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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Kitchen trash cans: Built into cabinets or not?

creaton2January 5, 2013
Wondering how people like their built-in kitchen trash cans (built into cabinet, like attached picture).

We currently use a simplehuman semi-round step trash can that we absolutely love, but are remodeling our kitchen and considering going to a built-in top mount double bin wastebasket (see attached example pix)

I'm concerned with two things. One is that guests will have a hard time finding our built-in trash cans -- they're designed to blend in and not stand-out like a simplehuman can. Second is the smell. Will built in contain smells as well as the simplehuman?

The pro of the built-in for us would be more efficent use of our valuable floor space -- we have small galley kitchen.

Any and all thoughts would be greatly appecited!
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we love ours..we use one for recycle and the other for trash. No question the trash can smell from time to time. Just keep the super smelly trash out of the trash.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:56PM
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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our double built in, roll out trash drawers! I can't compare them in terms of odors because our previous kitchen had a single built in trash drawer. But what I love is having the space for both recycle and trash. As with our paneled dishwasher, we centered a cup pull on the upper frame of the door, which matches the cup pulls on our drawers but also gives a hint that this cabinet doesn't open from the side like the others. Guests seem to figure it out.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:57PM
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I have a built in trash can and I love it. I, personally, don't like to see a garbage can when I walk into my kitchen and the dog can't get to it (another plus) : )
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:00PM
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I have the same built-in and love it. No problems with odors, although I do use a "scented" trash bag and typically remove the trash every other day or so. I wouldn't keep kitchen trash in my house much longer than that anyway!

You can always use a cute, different knob/pull if you want to make it easy for guests to find the trash can. Typically the built-in is to the left or right of the sink which is easy to point out also.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:02PM
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Our built in trash drawer is in our kitchen island. I do love it. Advantages are no unsightly trash can taking up floor space, pets can't get into it (although our Boxer has figured out how to open the drawer). The disadvantages are more difficult to clean. Trash making it's way into the built in bin inevitably ends up everywhere but which results in me down on all fours vacuuming/wiping out the bottom of the cabinet. A trash can is much easier to take outside and hose down. If you do decide on a built in, I would also be vigilant about where you place it keeping in mind that the drawer needs to be opened which means it should not be placed where people would commonly stand, eg. centre of an island, cabinet under a sink, a narrow point of the galley. Hope this helps and good luck with your Reno.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:30PM
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We love ours too. All you have to do is tell guests once, and they got it. No big deal there.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:33PM
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I just changed my whole kitchen, total makeover and the top thing me and my husband live is the garbage bins in the drawer, it's by far the best investment!!!
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 4:31PM
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We have the kind that uses tall kitchen garbage bags. they are small enough that there is not enough time for things to get stinky before it gets taken out. I LOVE having it out of sight. nOnly issue we have had is the anchoring into the bottom of the cupboard which was particle board but that is a minor thing.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 4:44PM
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We had one once and loved it. Trick to keep it nice is avoid putting sticky trash into it, or put a messy paper plate upside down so mess does not end up touching underside of top, making it dirty or smelly!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 4:54PM
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We have a built in with 2 bins that we use for garbage and compostables. It can get smelly, but no more than my step-styled garbage can.

The only issue we seem to run into is inconvenient moments to open the drawer - someone in the way or dirty hands that make me reluctant to touch the handle.
Choose the location well! :)
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 5:25PM
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I have these in my kitchen for trash and again in my laundry room for recycling, one for papers and one for cans. I love them.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 5:33PM
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We have the same set up, and it's perfect. Keeps pets out, looks beautiful, and keeps both recyclables (we use a brown grocery bag to inside the plastic bin) and trash together in one place. Simple, clean, neat. When I'm cooking, I tend to pull the trash drawer out a few inches so that I don't have to touch the handle with my hands. It's easy, you'll love it.

