Storage Space Floor Area

Bin sizes can vary in all dimensions; check with the local collection companies for exact dimensions. The typical space needed for a 6 cubic yard bin is about 8’ wide, 6’ deep (front to back) and 6’ tall at the back, sloping down to 4 feet tall at the front8. Generally, 4 cubic yard or smaller bins can be provided with wheels, and larger bins cannot, for safety reasons. Bins without wheels will need to be situated so that the collection truck can service them head-on, without moving them. Most 96-gallon carts fit comfortably in a footprint that is 28x36”; they are around 46” tall. Most 64-gallon carts require a 26x30” footprint and are around 42” tall.

Bins and carts typically have hinged lids that must be lifted; these can damage low ceilings. In addition to space for the containers themselves, space is needed to walk among them and shift them around.

Where an enclosure will contain both carts and bins, an area that is 150% of the sum of bin and cart footprints will probably be needed. Enclosures that contain only carts or only bins will require less extra space because the containers fit together more easily.

Continuing with the example above for a multifamily setting, if the 60 units are in three buildings, each with an outdoor enclosure for discards, then each enclosure should hold one 4-cubic yard bin, five 96-gallon recycling carts and four 64-gallon organics carts. The total comes to 128 sq. ft., or less than one standard parking space.