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Aesthetically pleasing kitchen trash containers... opinions requested


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When I moved to my new house, I decided I wanted to upgrade to a stainless trash can. However, I had originally balked at paying $100+ for something I was going to throw garbage in and went cheap with a house brand at Target. Big mistake, opening is too narrow to fit many things, exposed hinge rips the bag, and anything with a sharp edge (boxes, etc.) often gets caught on the lip.

So, "buy once, cry once" philosophy has once again been proven, and I'm soliciting opinions before I pull the trigger. I'd say my basic requirements...

1) Uses standard 13 gal bags. I've come to terms with getting an expensive can, but I don't want to need to get expensive, fitted, liners to go with it. Tending towards the smaller size, as there are only two of us and I don't like to keep items that end up stinking in the house overly long.

2) Wide enough mouth to fit reasonably sized objects in. I believe I've seen the ability to dump a dustpan used as a good measure here as well. Coupled with 1), I think that leaves the round cans out - ones large enough to dump a dustpan usually are pretty high capacity.

3) Ability to get the darn bag out without wrestling with it!!!

4) Prefer all stainless, but I suppose stainless body with a plastic top might be OK.

5) Not a requirement, per se, but I'm intrigued by the ones with the auto-open motion detector... seems like one more thing to break, but a nice feature if it works properly.

These are some contenders I've found so far, but interested in other recommendations, too:

Leifheit Kicker - 9.5 gal (~$150)

OK, I started out with a round one... but it looks like it tapers and claims to have an extra wide mouth. And it does mean that the standard bags, which are meant for rectangular containers have some "wasted" capacity - I'm guessing a 13 gal bag would reach the bottom of the can and work, but not sure.

Simplehuman semi round - 40 liter (~$120)

I've seen reports that the opening mechanism breaks on the smaller models and you need to pay shipping both ways for warranty repairs making it the warranty essentially useless, given the size. Not sure about this one, and not exactly sure what standard bag size might fit it.

Simplehuman slim - 35 liter (~$100)

Pretty much same thoughts as the model above.

Brabantia Touch Bin - 50 liter (~$220)

Bigger than ideal, but it's damn sexy and I'm intrigued by what can possibly make a kitchen trash can cost in excess of $200.

That's about all I have for now... thoughts?

Edited by heidih
substitute links for photos (log)
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I have the Superhuman 35L slim. It's perfectly fine for 2 of us, cooking at home 3/4 of the time. My office is at home, also. The bag is usually removed before it is full, because I prefer the trash to leave the kitchen frequently. Our composting system is very low volume in winter, so we end up w/ slightly more trash.

I would recommend. The bags, while custom fitted, can be acquired inexpensively through on-line sources.

Karen Dar Woon

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I've had the Simplehuman 35L slim for around 3 years or so and really like it.

We just use Glad or Hefty bags in it. Even though the bags are 40L, they work well because there is a hole that you twist the excess width of the bag into. Keeps the bag out of sight and tight into the inner container of the trash can. Got it at Bed Bath and Beyond with a 20% coupon so it came in at around $80. I originally thought that was a crazy amount to spend on a trash can but it was worth it. I absolutely LOVE being able to have both hands carrying something to the trash can, put my foot on the level, and presto it opens with no hands needed. Not automated, just use your foot on the pedal and it immediately opens.

I would definitely buy one again.

Edit: Also, I have a SimpleHuman dish draining rack and a piece broke after I'd had it way past warranty and they sent me a new one for free. So from that one experience I'd say their customer service seemed pretty good.

Edited by Carole (log)
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We bought our covered, foot lever operated trash can at Walmart. I think we paid 69.99, 6 months ago. We use standard tall kitchen bags in it. There is a bit of a hang over but we can tuck in the exposed part. For a kitchen that used to keep supermarket trash bags, on the counter top, not where we cooked or prepared foods, we scratch our heads and wonder what took us so long ?

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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Another vote for simplehuman, have two of them in my shop, and in a commercial setting they are holding up just fine after 3 years and hundreds of kids stepping on the pedal and screaming, "Hey, cool!". The regualr Glad bags seem to fit with some fussing.

The "Leifheit" cans look good, but they are tapered. IN spit of th flared base, I wonder if they are prone to tipping, is the bottom weighted?

Here's a Janitor's trick for you for whatever can you use: Get a long cardboard tube, the kind christmas paper comes in, cut in half lengthwise and tape it inside the can so it runs vertical. When the garbage bags get filled up, they conform to the shape of the can's interior, and when you try to remove the bag, you get a vacuum, making removal difficult, and if you have a cheap or weak bag, disasteous.

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We don't have any floor space for a trash can (and besides, our cats can get into just about any container out there). I found this little "Rack Sack" at the hardware store: http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1275520 It fits on the inside of the door of the under-the-sink cabinet; the bag just hangs on it. Hang it high enough on the door, and there's room for a small yard waste container (here "yard waste" includes food scraps, pizza boxes, etc.). The recycling bin fits nicely behind the other door. Since we empty all three daily (how does the recycling reproduce like that?), it's a very neat system.

Forgot to say, the top is removable.

Edited by Special K (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I used a couple simplehuman trash cans that were made to fit ordinary plastic shopping bags. They are a bit on the small side, but if you get a couple of them, they work fine -- at least they did for me. I too prefer to throw my smelly trash out more frequently so the small size wasn't an issue for me. It is also nice that you can reuse plastic grocery bags instead of buying bags.

Here is the model I have.

They are pretty cheap and stainless steel too. If they don't work in the kitchen, you can always use them in other spaces too as the profile is nice and narrow and they look good.


Edited by mr drinkie (log)

I like to say things and eat stuff.

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Complete lack of engineering:

Buy a simple, standard wastebasket (metal, black, round, about knee height) from Staples.

Line this with the plastic bag they put your groceries in, two handled type.

Empty this every morning or night as it does not hold much.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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