Innovative Thinking – Leaf Bags – Blog 076

Innovation – Leaf Bag Dilemma

Let’s look at another trash bag issue this time with leaf and yard debris bags.  Let’s start by defining the problem.


You place the bag inside your trash can so the can will give it shape and hold it up and open.  So far, so good.As soon as you start pushing branches, sticks or prickly palm fronds into the bag, the pointy sticks tear into the bag and rip it open.  It gets worse when you try to stuff the debris into the bag to compact to get more in the bag.  It really rips to shreds.


So, if the problem is the stickers and sticks coming into contact with the bag causing it to rip, then don’t let the sticks come into contact with the bag!  Sound simple?  Try this shown below.

Get a trash can and cut the bottom off it.  Then, instead of placing your trash bag “inside” the can, pull it up and over the “outside” of the can.

A couple of things happen here.  By doing this, you prevent the sticks and sticker from coming in contact with the bag causing it to tear.  You can compress the trash even to the point of standing on it as the sticks will be pressed against the hard plastic trash can.  And, because the bottom of the can is larger than the top, the trash can lifts easily out of the compacted debris.Simply pull the trash can up and out of the leaf bag, tie it off, and take it to the curb.

Again, it’s about looking at the problem differently.  In this solution, we turned the trash can upside down, we cut off the bottom, and we put the trash bag on the outside of the can.  It’s not rocket science here.  You can do it!

And if you really want to make this work better, get an old hose and cut off four or five, 4” pieces.  Then, cut those pieces down the center, splitting open the hose.

Pull the trash bag up over the rim of the modified trash can and press the hose segments down over the rim and bag, holding the trash bag in place.


“I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy.”

-Marie Curie


Lon Safko
Serial Innovator, Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Innovative Thinking


Tags: innovative thinking, creative, creative thinking, Innovation, critical thinking definition, innovation definition, critical thinking skills, creative process

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