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A Zip Tie Will Make Taking The Trash Out So Much Easier

Oct 02, 2023

A secure trash can or recycling bin lid can mean the difference between your trash staying put until the truck visits or being strewn across the road when it's knocked over or breached by critters. What's more, your back and neck will thank you if you no longer have to constantly bend over to pick up a fallen lid. Zip ties offer a cheap, simple solution. All you need is to drill a few holes in the side of your trash can, thread through a couple of the nifty inventions, and your lid will stay attached no matter the situation.

There are tons of benefits to using zip ties over other more complicated trash can lid attachment solutions. Most cable ties are made from nylon, a plastic that's supple enough to bend a lot without breaking yet won't deteriorate quickly with sunlight, water, or heat exposure. You can get stabilized nylon or metal zip ties that are even stronger. They're also easy to use and highly secure due to their clever notch-and-belt design. Thread the flat end of the zip tie through the buckle and pull tight to secure it in place at your desired length.

You'll need a handheld drill and a one-eighth to one-quarter-inch drill bit or an awl. This is to make the holes through which to thread the zip ties. A small metal or plastic washer and some waterproof glue to strengthen the holes is optional. If you don't have zip ties handy, purchase a pack of assorted sizes for future use. For example, ACE has a 500-pack for $17.99. Trash collectors are rough on the bins and can snap thin zip ties, so if you're worried about this, shop for heavy-duty options like these ultra-heavy-duty cable ties from The Home Depot. Just be sure to get a drill bit or awl sized to their width.

Drill or punch your holes into the lid and the hinge of the bin — you need four holes. If you wish, you can glue the washer around the holes to make them stronger. Thread your zip tie through the left-hand holes; trash can first, then through the top of the handle. Keep the buckle between the lid and the bin hinge. This will protect it from damage. Cut off the leftover thread to keep things neat. Repeat with the second zip tie, and you're done!

A warning: Check with your local municipal authority that they collect trash cans with attached lids. Some cities, like York in Pennsylvania or Kingston in Ontario, Canada, state they won't collect cans with attached lids on their websites.