage bin can be further strengthened by gluing a metal washer in place on the inside, so that the paracord knot will not pull back through the hole with excessive stress. Our cans have had the tethers without the washers for the last five years without issue, so using washers isn't really necessary.

The cord itself may wear out from exposure to the elements and sun over time, so replace if/as needed. For someone that wants something extra heavy-duty, twisted steel cable could be used instead of paracord. ;)

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Excellent instructions for a very useful item. Thanks!


    6 years ago

    What's the point?


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    The point is not to lose the garbage can lid. When you reach a time in life where you have to spend hard earned money for garbage cans, you don't wan to find the lids missing or having to go search for them on a windy, wet, rainy day.

    Lids help keep the garbage in the can, along with the associated odors, and keep animals, bugs, pests, scavengers out.... ;)