Trash cans have always sort of annoyed me. They take up so much space, especially if, like me, you favor large cans to minimize the number of trips to the dumpster each week. There’s no practical way to pack a large trash can for storage or transport. If you’re moving, of course, you can fill the can with lightweight stuff like dirty clothes or something, but only if you’re willing to expose your linen to the inside of your trash can. I always use trash bags, anyway, and for my money if you use a bag the only major function of the can is to hold the bag open. Well, it’s possible to achieve that same function with a much cheaper, lighter, and more compact device.

It’s also handy around the lawn and/or garden, to hold a bag open for clippings, and is in fact based on a commercial device marketed for that purpose. This one is better, and you can make it yourself for less.

This how-to covers a slightly refined version of my original design, with one of its three legs removed in order to facilitate removing a full bag of trash from the frame. Also, some of the joints have been selectively glued in order to prevent annoying pop-outs without sacrificing collapsibility, and a simpler means of attaching the retaining clips has been devised.

This design is sized to accept 32 gallon trash bags.