Why I’m Obsessed with This Oh-So-Basic Trash Can

updated May 30, 2019
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Credit: Catherine Meschia
My beloved trash can is even more basic than this one!

Here at Kitchn, we’re dedicated to showing you the very best kitchen items the world has to offer. And while we spend a lot of our time writing about the newest and most impressive products, sometimes we love the simplest things. Case in point? My kitchen trash can.

When I moved into my studio apartment five years ago, I didn’t have a choice as to which trash can I should buy. You see, one of the cabinets in my very small kitchen came with rolling track and holder for a #basic trash can. Basic as in a plain plastic shell. So that’s what I got.

Clearly, my kitchen trash bin isn’t fancy. It doesn’t have a smudge-proof, stainless steel exterior, nor does it automatically open when you wave your hand in front of it. It doesn’t even have a lid! It’s a large, very unexciting plastic bin — but it works for me.

For starters, I really love that it fits into a cabinet. (I know some people won’t agree with me. See: 5 Reasons I Don’t Keep My Trash Can in a Cabinet.) If I didn’t have a designated cabinet for my very average bin, I don’t know where I’d keep my garbage. Every wall in my kitchen is covered in cabinets, my oven, or my micro-fridge (yes, you read that correctly), so my trash can would have to go somewhere in my common space.

So what? I’d place my trash bin next to my couch? Um, no thank you. Quite frankly, very few things can ruin a Netflix binge session like an olfactory medley of spoiled milk, molding onion, and last night’s takeout. My very basic trash can saves the day by staying out of sight and out of mind — well, only until I need to discard something.

Credit: Kelsey Mulvey

I love that my trash can cost me less than $20 and I feel like a budget wizard when I hear people talk about their $160 trash cans. (Why spend so much money on something that is literally just going to hold garbage?) But my favorite thing about my garbage bin is its size. While it does fit in the cabinet, it’s still huge. It holds up to 35 quarts! Unless I’m doing a big freezer-filling session or am spring cleaning my space, I only have to empty the bin every other week or so. Speaking of cleaning, it’s also super easy to clean (because it’s just one piece!).

Will I buy the exact same garbage bin I have now when I move out of my apartment? Well, that would depend on the space. But if I didn’t wind up with the latest, trendiest garbage trash bin, that’d be okay. Because, at the end of the day, you really just need the basics.