How to Choose a Practical and Functional Kitchen Trash Can?

by Kremy

A trash can is a must-have item for every home, office or public institution. As simple as it may sound, the choice of a kitchen trash can n be a real challenge because of the numerous options available on the market.

How to Choose a Practical Kitchen Trash Can

You can find completely different models. How do they differ from each other? How to choose the right product for your kitchen? A trash can is used for the disposal of waste generated during cooking and eating. The time of a bucket beside the sink are long gone and nowadays you can find a plethora of modern waste bins – from simple plastic models to complex, multifunctional ones designed for waste sorting. What are trash cans made of? Where can you place them? How to choose the best one for your kitchen? We shall give you the answers of these questions, so keep reading!

What are modern kitchen trash cans made of?

modern freestanding waste bin kitchen ideas


The first thing you need to pay attention to when choosing a trash can for the kitchen is the material. Modern manufacturers offer models made from:

  • Durable and high quality plastic;
  • Sheet metal, including stainless steel.
  • Plastic trash cans are affordable, lightweight and easy to maintain. Their service life rarely exceeds 5 years. The market offers models of different shapes, sizes and colors.
  • Metal trash cans are durable, stylish and have a long service life. Made of stainless steel, they perfectly fit into a modern interior and become its organic addition. Modern metal trash cans are stronger and heavier, have a long lasting service life and some models are equipped with sensors for opening and even smart recycling systems. Their price, respectively, is higher than the plastic counterparts.

Types of kitchen trash cans

modern double step pedal trash can with dual compartments

When it comes to the types of kitchen trash cans, they can be divided into several large groups – freestanding, hanging, in-cabinet and built-in models.

Freestanding kitchen trash cans

Freestanding kitchen trash cans

This group includes regular containers, step cans, touchless trash cans and trash cans with swing-top, butterfly, or fold-in lids.

The simplest model is a container (box or bucket) with a lid. It is good if the lid is hinged with an easy move or simply fixed in the open position. You can put the lid by yourself or get a step trash can where the lid closes as soon as you throw garbage inside.Step trash cans are, probably, the most popular choice of housewives. They open by pressing a foot pedal which leaves your hands free. Modern step trash can have lids that can be locked open so that you can toss scraps in while you cook.

Touch top waste bins are quick and easy to open and close. They are a variation of the pedal trash cans but you have to place your fingers on the opening area of the lid to open. Top touch bins come in different sizes and their advantage is that the lid stays open without you having to keep your hand on it. However, the lifting mechanism may break and food can get stuck in the hinges.

Modern Kitchen ideas Touch Top Waste Bins

Automatic kitchen trash cans are getting more and more popular. Like step models, they offer touch-free operation. Sensor trash cans are hygienic, the lid opens at a motion of the hand. Usually, they are made of stainless steel and have a modern look.

Kitchen trash cans with swing-tops are a budget friendly option. However, their lids do not seal tightly which means that odors escape easily. Another minus is the fact that lids get dirty as you scrape food remnants from dishes. Swing-top and fold-in lids frequently get caught on trash which prevents them from opening properly which is very inconvenient.

In cabinet trash cans

In cabinet trash cans ideas

This is another large group of trash cans that are designed to be installed in a kitchen cabinet. These cans have an affordable price, they are easy to maintain and have a fairly long service life. In cabinet garbage bins can be installed in the cabinet under the sink, under counters or in any other cabinet in the kitchen. They are convenient to use, you simply open the door, toss the trash into the container and close the door. Models come with and without lid, a variety of sizes and installing options. Pull out kitchen trash cans may be equipped with a retractable mechanism. When buying a built-in bucket, pay attention to models with a separately fastened lid. The container will go open when you open the cabinet and close it when you close the door, isolating unpleasant odors. You can easily have both trash and recycle containers together in a cabinet or under the sink. Pull out trash bins under counters are typically custom built and may have a higher cost.

Waste sorting and recycling bins

Waste sorting and recycling bins kitchen equipment ideas

Recycling protects the environment and more and more people are conscious about waste separation. Kitchen trash cans with waste separation system come in different designs. They can be freestanding, built in a kitchen cabinet or under the sink. Some models are specifically designed in recycling colors while others are simply bins. Multifunctional waste sorting systems are perfect, usually this is a set of containers, each of which is intended for a specific group of waste: food, household, glass and plastic products. Compared to other kitchen garbage bins these take up more space so you have to be sure that such a system will fit into the place that you have.

Hanging trash cans

compact hanging trash cans

Hanging trash cans are compact and save space. The container can be attached on any cabinet door or simply placed on the worktop. A foldable hanging trash is an excellent choice for your daily activities. You can use it while you cook and then store it folded or hung.

