What Size is a Kitchen Trash Can: Essential Buying Guide

Last updated on June 1, 2024

Discover the perfect kitchen trash can size to keep your cooking space clean and organized.

best kitchen trash can

Key takeaways:

  • 13-gallon trash can is the optimal size for the average kitchen.
  • Different types of trash cans cater to various needs and spaces.
  • Standard dimensions for kitchen trash cans ensure practicality.
  • Gallon capacity should be chosen based on household size and lifestyle.
  • Factors like kitchen layout and personal preferences should determine the shape and practicality of the trash can.

What's Inside

Average Kitchen Trash Can Size: Optimal Dimensions

average kitchen trash can size optimal dimensions

For the average kitchen, the sweet spot for trash can dimensions tends to be around 13 gallons. This size balances well with the typical volume of waste produced in a household while also fitting comfortably into common kitchen layouts. It’s like the Goldilocks of trash cans—not too big, not too small, just right.

Consider these points:

A 13-gallon can can hold a standard kitchen trash bag, minimizing the hassle of finding the right fit.

This size is perfect for regular waste disposal cycles, usually requiring emptying about once a week.

It’s proportionate to most kitchen spaces, snugly fitting under the sink, beside the counter, or in a dedicated cabinet.

In short, aiming for a 13-gallon trash can hits the mark for efficiency and convenience in most kitchen settings.

Types of Kitchen Trash Receptacles and Their Sizes

You’ve got your classic stand-alone trash cans, which typically range from 10 to 20 gallons. Perfect for households generating a fair amount of waste but not hosting daily banquets. Move over to your under-sink models—compact, often around 7 to 10 gallons, designed to fit snugly below your counter. Perfect for keeping things tidy and out of sight.

Step-on cans are a step up in convenience, often in the 10 to 13-gallon range, offering a hands-free experience. Great for those messy scraps when your hands are full.

And let’s not forget the dual-compartment cans, which usually have smaller capacities for their compartments, often around 7 to 10 gallons each. They let you sort recyclables from trash without needing multiple bins cluttering the kitchen.

If you’re aiming to save space, slim or narrow cans, typically 8 to 13 gallons, are designed to hug those tight corners or slide into narrow spaces. A real blessing in smaller kitchens.

These sizes and styles give you plenty to choose from, catering to different needs and kitchen layouts. Find the one that fits your space and style, and you’re golden.

Standard Kitchen Trash Can Dimensions

You’re standing in the kitchen, holding a banana peel, and pondering whether it will fit in the trash can. Here’s the deal: typical kitchen trash cans come in a few standard dimensions to fit most spaces and needs.

  1. Width and Depth: Most kitchen trash cans are around 12-14 inches wide and deep. That’s enough to cater to daily household waste without causing a spillage fiasco every other day.
  1. Height: Standard height usually falls in the range of 25-35 inches. Perfect for standing at an ergonomic level so you’re not doing an awkward limbo every time you throw something out.
  1. Shape: Rectangular and square cans are popular for space efficiency, while cylindrical might offer a touch more style if you’re going for that chic garbage couture.

Choosing between these dimensions depends on where you plan to tuck that trash can. Under a cabinet? Opt for something on the shorter side. Out in the open? Go tall and handsome.

Lastly, don’t forget that the size of your kitchen and the amount of waste you generate are also part of the trash can equation. Because honestly, no one enjoys a debate with an overflowing garbage can.

Gallon Capacity of Trash Cans

When it comes to choosing your kitchen trash can, understanding gallon capacity is key. Here’s the lowdown:

Small Household: If you live in a cozy apartment or a snug little cottage, a 7-10 gallon trash can might be just right for you. It fits under the sink or in a tight corner like a champ.

Family Size: For an average-sized family, balancing size and practicality is crucial. A 13-15 gallon trash can reigns supreme in most kitchens. This size is like the Goldilocks of trash cans—not too big, not too small, but just right for the everyday chaos of family life.

Party House: If your kitchen is more of a social hub, or if you’re the go-to host for friends and family gatherings, consider bumping up to a 20-30 gallon trash can. It handles everything, from kitchen scraps to those colossal party aftermaths.

Remember, bigger isn’t always better—you don’t want your kitchen doubling as a landfill before trash day. Make sure to choose a can that fits your lifestyle, not just your kitchen.

Factors Influencing Kitchen Trash Can Size Selection

Consider your household size. More people equals more trash. Simple math.

Cooking habits matter. If you’re a gourmet chef producing epic meals, you’ll need more space for scraps and packaging.

Recycling? Great! But it might require an additional or larger bin.

Take your kitchen layout into account. Small kitchen? Go for compact or under-sink options.

Are you a clean freak? Hands-free or smaller bins might make your life easier. Less touching, fewer germs.

Finally, think about disposal frequency. If you don’t mind frequent trips to the curb, a smaller bin can work. If you’re lazy (hey, no judgment), a larger can will save you steps.

Remember, the goal is to fit your lifestyle, not just your kitchen space.

Choosing the Right Trash Can Shape

Considering the shape of your trash can can significantly impact your kitchen’s aesthetic and functionality. Here are some key points:

Square or rectangular cans often fit snugly against walls or under counters, making the most of limited space. If your kitchen is small or has a lot of nooks and crannies, these shapes are a smart choice.

Round trash cans can be easier to clean since there are no corners for gunk to hide. However, they can be a bit of a space hog, especially in tighter kitchens.

Semi-round trash cans offer a compromise between square and round. They snug up against a wall but don’t jut out awkwardly.

Pull-out trash cans hide within your cabinet, keeping your kitchen sleek and free of visual clutter. Great for those who can’t stand the sight of trash. They save space but can sometimes limit your trash can size.

Dual compartments are excellent if you’re into recycling or composting. You get two cans in the space of one, though the individual compartments might be smaller.

Practical Considerations for Kitchen Trash Cans

Thinking about where you’ll place your trash can can save you a lot of headache and frustration. A can under the sink may sound like a fabulous space saver, but if you’re constantly crouching down to dispose of banana peels, you might reconsider.

Another practical tip: think about foot traffic in your kitchen. You don’t want the trash can in a spot where everyone trips over it like it’s part of an obstacle course. Trust me, your toes and your guests will thank you.

Likewise, if you have a big family or entertain often, you’ll need a bigger trash can. More people equals more garbage. It’s basic math.

Don’t forget about the materials. Stainless steel might be stylish and modern, but if you have toddlers, be ready for a smudge-fest. Plastic may not win any beauty contests, but it’s lightweight and easier to clean.

Lastly, consider whether you need a lid. Lids are great for containing odors but can be a hassle if you’re always ripping them off to toss scraps while cooking. Flip-top, step-on, or sensor—each has its own quirks. Choose wisely!

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