Call to action: Better trash cans needed. When my next-door neighbor Felicity asked me where to find good-looking recycling bins, I spent days trying to solve the riddle. Everybody recycles—and every community has its own requirements and regulations—but somehow the design world has been slow to respond to this household need. Built-in compartmentalized trash cans are the most seamless approach, but not always a viable option. For those like Felicity in need of bins, here are 10 tidy, compartmentalized choices (plus one prototype).
Above: The metal 4 Bin Cupboard from Manufactum is €167; it’s also available as a 2-Bin Cupboard for €126 ($140). Each bin holds 13.5 liters. And, yes, we realize that there’s an irony built into creating more plastic for the sake of recycling, but so far, there are few alternatives on the market.
Above: Made in Germany by the venerable Westermann & Co., Wesco Recycling Big Double Boy Bin has a stainless steel lid and step pedal, and a powder-coated steel exterior that holds two 4.75 gallon bins. It’s also available in red, black, and almond; £175 ($194) from Binopolis. For more on Wesco, see our post The Mercedes of Trash Bins.
Above: The Perigot 2-Bucket Mobil Bin has a place for recycling and for trash and is made out of the same epoxy metal used to manufacture skis and snowboards; currently on sale for $520 (down from $650) at ABC Carpet & Home.
Above: Created by British industrial designer Samuel Wilkinson—codesigner of the Plumen 001 (aka The World’s Most Stylish Light Bulb)—these Recycle Bins are a prototype made of powder-coated aluminum detailed in three shades of green. Notes Wilkinson, “Each bin fits standard tall paper bags that can be used until recycled themselves.” We hope the design goes into production soon.
Above: SimpleHuman’s sturdy 46-Liter Steel Bar Recycler is made of fingerprint-proof stainless steel with a reinforced steel step bar, a silent-close lid, and two inner buckets; $180.
Above: For those with available cabinet space, pullout trash cans are a good, out-of-sight option. The SimpleHuman 35-Liter Under-Counter Pull-Out Recycler has twin cans, a chromed steel frame, and commercial-grade tracks; $80 from SimpleHuman.
Above: The Rev-A-Shelf Pull-Out Top Mount Waste & Recycling Bins unit, with four 27-quart containers, is $163.28 from Kitchen Source.
Above: The 2-Bin Pivoting Recycler from the Container Store is made of steel and can be secured to a wall for stability. It’s 30 3/4 inches tall, 11 inches wide, and 13 inches deep; $179.
Above: The Hailo Eco Duo Rubbish Separator is made of coated stainless steel by European company Hailo, which has been manufacturing trash cans and ladders since 1947. The pedal-operated can has two inner compartments and is available in stainless or 12 colors. The interior bins are green and brown plastic. It’s available on Amazon Germany for €34.50 ($38 USD).
Above: Also from Muji, the PP Stackable Dust Box Dual is $34.
Above: The Neu Home 2 Compartment Step-On Recycling Bin is made of stainless steel and has two lids for twin 20-liter bins; $130.29 from Casa.
Above: Takiro Yuta PRIMO Recycling Unit for Dieffebbi has three bins and a bottom compartment for storing garbage bags. It comes in white, aluminum, and gray, and has a glass top for easy cleaning. For pricing, e-mail email@example.com.
The most beautiful trash cans in the world? See The Last Trash Can You’ll Ever Buy and Trash Bins from a Cleanliness-Obsessed Nation. For more kitchen ideas, browse our favorite Kitchen Designs in our Photo Gallery.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on April 24, 2014.