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Best Toy Garbage Trucks of 2023

The little garbage truck fan in your household might love one of these toys. 

It’s relatively easy to find toys for kids who are drawn to things with a specific theme. Maybe in your home, it’s all things construction. Perhaps it’s the flashing lights and sirens of emergency vehicles.

However, if your child adores garbage trucks, the gifting options can be limited. I feel your pain.

As the mom of a child who lives and breathes all things garbage truck themed, I’ve spent more time than most tracking down the quality items on this list of the best toy garbage trucks.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Playmobil Green Recycling Truck Playset
Best Recycling Toy Garbage Truck
PlayMobil Green Recycling Truck
  • Includes lots of accessories
  • Compatible with playmobil items
  • Teaches importance of recycling
Product Image of the Bruder (03560 Scania R-Series Garbage Truck - Orange
Best With Compactor
Bruder Scania R-Series Garbage Truck
  • An incredible amount of detail
  • Doors open & close
  • Unbreakable windshield
Product Image of the Green Toys Recycling Truck in Green Color - BPA and Phthalates Free Garbage...
Most Eco-Sensitive Garbage Truck
Green Toys Recycling Truck
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Can be used outside
  • Made from recycled milk jugs
Product Image of the Tonka Mighty Force Lights & Sounds - Garbage Truck
Best Classic Toy Garbage Truck
Tonka Lights & Sounds Garbage Truck
  • Brightly colored
  • Strong construction
  • Doesn’t eat up the batteries
Product Image of the Matchbox Realistic Toy Truck for Recycling or Garbage 15' Large Scale, Sound FX...
Best Toy Garbage Truck for Toddlers
Matchbox Garbage Truck
  • Good for indoor & outdoor play
  • Realistic effects
  • Can be used with or without batteries installed
Product Image of the Bruder 02812 Mack Granite Rear Loading Garbage Truck (Ruby Red Green)
Best Large Toy Garbage Truck
Bruder Rear Loading Garbage Truck
  • Has a compactor mechanism
  • Smooth machinery
  • Built to last
Product Image of the Brio My Home Town 30278 - Light & Sound Garbage Truck - 4 Piece Toy for Kids...
Best Wooden Toy Garbage Truck
Brio Light & Sound Garbage Truck
  • Same scale as brio railway
  • Smooth, clean lines
  • All-wood construction
Product Image of the LEGO City Great Vehicles Garbage Truck 60220 Building Kit (90 Pieces)
Best LEGO Toy Garbage Truck
LEGO CITY Garbage Truck
  • Comes with two mini-figures
  • Includes “garbage” pieces
  • Great introductory lego kit
Product Image of the Mighty Fleet Motorized Garbage Truck Toy
Best Motorized Garbage Truck
Mighty Fleet Motorized
  • Working horn
  • Also has lights
  • Has motorized front power arm
Product Image of the DOUBLE E Benz Licensed Remote Control Garbage Truck Electric Recycling Toy Set...
Best Remote-Controlled Garbage Truck
Remote Control Garbage Truck
  • Officialy licensed
  • Designed to prevent frustration
  • Realistic lights and sounds

The Best Toy Garbage Trucks of 2023

Here are the best garbage truck toys and gifts for kids of all ages and abilities.

1. PlayMobil Green Recycling Truck

Best Recycling Toy Garbage Truck

This well-built and sturdy Playmobil recycling truck comes with a recycling garbage can and lots of recyclables. There are also two figures who can stand and sit. They come with safety vests and rubber boots.

The garbage can be rolled onto the truck’s lift. Then you turn the crank, and the can is tipped up, emptying the recycling into the back of the truck. The back of the truck opens easily to retrieve the recycling.

As the truck works with other items in the Playmobil line, it is easy to add extra items to “recycle” or replace lost ones.

Photo of the PlayMobil Green Recycling Truck


  • Excellent for creative and imaginative play.
  • Lots of accessories.
  • Compatible with other Playmobil items.
  • It can help your child learn about the importance of recycling.


  • Small pieces of recycling can get lost.

2. Bruder Scania R-Series Garbage Truck

Best Toy Garbage Truck With Compactor

The 1:16 scale Scania is a big orange garbage truck made by Bruder, the German maker known for its high-quality toys.

The truck comes with two garbage cans. They can be placed on the tailgate, which can then be lifted, emptying your garbage into the rear compactor. Once the garbage is in the truck, use the compactor to squish it to the back, ready for the next load.

The truck can be emptied by lifting the rear, twisting the knob, and pushing the trash out of the back.

Other Bruder garbage cans of different colors and styles are available.

Photo of the Bruder Scania R-Series Garbage Truck


  • An incredible amount of detail.
  • Doors open and close.
  • Unbreakable polycarbonate windshield.


  • Not the most affordable.

