What's the best trash can?
April 22, 2005 6:48 AM   Subscribe

What's your trash can of choice (for the kitchen)? I'm convinced they all suck- please, tell me I'm wrong.

Our SimpleHuman step-operated one is an abomination- the pedal broke, it's too long to hold a standard white bag well (and their custom bags are too fragile), and it creates that annoying vacuum that invariably tears your bag when you take it out. I'm willing to spend a bit of money, but is it really necessary to go top-of-the-line just to be functional?

Here's my criteria- needs to not have any of the flaws mentioned above, and have a plastic liner.
posted by mkultra to Shopping (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
well i have a cylindrical stainless steel one with a plastic liner that's quite small - a bag from the supermarket fits nicely inside and folds over the top. foot operated lid. it came from the local diy store and cost about $15. looks like the kind of thing made by the billion in china and available everywhere. works fine - especially since i live in a country where supermarkets employ small children to force plastic bags on you as you leave the store.

but no doubt i will be stunned, yet again, by the ability of mefitarians - or americans in general - to turn every household item into a branded objet of consumer fetishism...
posted by andrew cooke at 7:16 AM on April 22, 2005 [1 favorite]

We recently purchased two of these hampers from The Container Store. We line them with kitchen trash bags and they work great. They look nice and go well with the style of our kitchen.
posted by xorowo at 7:35 AM on April 22, 2005

I just realized that it doesn't technically have its own plastic liner, so it misses one of the criteria. This still works great for us, though, and several friends have started using the same thing.
posted by xorowo at 7:36 AM on April 22, 2005

You correct Andrew. See here.
posted by caddis at 7:37 AM on April 22, 2005

Before I read the [more inside], I was going to recommend the Simple Human (which my former roommate and I pronounce in the voice of the alien from Futurama: "Simple Hu-mon"). But oh well.
posted by matildaben at 7:38 AM on April 22, 2005

It's not turning every object into consumer fetishism, it's trying to optimize away one's daily frustrations. I don't see anything wrong with that.

I use a 42 Qt. Sterilite 1064 topless plastic dealie, with 13 gallon drawstring bags. You can drill a couple holes in the bottom to eliminate the "annoying vacuum", though I personally enjoy how frustrated it makes my partner.
posted by trevyn at 7:42 AM on April 22, 2005 [1 favorite]

We have a knock-off stainless steel pedal-operated flip-lid thingy from Target, standard 13 gal (?) Safeway rubbish bags fit inside. The bags do refuse to come out because of the vacuum; although I will now drill holes in as per trevyn's suggestion.

We prefer steel to our previous plastic flip-lid and rocking-top bins cuz the plastic top always wound up looking stained and skanky. Why on earth do they make them from white plastic? A steel top wipes clean very easily.

Our bin-operation practices are affected quite a bit by our lifestyles. Basically, we recycle paper, glass/plastic/metal, and compost. We also avoid home delivery of take-outs and the attendant styrofoam avalanche (going out to eat is just as quick, once the college student who's delivering has taken 45 minutes to find your house). So our bin fills up quite slowly, with relatively non-stinky stuff, and needs emptying infrequently. There's no styrofoam boxes in there dripping General Tso's chicken sauce and getting wedged between the sides. We generate about 2 x somewhat-less-than-half-full 13 gal bags per week (I know, as I take out the rubbish). This is for two people.
posted by carter at 8:07 AM on April 22, 2005

caddis: Wow, a $140 8 gallon trash can. I thought I had seen everything.
posted by grouse at 8:07 AM on April 22, 2005

If a trash basket is standalone, I prefer it to be in this style. I can't think of any specific brand or type I've ever seen that had a liner though. Kitchen use is debatable, for example we have a similar standalone unit for general purpose trash and a wire-rack (for plastic grocery bags) under the sink for food/decomposing trash. That one gets emptied a lot more frequently, as the space would be less than ideal with that big reeking cylinder being emptied only once a week.
posted by prostyle at 8:12 AM on April 22, 2005

I use this bin (the 507 oz) from Ikea. I'm not sure if the price is right, it seems low (I made the assumption you are in America, so found the US store). Anyway, it fits standard white bags, the back is straight, so it can fit into a small cupboard or be mounted against a wall or door. The lid shuts tightly enough to prevent fruit flies from getting in or out (which is why I bought it). It has no levers or anything, but I have been very happy (and fruit fly free!!) with it.
posted by carmen at 8:29 AM on April 22, 2005

Definitely nothing you use your hand to open.
My dentist was using one of those with the little hinged door you push. Each time they pushed a dirty wipe against the door they picked up germ city on their rubber gloves. No problem for them, of course. Freaked me out.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:38 AM on April 22, 2005

I use 1085 on this page. I'd rather have something a bit larger (can't due to space limitations) but this works well. It doesn't have a plastic liner, but there isn't a suction problem. The trash bags I use are a bit large for it (Glad Kitchen Catchers - 34L), but that's great because you can fill it up by emptying other waste into it. It's darker colour keeps staining to a minimum plus it's easy to wipe clean.
posted by deborah at 9:26 AM on April 22, 2005

I chose my trash container based on it holding a paper grocery bag. My town now requires that we purchase labeled plastic bags for trash pickup, but they still fit okay. On top of the plain container is a 22 x 16 (roughly) board with a handle attached. It keeps the dog out and looks better to me than the swingling plastic lids.
posted by theora55 at 9:50 AM on April 22, 2005

fwiw mine is something like the small one here. target sounds about right.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:14 AM on April 22, 2005

Yup those are the ones we have. We use the smaller one for vegetable/fruit waste, tea leaves, etc.; those thin plastic bags from the supermarket veggie section fit in it quite nicely.
posted by carter at 10:52 AM on April 22, 2005

I like the Target model- it's similar to the SimpleHuman, but at about 1/2 the price, which is where I'd expect something of that quality to lie.

Oh, and open-top is a no-go because of smell and curious cats. And I don't understand how anyone who actually cooks would use a trash can you open with your hand- usually you've got a cutting board/pot/pan in one hand and some large utensil (often a sharp knife) in the other already.

Thanks everyone!
posted by mkultra at 10:52 AM on April 22, 2005

It's not just the Americans who can turn bins into objects of consumerist fetishism, so can the Danes: you might want to consider a Vipp, but only if money's no object.
posted by misteraitch at 10:59 AM on April 22, 2005

misteraitch, those are just beautiful. They look like the children of R2D2 and a fireplug!
posted by redfisch at 11:16 AM on April 22, 2005

A custodial supply or restaurant supply might have something indestructible.
posted by craniac at 11:35 AM on April 22, 2005

craniac's got it, I went to a restaurant-supply place and got the huge rectangular plastic garbage can that's standard in restaurant kitchens - a 30-ft^3 bag is too small for it, I have to get the 33-ft^3 lawn-and-leaf bags. It tapers slightly from top to bottom, so pulling a full-packed bag out is easy.
posted by nicwolff at 2:10 PM on April 22, 2005

Personally, the stainless/plastic jobbie sold at the local Costco has held up well. It's only $30 or so, though, so fetishists need not apply.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 2:59 PM on April 22, 2005

IANAGCE, but this doesn't meet the criteria. I have that set. Yes, the price is right, but the plastic bags are hard to hide inside, and the vacuum problem is definitely there. FWIW.
posted by ValveAnnex at 3:20 PM on April 22, 2005

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