How Much Trash Can a Garbage Truck Hold?

Garbage trucks and trash bins are essential to any community’s waste management system. In this article, we will delve into the capacity of garbage trucks and trash bins, as well as their lifting capacity and weight limits.


Garbage Truck Capacity 

The average garbage truck can hold about 30 cubic yards of trash, equivalent to six standard dumpsters. However, this amount can vary depending on the size and type of garbage truck and the materials being collected. Recycling trucks typically have smaller compartments that can only hold about 10-15 cubic yards of materials. In contrast, rear-loading trucks tend to have larger capacities, often exceeding 40 cubic yards.

Lifting Capacity of Trash Trucks 

Most trash trucks can lift between 2 and 4 tons of refuse. This is enough to handle the waste generated by a small town or city. However, for larger communities, multiple trash trucks may be needed to keep up with the volume of garbage. Trash trucks also have a large storage area that can hold up to 16 cubic yards of waste.

Hauling Capacity of Trash Trucks 

The average trash truck can haul between 9 and 10 tons, but some trucks can haul up to 14 tons. However, the number of bags a trash truck can hold will vary depending on the size of the bags and the amount of space available in the truck.

Weight Sensor for Garbage Trucks 

Most garbage trucks have a weight sensor installed on the cab floor. As garbage is loaded into the truck, the sensor measures the weight of the load and sends a signal to the computer. When the computer calculates the truck is full, it automatically shuts off the hydraulic lift that raises and lowers the dumpster.

Compacting Garbage in Trash Trucks 

Garbage trucks use a system of hydraulics to lift and dump garbage into the truck. However, the weight of the trash itself can compact it over time. Garbage trucks are equipped with a compactor plate, which helps compress the garbage so that more can fit into the truck.

Trash Bin Capacity 

Most trash bins are made to withstand a great deal of weight, but a few factors can affect how much weight a container can hold. The size of the bin is the most obvious factor, along with the material the bin is made from. Bins made from heavier-duty materials like steel or concrete will be able to hold more weight than those made from lighter materials like plastic.

Weight Limits for Trash Bins 

While it might seem like a garbage bin can never be too heavy, there is such a thing as a bin that is too heavy for its own good. When a bin is excessively heavy, it can be challenging to maneuver and even dangerous to lift. For these reasons, ensuring your garbage bin is light is essential.


Garbage trucks and trash bins are essential in keeping our communities clean. By understanding their capacity and weight limits, we can better manage our waste and ensure the safety of those who handle it.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.