3. Green Toys Recycling Truck

Most Eco-Sensitive Garbage Truck

Made in the U.S., Green Toys uses recycled milk jugs made of HDPE #2 plastic to create the Big Green recycling truck. It is also free from phthalates, BPA, and PVC.

However, despite being made from plastic, it is a tough truck that stands up well to toddlers.

The truck body has three slots along each side, into which your child can sort the cardboard newspaper, bottles, and glass cut-outs. Once sorted, little ones can open up the back of the truck, tip up the body to empty it, and start again.

This is an excellent toy for practicing fine motor skills and learning how to sort the recycling.

Photo of the Green Toys Recycling Truck


  • Dishwasher safe.
  • Can be used outside.
  • It’s a toy you can feel good about since it’s made from recycled milk jugs.


  • The recycling items can be easily damaged.

4. Tonka Lights and Sounds Garbage Truck

Best Classic Toy Garbage Truck

With a light-up cab and realistic sound effects, the Tonka Lights and Sounds garbage truck is a modern classic. The generic garbage truck shape will work for most kids, no matter what the garbage trucks look like in their neighborhoods.

Press the buttons on the top of the garbage truck cab, and you’ll hear engine noises, reversing beepers, and cute sayings. As a bonus for adults, when the button is pressed, the sound plays once and then turns off again. It requires two AAA batteries which are included in the package.

It’s one of four light and sound vehicles with similar features. You can also buy a fire truck, police cruiser, and rescue chopper.

Photo of the Tonka Lights and Sounds Garbage Truck


  • Brightly colored.
  • Strong construction.
  • Doesn’t eat up the batteries.
  • Highly affordable.


  • Much smaller than the photos suggest.

5. Matchbox Garbage Truck

Best Toy Garbage Truck For Toddlers

Recommended for children aged 3 years and older, the Matchbox garbage truck is made for curious toddlers.

Your little one can use a hook mechanism to attach the garbage can onto the rear of the truck. Then they flip the lever and watch as the contents tumble out and into the back.

The big, bright blue garbage can is more the size and shape of a small dumpster, which makes this a realistic option for those who live in buildings with communal garbage systems.

Constructed from plastic and measuring 6.5 x 16 x 10 inches, this is a big, bold garbage truck made for fun.

Photo of the Matchbox Garbage Truck


  • Good for indoor and outdoor play.
  • Realistic effects.
  • Can be played with or without batteries installed.


  • Items arrived at doorsteps without a box but nevertheless it’s working perfectly fine.

6. Bruder Rear Loading Garbage Truck

Best Large Toy Garbage Truck

The second Bruder toy on our list, this Mack garbage truck comes with a pair of garbage cans to help clear up the trash. When the trash hits the back of the truck you can push it to the back of the vehicle and empty it when you get to the “landfill.”

Opening doors, fold-back rearview mirrors, and rubber tread tires all provide realistic details. That will help your little pretender feel just like the real thing. A Bruder light and sound kit can be added to the truck for even more realism, and there is also a snowplow blade add-on available.

Photo of the Bruder Rear Loading Garbage Truck


  • Has a compactor mechanism.
  • Smooth machinery.
  • Built to last.


  • A big investment, especially if you get the add ons.

7. Brio Light and Sound Garbage Truck

Best Wooden Toy Garbage Truck

The wooden garbage truck from the Brio “My Home Town” series is more than the basic garbage truck shaped vehicle you might expect.

Fitted with lights and sounds, the truck also comes with a stylized wooden driver and two wooden shapes that fit into holes in the rear.

Brio prides itself on the fact that it conducts over 1,000 safety tests on its toys every year. So, you can be sure you are giving the garbage truck fan in your life a gift that is as safe as it is fun.

Photo of the Brio Light and Sound Garbage Truck


  • Same scale as Brio railway.
  • Smooth, clean lines.
  • All-wood construction may be appreciated by plastic-hating parents.


  • Small for the price.

8. LEGO CITY Garbage Truck

Best LEGO Toy Garbage Truck

Although not specifically labeled as such, this 90-piece set is an excellent LEGO model for beginners.

While there is some requirement for classic LEGO building, at the same time, much of the model is made from larger, pre-formed components. As a result, the model can be put together by younger children with minimal, if any, adult help.

Once built, you can attach the garbage can to the lift at the rear of the truck and tip it to empty the garbage into the truck body.

Something that I particularly liked was that one of the garbage collectors is a smiling female figure.

Photo of the LEGO CITY Garbage Truck


  • Comes with two mini-figures.
  • Includes “garbage.”
  • A great introductory LEGO kit for younger children.


  • Too basic for experienced builders.

9. Mighty Fleet Motorized Garbage Truck

Best Motorized Garbage Truck

This garbage truck is unusual in that it has a reverse gear mechanism that lifts the dumpster up and over the front of the truck. The garbage then falls from the dumpster into the body of the truck through a large opening in the roof.

