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, 2015 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, 2015 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.
    – Oleksii
    Apr 22, 2015 at 3:28
  • 1
    Not a single word but you can consider waste item.
    – ermanen
    Apr 22, 2015 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, 2015 at 4:14

1 Answer 1


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.

  • A countable term for waste does not exist in many languages. There is no countable term in Russian either.
    – Oleksii
    Apr 22, 2015 at 3:49
  • 1
    Perhaps, because nobody tries to count garbage unless it is packed in countable units :-)
    – Oleksii
    Apr 22, 2015 at 3:51

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