There are a lot of unsung heroes in the home, but none may be as important to our daily routines as the lowly kitchen trash can. It is an undeniable work horse, often acting as the main waste receptacle in the home, accepting multitude culinary sins and and miscellaneous garbage. And yet — in the best of cases, at least — it manages to mask any smell or unsightly detritus from the rest of the room. If you are contemplating a new trash bin for your kitchen, there are several key factors that should go into making your decision. Here are a few:
What size trash can do you need? The size of your trash bin should correspond in some way to the size of your household. The more people at home, the bigger it should be. For smaller households, it might be tempting to go for a larger container in order to make less trips outside to the garbage. But just remember, the longer you keep the same bag, the more likely unpleasant odors will develop. Stick to a size that can hold about a week’s worth of garbage, so that it can be emptied and taken to the curb for the trash collector on each visit. For larger families, you might have to make multiple trips a week.
Where will you store the can? This is a tough one. Most prefer to put the waste receptacle somewhere out of eyesight. This is a great idea, particularly if there is no top to your bin (no one wants their old trash on display). However, the bin must also be easily accessible — the last thing you want is to be searching for the garbage while trying to prepare a meal.
Opt for a discrete location that is within your kitchen prep area. A cabinet under the sink is a popular option, and with good reason; most kitchens are designed with the sink, refrigerator and cooktop arranged in a triangle, so that one can easily maneuver from one to the other without expending too much energy. Since the trash can is another vital part of kitchen functionality, it helps when it is also located within this triangular shape.
If the space under your sink doesn’t provide enough room for the size bin you need, consider storing it in another cabinet instead. Pull-out trash bins make it easy to replace a liner and store the garbage back inside and out of eyesight afterwards. For kitchens where no cabinet will work, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave a garbage can out in the open. Just make sure it has a lid and blends well with the rest of the decor in your cooking area.
What style garbage can should you buy? As mentioned above, if you plan on having your kitchen trash can out in the open, it’s smart to buy a style that matches the rest of your decor. There’s no use drawing attention to the garbage, and a mismatched bin will stick out like an eyesore. For garbage cans that are hidden away, you can be less particular on the look of the bin.
Whether your trash can will be out in the open or tucked away, it’s important to buy one that’s made in an easy-to-clean material. Stainless steel and heavy-duty plastic are both good options. Anything with a smooth surface works well, so that gunk can be quickly wiped away and the whole receptacle can be hosed down and cleaned with ease.
Get more options and details on kitchen trash cans of all shapes and sizes below.