Think carefully about placement - you'll probably want it to right of the sink. Definitely not under the sink, which is an awkward spot for trash if somebody's using the sink. Smelly trash? You'll want it in a separate cabinet, and as long as the trash goes out regularly it should be fine. I always wrap meat, fish, or other smelly stuff in a plastic bag then toss.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 5:36PM
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Great...right between the sink and dishwasher....scrape....rinse...dishwasher! I have one large container.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 5:39PM
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Had a small kitchen with freestanding simple human trash can. Remodeled with double pull out and would never go back! Love it. As for guests finding the cans, I live in my kitchen 95% of the time so I designed it for me. Happy to show anyone who needs yo know where the garbage goes!
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Thanks everyone for the input. You convinced us to go for it! Now what to do with the old simplehuman can. Guess my basement gets a fancy trash can!
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 6:02PM
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Blue Hot Design
I would never, ever, design a kitchen with anything but a built-in trash like the one you're considering. Smell is not an issue, since the cabinet will be closed most of the time, but at my own house I take really stinky bits out to the garage bin right away.

When the trash is full, it does get heavy, so don't skimp on the working hardware. I would recommend a larger, easy-to-grab piece of cabinet hardware here, and soft-close glides on the working hardware.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Barnhart Gallery
We have a hands-free step-to-open trash compactor, and it is the best. Since building it in 13 years ago, our town trash pickup switched to single stream recycling (love!) with pay per bag trash pickup, so with the compactor, I really do get a lot into one of those town bags. (Our recycling goes into a pretty copper-lined basket at the base of the baker's rack.)
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 6:36PM
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I'm surprised nobody mentioned a disposer in the sink. I've had one for years and love it. Almost no stinky trash at all!
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:05PM
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WE have the double bin drawer set up in our island bench and its great.You do have to keep it empty on a regular basis as it is in the kitchen prep area.We were limited for space (as most of us are in some sense), and so have it installed in the island bench.I agree it can be challenging to clean so I have lined the bottom shelf under the bins with either a chux wipe or other cloth/paper so I can remove and throw it or clean it.I've also sprayed the under bin-surface with a product we have here in Australia called Mr Sheen which has a silicon component and thus easier to clean off the dirt and smells good too.
I have a hen house full of 8 disposal girls who eat all our kitchen scraps in return for tasty fresh eggs!
Currently in Australia its the sweltering heat of summer, so all garbage has to go out daily!
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:19PM
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deb, your disposer is much more interesting than mine :)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:22PM
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We have four bins and that is because we have strict recycle at our local dump. We cannot have a disposal as we are on septic. No, odor problem. Just make sure the cabinet is right next to your sink.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:26PM
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Hey orangecamera, I'd drop around some eggs for for you,but I suspect they wouldnt make the journey across the ocean. Is it freezing cold in your part of the world?
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:45PM
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We also included one in our recent remodel and I LOVE it. Can't help but smile every time I open it. My babies loved to crawl up the simply human can and it drove me nuts.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:47PM
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We toss our paper (not newspaper), rinsed glass and cans in the back container, and it just takes a minute to separate it into our garage recycling containers, and it works very well. Much simpler, actually, than having to explain to guests. Just trash or recyclable.

Think about your placement, since the drawer will often be open. One suggestion was to keep it between the sink and dishwasher. We have ours to the right of the sink, and the dishwasher on the left. Whichever way you do it, you'll love it.

Definitely spring for top quality strong hardware, because trash cans get heavy, and you won't want to stress the hardware. Without self-closing hardware, you may find the drawer pops back open a few inches.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:26PM
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judy, a few houses ago I was on septic. Didn't have a disposer in that house, but had a giant compost bin in the yard near the garden.

deb, thanks for the kind thought :) Yes, it's c-c-cold here in NJ this time of year.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:34PM
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A must in every kitchen!
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 5:31AM
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We have built in bins like this and they have a metal shelf fixed in the cabinet above the bins that acts as a lid. I use the shelf to store my dustpan and brush and the bin bags. Recycling goes in at the back, rubbish at the front. Easy to keep clean as the bins lift out of the rack and the base of the cabinet only needs and occasional wipe down. No more problem with smells than a free standing bin as we empty it regularly and like others have said, it's easy enough to point guests in the right direction if they can't find it. Ours is next to the sink. Wouldn't change it for the world!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 5:57AM
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I'm putting them in my new kitchen.... Judyg, I had a garbarator in my old house for 12 years and we were on septic. I was however watchful of what went down the sink. I will put two in the new house one on the main sink and one on the prep sink.
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:35AM
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