Best kitchen bin for waste and recycling

Choose between pedal, sensor, touch top or slimline for your kitchen bin.

Woman disposing food in kitchen pedal bin

by Natalie Corner |

The key to finding the right kitchen bin for your home comes down to two factors: size and style.

Taking a look around your current household, you have to consider how many times you are taking out the rubbish to the wheelie bin outside and if indeed this has become a painful chore you're looking to avoid at all costs.

That means opting for a larger bin than you have now, but you need to factor in the size of your kitchen. Too large and it may stick out, and if you haven't got a space for it, perhaps you need an under the counter bin or an integrated bin.

There are plenty of bin styles to choose from, whether you prefer a pedal bin, are looking to upgrade to a sensor bin so you can go hands-free when scraping away food, or even a touch top bin with several compartments that can help you separate your recycling straight away.

The best kitchen bin 2022

To choose your perfect kitchen bin we've compiled a variety of accessories that will fit every type of household looking at capacity, size, opening features, material and colour.

Joseph Joseph Totem Max 60L Waste And Recycling Bin

Best kitchen bin for recycling
Joseph Joseph Totem Max

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Taking the vertical bin shape and separating it into two clever compartments, the Joseph Joseph Totem Max Bin is your answer to recycling more efficiently. It has three different compartments for recycling, food waste and general waste, all while keeping it compact and not taking up too much extra space. It also has integrated odour control with replaceable activated carbon filters and removable buckets with liner retaining holes and carrier bag hooks.

Specifications

Capacity: 2 x 20L & 2 x 30L plus 3L removable waste caddy (40L & 60L)

Size: H81.4 x W39 x D36.6cm

Opening: Touch top

Material: Plastic & metal

Colour: Stone, black, grey, blue, stainless steel

Pros: Smaller footprint, good for large households, three compartments, stylish

Cons: Tall so doesn't fit under the counter, bin lid doesn't always secure easily

Customer review: “Great design, compact to have a small footprint but large enough not to have to empty it every day! Lovely colour as well - I never thought I could love a bin!”

Brabantia Bo Touch 3 X 11L Bin

Best kitchen bin with touch top
Brabantia Bo Touch

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With a total capacity of 33L, the Brabantia Bo Touch Bin is for a smaller household looking to keep on top of recycling. It features a soft-touch opening system with a wide lid so it reduces any awkwardness when trying to scrape food or dispose of rubbish. The Bo Touch also comes with legs and adjustable feet to create a secure non-slip base, it means it's a lot higher and doesn't irritate your back when bending over. The room it creates means you can slip a storage basket underneath for bin bags so they're never too far away.

Specifications

Capacity: 3 x 11L compartments (33L)

Size: H68 x W54 x L31.2cm

Opening: Touch top

Material: Recycled plastic

Colour: Red, white, platinum, mineral golden beach, matt black, matt steel fingerprint proof, mineral concrete grey, pine green, metallic gold

Pros: Great for sorting rubbish, looks stylish and sleek, plastic so no rusting

Cons: Touch-top very sensitive, difficult to clean

Tried & Tested by Deputy Commercial Content Editor, Natalie Corner: “Firstly, wow. I don’t think I would have ever considered buying a bin with separate compartments, but the Brabantia Bo Touch has been a total gamechanger. The bin, which I chose in the platinum shade (dark grey), is wider than most and I did need to move a few things around to get it in the right place, but since then it’s freed up more space seeing as though I don’t need a separate food caddy or recycling bin. Of course, it’s entirely up to you what you want to use each compartment for, but this made my kitchen life easier. The touch top is extremely sensitive, so only a light tap to open it and a gentle push to close it is needed. Keep in mind that Brabantia recommends using its branded bin bag for an exact fit, but I’m sure there are other bin bags that will do the job just as well. Overall, I’m very happy and have had several compliments on just how smart it looks.”

Argos Home 30 Litre Round Kitchen Pedal Bin

Best kitchen bin with pedal
Argos Home 30 Litre Round Kitchen Pedal Bin

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If you're looking for a bin on a budget then Argos Home delivers with this simple sleek matt white Round Kitchen Pedal bin, that also comes in matt grey. Just because it's more affordable doesn't mean it has to look unattractive, the pedal opening is sturdy and the lid has a soft close so no loud clanging. It also has a removable inner bucket so it makes emptying the rubbish easy.

Specifications

Capacity: 30L

Size: H67 x W29 x D29cm

Opening: Pedal

Material: Carbon steel

Colour: Matt cream, matt grey

Pros: Removable inner bucket, easy to use pedal, good quality for price

Cons: Can dent easily, not sturdy

Customer review: “This is perfect for my kitchen. The matt finish blends in with my kitchen well. Great pedal bin means hands and lid stay clean. Love that it is soft close as well. Excellent for the price.”

EKO DLX Phantom Recycling Sensor Bin, 40L

Best kitchen bin with sensor
EKO DLX Phantom Recycling Sensor Bin

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Style and technology are combined with this sensor bin by EKO DLX. Its Phantom Recycling Sensor Bin has as many bells and whistles as a rubbish bin can have and is at the higher end of the price scale. For almost £200, you get battery powered motion sensor for hands-free opening, but with manual opening also possible. The brushed stainless steel finish is also fingerprint-resistant and the dual opening lid with soft close hinges makes for gentle and quiet closing. Please be aware, though, this sensor bin requires six AA batteries to operate and they are not included.

Specifications

Capacity: 2 x 20L compartments (40L)

Size: H66 x W46 x D27cm

Opening: Sensor

Material: Brushed stainless steel and plastic

Colour: Stainless steel

Pros: Modern and sleek, standard bin bags fit nicely, compact despite capacity

Cons: Some found it closed a little too soon for their liking

Customer review: “I really love this product. Looks excellent and is very hygienic as no need to touch the bin lid anymore either. Works well and easy to dispense into each section non recycle and recycled.”