The lifting arm is motorized and controlled by a lever on the side of the truck. Our kids particularly enjoy pushing the truck up to the dumpster, then using the lever to make the lifting arm do its thing.

The truck empties via an easy-to-use rear door, and 3 AA batteries are included.

Photo of the Mighty Fleet Motorized Garbage Truck


  • Working horn.
  • Also has lights.
  • Unlike many garbage trucks, it has a motorized front power arm.


  • The power arms move extremely slow, which slows down the action for kids.

10. Double E Remote Control Garbage Truck

Best Remote-Controlled Garbage Truck

This remote-controlled car is duly licensed from the world’s best selling car, Mercedes-Benz, and is made specifically for the little hands of garbage truck lovers.

The design is exquisitely crafted to simulate the real-life garbage truck. Along with the fine details, the addition of lights and sounds makes it realistic for each tot to play.

It has obtained certifications from both the American Society for Testing and Materials and European Committee for Standardization so you can be sure it’s safe and durable for your baby to play.

Photo of the Double E Remote Control Garbage Truck


  • Officialy licensed by Mercedes Benz.
  • Designed to prevent frustration.
  • Realistic lights and sounds.


  • It doesn’t come with a full set of batteries.

11. Garbage Trucks Wall Decals

Best Garbage Truck Decor

These easy-to-apply garbage truck wall decals will brighten up any little one’s room.

Included in the set are three different style garbage trucks, three square plastic style garbage cans, two traditional metal style garbage cans, one dumpster, and 15 feet of straight gray road.

Printed with odorless, water-based inks, the decals are made from fabric rather than the vinyl that is used for the majority of similar items.

The decals can be taken off of the wall and reused as many times as you like, and they do not leave any sticky residue or marks.


  • The decals are good sized at 16.8″ long and 7.7″ high.
  • Repositionable.
  • Peel and stick, so they are easy to apply.


  • Will not stay on textured walls well.

12. Friction-Powered Garbage Truck

Best Toy Garbage Truck With Grabber

This friction-powered garbage truck comes as a kit, with a toy screwdriver so your child can put the truck together themselves.

The pieces are large, so the assembly is not complex, and there is an instruction book and a YouTube video to guide you through each step.

The kit has a deck of cards, each of which has a different waste item printed on it. These cards are then put into the different garbage cans, and if your child needs help sorting out the garbage and recycling, there is also a booklet to help them learn.


  • Working lights.
  • Functional grabber arm.
  • It can be a great educational tool because of the assembly that is required.


  • Some users mentioned that the item came assembled leaving no room for the assembling process but they could dismantle it themselves and re-assemble it back.

13. Joyin Take Apart Garbage Truck

Best Remote Control Toy Garbage Truck

A chunky plastic garbage truck designed for those over 3, this R/C model comes with a garbage truck and a power drill that can be assembled into four different types of vehicles.

The power drill can be controlled remotely as well. All the materials used for the construction of this toy were free from BPA and lead so you’d have peace of mind letting your precious one play with it. Moreover, it features playful sounds and sirens that are sure to attract tots.


  • Built-in music and sounds.
  • Also has lights.
  • BPA and lead-free material.


  • May seem too complicated to assemble for younger kids.

How To Choose The Best Toy Garbage Truck

Even if you don’t go shopping with a specific checklist, these are the things you should always keep in mind.

Child’s Age

Stick with toys that are made for your child’s age range. If you have a little one who is more advanced than their age in years, and you want to give them an item for older kids, double-check the labeling.

There are additional regulations for toys made for children between 3 and 6 years old. If any part of such a toy presents a choking hazard for those under 3, the toy must have a label warning of the danger (1).


Not every toy is made strong enough to cope with the rigors of play. Only toys that stand up to real-world play make our recommendation lists.


Safety concerns have been raised about some plastics used in toy manufacturing. The industry is making progress by reducing the use of some potentially harmful plastics as well as turning to environmentally preferable alternatives.

Wherever possible, I look for toys made from materials that have been proven to be safe as well as those which are less damaging to the environment.


Every garbage truck on our list can be driven, either by battery, remote control, friction, or good old child power.

There are also options with lights, sounds, and other features, such as opening doors, working compactors, and even a shape sorter.


Garbage trucks with accessories such as garbage cans and figures can encourage creativity and provide more play value.


The best toys are not always the most expensive. Instead of going for the garbage truck that costs the most, set your budget. Then go for the one in your price range that will give your child the most pleasure.

No Garbage Toys Here

You might have a toddler who’ll enjoy the garbage truck shape-sorter. You may have a tween who’ll get a kick out of the R/C model, or a grown “child” who needs a garbage truck for their LEGO city.

If you have a garbage truck fan in your household, any of the items on this list should likely be a hit.

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Headshot of Patricia Barnes

About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.