Kitchen Trash Cans Kitchen Trash Cans

Sarah Van Arsdale

It may not be the most glamorous part of your kitchen decor, but the trash can is one of the most used accessories for this important room. If you doubt this, just count the number of times you toss something: a teabag, or a used paper towel, or the empty box of cereal. Broccoli stems, milk cartons, coffee grounds and eggshells eventually all end up in your kitchen's trash receptacle. With an accessory used that much, doesn't it make sense to choose one that can add style to the overall interior design of your kitchen?

Many of you are probably already doing a good bit of recycling, and some of you are also composting, allowing all that natural trash to go on and do some good, such as by encouraging the growth of flowers and vegetables in the garden.

But whether you just abide by the minimum recycling requirements in your city or have a complicated system for separating the trash, the right receptacles can make the job not only a lot tidier, but easier too. And you can find stylish trash receptacles to match the decor of your particular kitchen.

The first step in designing a trash-can makeover is to consider how much separating you want or need to do.

These composting containers can be pretty small, sometimes standing no more than 10 inches high, as you'll be using them only for garbage, such as fruit peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells, all of which will help give nutrients to the garden.

Even if you won't be composting, chances are your town or city has regulations about separating your recycling. This may be the time for you to get rid of that paper bag in which you toss the cardboard, and upgrade to something that will be in keeping with the design of your kitchen.

First, think about whether you want a trash can - or a recycling can - under the sink. There are several models available which are easy to install with just a few screws, that slide out from under the sink or from the bottom of another kitchen cabinet. These, of course, can be the best space-savers and have very little decorating impact.

If you don't want to sacrifice all that space, but you still want to keep the trash can hidden, you can also find models that attach to the door of a cabinet.

Perhaps one of the most helpful innovations to come along in recent years is the trash can that has more than one receptacle, so that you can easily separate the paper, plastic, and trash. You can also find small plastic bins that will fit into larger trash cans, so you can make your own multi-use recycling system.

But what about the kitchen where you have no choice but to have the trash can out in the open?

Stainless steel remains the most popular material for kitchen trash cans, available in round, square, or oblong models, depending on the shape needed to suit the space. These can look great in a modern kitchen. Some of these steel garbage bins even have colorful plastic inserts to match the look of any room, making them useful not only in the kitchen but in bathrooms and nurseries and other places where you might have trash.

For a more rustic look, you can find trash baskets made of woven straw. These take a little more care, and must be lined with a plastic trash bag in order to preserve their look, but they can enhance the mood of a country-casual kitchen.

Likewise, if you have bead board in your kitchen, you can find a square bead board trash receptacle, or you can have a carpenter make one for you. Paint it white, and paint the bead board in the kitchen white, and you'll hardly notice it's there.

By researching the possibilities of trashcans and recycling options that are available today, you can make the trash in the kitchen less of an eyesore and more of a decorating joy.

Tip: If you want to try composting garbage for the garden, you probably want a small container which you might keep by the sink. You may think that composting is a sure way to make sure the kitchen smells terrible, but a great deal of progress has been made in composting containers for the kitchen. Look for a composting container made of steel, clay or plastic that has a carbon filter in the lid. The filter will cut down on the smells, and a closely-fitting lid will help too.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design.

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