The term “dumpster” has become a common part of our everyday vocabulary, referring to large waste containers found in various locations. However, have you ever wondered why they are called “cans”? The origin of this term can be traced back to the 1930s when the Dempster Brothers, a waste management company, introduced the first commercial dumpster.
The Dempster brothers revolutionized waste disposal by creating a large metal container that could be easily loaded onto a truck and transported to a landfill. These containers resembled the shape of traditional cylindrical cans used for storing food or other items. As such, people began referring to these new waste containers as “dumpster cans” or simply “dumpsters.”
Over time, the term “can” became more commonly used than “dumpster,” and it gradually replaced the original name. This shift in language can be attributed to human tendency for brevity and convenience. It is much easier to say “throw it in the can” rather than “throw it in the dumpster.” Additionally, as dumpsters became more widespread and popularized by other companies, their association with cans solidified.
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