Built in garbage chutes

Built in garbage chutes kitchen trash can ideas

Built in waste chutes can be integrated in any convenient area on the working surface of the countertop, but most often they are located near the sink. The garbage chutes reduce the time it takes to clean up the kitchen. You simply wipe the waste into the hole and it goes down into a container. Built in garbage chutes come in two variations – a hole above the trash can located under the counter and the second option is to have a bucket placed in the hole which is emptied when full. Buckets are available with a round or rectangular lid, so each homeowner can choose a model that meets his needs.

Where can you place your kitchen trash can?

where to place a trash can in your kitchen

Before choosing a suitable model and buying a trash can for the kitchen, you need to decide where it will be placed. The type and size of the bin will depend on the location. Most often, the waste container is installed under the sink but that is not the only option. You can choose a freestanding model and place it in the corner of the kitchen, a hanging model which is very practical and convenient, in-cabinet models or even built in trash cans.

Free standing trash cans can be set aside in the corner of the kitchen. Of course, modern garbage containers look quite presentable, and despite the fact that they are not exactly an interior decoration, there is no problem to place it beside the cabinets or the kitchen island. Modern sensory trash cans look presentable enough not to spoil the look of the kitchen.

Hanging waste bins are a great assistant to every housewife. They are attached to a cabinet door and you do not have to pull out the garbage bin all the time while cooking.

compact trash can designs kitchen ideas

Retractable bins for the kitchen are considered the most convenient. They do not take up free space and are hidden from prying eyes. The container is installed in a special drawer on wheels, which, when used, is pulled out from under the tabletop, and then also easily slides under it.

In-cabinet kitchen trash cans come in a huge variety of models. They are usually placed in the cabinet under the sink and can be equipped with a pull out mechanism.

Built-in trash cans are a non-standard, but very convenient solution. They are installed under the countertop. Such a model allows all waste to be immediately sent to the trash during cooking and when all the work is done, the hole is simply covered with a lid.

How to choose the best kitchen trash can?

modern freestanding kitchen trash can

The trash can is a very important and necessary item in the kitchen, as it is used every day and without it it is almost impossible to imagine the cooking process. What to consider before buying a trash can for your kitchen?

Size and capacity

Pull Out Under Sink Trash Can

The container for collecting waste should not take up too much space in the kitchen. It should organically fit into its interior and occupy the allotted place for it. The size/capacity will depend on the number of people living in the house. Obviously, a household of two will generate less trash than a family of five.

Stainless steel waste sorting trash can

The choice of shape will also depend on the location of the trash can in the kitchen. Even simple plastic models can have different geometric shapes – triangular, round, rectangular, etc. This allows the waste bin to take up as little as possible of the interior space. Waste bins can be of the usual rectangular, square, cylindrical or conical shape, or they can have an original, sometimes quite intricate design. The variety of design solutions allows you to choose the right model for any interior.

Material and color

What are modern kitchen trash cans made of

The choice of material and color is purely individual and depends on the overall design of the kitchen. You can buy an ordinary garbage bin for the kitchen or a multifunctional model equipped with a sorting and pressing system, a touch sensor for automatic opening the lid, etc. Remember that the material of the kitchen waste bin should meet the requirements for:

  • easy maintenance
  • solidity
  • durability
  • hygiene

Aesthetic appearance

modern freestanding kitchen trash can design

Modern design, materials and technologies allow you to choose a trash can in accordance with the style of the interior. In hardware stores, there are whole sets of items made in the same style. For example, you can purchase various containers, rails, dish holders, metal or plastic containers for the kitchen, which are in harmony with the trash can. There is an opportunity to choose suitable accessories for almost any interior.

Ease of use

waste sorting plastic bins for kitchen

With simple plastic containers, everything is clear, there are no difficulties using them. But the stores present a wide range of models equipped with various devices. Judging by the reviews, you can pay attention to bins with a foot (pedal), manual (push) or automatic (motion sensor) opening system.

Kitchen trash can care and maintenance

under sink cabinet waste bin

Kitchen trash cans will serve you for many years without losing their original properties with proper and timely care. The most effective way is to take the trash out on time. This will not only eliminate the risk of an unpleasant odor, but also protect your home from the invasion of flies, midges, domestic rodents and cockroaches.

The trash can should be washed regularly and wiped dry before further use. It is recommended to use waste bags together with any type of household waste bin. They will greatly simplify the waste disposal process and prevent heavy contamination of the bucket.

To prevent unpleasant odors in the kitchen you can put some baking soda on the bottom of the container before placing the new bag. Choose a container with a tight-fitting lid and make sure that waste does not fall past it.


garbage chute kitchen countertop built in trash can

built in cabinet kitchen bin ideas


How to choose the best trash can for your kitchen

in cabinet kitchen trash cans

kitchen pull out waste container and compost bin

small kitchen trash can in cabinet

Embedded image

Copy code to embed the image: Big picture: Small picture: BB-Code: