I am can't seem to think of a single word for trash or garbage in the singular form.

I want to use in a sentence like so:

I picked up two [trashes] yesterday.

Obviously that is wrong because trash is uncountable. Which word can I use instead to have the same meaning as

I picked up two [pieces of trash] yesterday.

In a nutshell I am looking for the direct translation of the french word "Déchet". Google comes up "Waste" but "2 Waste" doesn't sound right.

Any ideas?

  • 2
    I don't think there is a "single word" in standard English that means "a unit of trash". – Hot Licks Apr 22 '15 at 2:48
  • 1
    I agree with @HotLicks. Nothing springs to mind and "pieces of trash" is common. You could try "scraps". Does that work for you? – dave Apr 22 '15 at 3:01
  • Only one word comes to my mind, a disposable. But disposables are things designed for one-time use and they are called disposables in any state: before use and after use. Still, it is a case when a disposable turns into a countable piece of garbage in the end. – alx Apr 22 '15 at 3:28
  • 1
    Not a single word but you can consider waste item. – 0.. Apr 22 '15 at 3:28
  • You're going to have to settle for "pieces of trash" or "pieces of litter" or "pieces of garbage" or "pieces of refuse"... in general it's pieces of something – Jim Apr 22 '15 at 4:14

Your actual garbage disposing action is picking bags or packs or containers with garbage. Consider these:

I picked up two bags of waste yesterday.

I picked up two packs of trash yesterday.

The only thing I know that can be a countable piece of trash is a disposable. Disposables are diapers, syringes, cartridges, etc.

  • I get the word I seek doesn't exist. The terms your suggest don't work for my specific case but the attempt is admirable. =) – Slava Knyazev Apr 22 '15 at 3:46
  • A countable term for waste does not exist in many languages. There is no countable term in Russian either. – alx Apr 22 '15 at 3:49
  • I actually wonder if there is some reason behind this... – Slava Knyazev Apr 22 '15 at 3:50
  • 1
    Perhaps, because nobody tries to count garbage unless it is packed in countable units :-) – alx Apr 22 '15 at 3:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.