Wesco Plastic 16 Litre Swing Top Pull Out/Under Counter Rubbish Bin

Best kitchen bin under the sink
Wesco Plastic 16 Litre Swing Top Pull Out

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Under the counter bins can be fitted in your kitchen quite easily, as long as you have a little bit of DIY knowledge. This Wesco 20L bin is perfect for a small kitchen with under-the-sink space as it leaves more floor room. It is fitted on a sliding base unit and when you open your cupboard door, pull the lip on the front by hand and as the bin slides out the lid will automatically open.

Specifications

Capacity: 16L

Size: H36 x W22.98 x D38cm

Opening: Swing top

Material: Plastic

Colour: Grey

Pros: Easy to install, great for small kitchen

Cons: Needs fitting, sliders restrict the bin lid, some bin bags do not fit

Customer review: “Perfect for a small kitchen. We don’t have room to have a bin so this is perfect for a couple. We empty around twice a week which I would prefer because a smaller bin means less waste so not smelly! Perfect for a small cupboard.”

Tower 42 Litre Sensor Kitchen Bin

Best budget sensor bin
Tower-42-Litre-Sensor-Kitchen-Bin

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The Tower Sensor Kitchen Bin was the best, most affordable sensor bin we could find. With the sensor silent lid mechanism, you can open the bin with a simple wave that closes after five seconds of inactivity. The removable lid is handy for bin liner changes, and if you’re not a fan of the grey, it also comes available in blackcream, and silver at the same low price.

Specifications:

Capacity: 42 litres

Material: Steel

Size: H62 x W34 x D25cm

Pros: Really affordable, straightforward to set up, easy to empty and clean

Cons: The bin is a bit basic-looking

Review: “Bought this to replace a previous sensor bin (different brand) after the lid stopped operating properly. Perfect size and looks great, although the bin is metal the lid is plastic which I find easier to keep clean than my previous lid which was metal. The only thing is getting used to the sensor as this is located front-facing whereas my previous one was on top of the lid bit getting used to it now and it stays open long enough to scrape any leftovers into. Would recommend.”

Amazon Basics Trash Can 50L

Best kitchen bin for small kitchens
Amazon Basics Trash can
Amazon

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With almost 10,000 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.7 stars out of 5, there's a reason this Amazon Basics Trash Can is on our list. Also available in a variety of sizes to fit every room in your home, the pedal bin is ideal for small kitchens. Customers have rated it highly for how easy it is to clean, how sturdy and well-built it is, and that it is good value for a bin that looks more expensive than it is.

Specifications

Capacity: 5L, 12L, 30L, 50L

Size: H65.7 x W 42.5 x D37.2cm

Opening: Pedal

Material: Stainless steel, plastic

Colour: Satin (stainless steel)

Pros: Great value for price, bin bag secure fit, easy to clean

Cons: Pedal mechanism not always responsive, shows fingerprints, crumbs catch in the back of the lid

Customer review: “I can’t believe I’m writing a review about a bin, but this bin deserves it! It’s the best bin I have ever owned, and I’ve owned a lot of bins. Bins where the bags don’t fit, get stuck or tear, bins that are a hassle to clean, none have worked well. This bin is large, the bags (50l) just slide out even when nearly full, and it’s easy to clean. It’s quite smart looking and has a nice soft-close function. It’s well made and whilst not a bargain it is good value.”

John Lewis & Partners Two Section Fingerprint Proof Recycling Bin 60L

Best kitchen bin for families
John Lewis Fingerprint Proof Recycling Bin

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There's nothing worse than seeing fingerprints all over your appliances, and sometimes we just can't avoid it. Especially when you opt for a black fridge or washing machine... John Lewis has come to the rescue with its Fingerprint Proof Recycling Bin perfect for families with children that like to put their hands all over everything. A pedal mechanism that works separately for each compartment, the lids are wide enough to dispose of waste with a soft close.

Specifications

Capacity: 2 x 30L compartments (60L)

Size: H70.5 x W46 x D37.5cm

Opening: Pedal

Material: Stainless steel

Colour: Matt cream, matt grey

Pros: Individual pedal operation to prevent bin smells from escaping, sleek design, sturdy

Cons: Inner buckets aren't particularly strong

Customer review: “I purchased this bin to replace one where the mechanism kept breaking and so far this bin seems far superior quality and still a great price. The design is sleek, and the lids have a smooth opening/closing. I have a little boy so was worried about the stainless-steel finish having mucky fingerprints all over but so far, the fingerprint-proof finish is doing its job!”

Which is the best type of kitchen bin?

The best type of kitchen bin does depend on personal preference, which is why we’ve included a variety of options for your household.

Some may prefer to keep things simple and opt for the traditional pedal bin but don’t go straight for the cheapest basic pedal bin as you’ll often find they will break pretty quickly. That’s why we’d recommend the Amazon Basics Trash Can 50L, which has thousands of rave reviews.

If you’re concerned about hygiene, then a pedal bin or sensor bin will be your best option as there are zero touchpoints for dirty fingers that can breed germs. The bigger bins, with separate compartments, will also reduce the need for regular bin bag changes.

What is a good size bin for a kitchen?

Anything below 30L is considered a small kitchen bin. Estimate what your waste output is per day and per week, if you’re one person or a couple you may only need a 30L bin, because you don’t find yourself emptying your bin as often.

For households larger than three, we’d recommend opting for a 60L bin as you know how quickly bins can fill up, but the trips to the wheelie bin can be reduced if you’re conscious about recycling. This will mean looking at bin options that have double compartments or triple compartments, so you can separate recyclables, food waste and other waste in one go without the need for three separate bins.

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