Find everything you need to know to keep your garbage receptacle looking and smelling fresh.
This year, make a resolution to give the trash can the attention it deserves (because if you don’t, believe me, it will raise a stink about it). As organic material decomposes, it emits gases and liquids that mix in forever new yet predictably unpleasant combinations. The best way to minimize the stench is to take out the trash regularly – the less time it has to decompose, the better. Most bins are at least partially plastic, which absorbs odour, so make a habit of cleaning your can’s interior and exterior (lid included!) with antibacterial all-purpose spray each time you take out the garbage. Before inserting a new bag, sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of the can; it will absorb much of the smell. Activated charcoal and cat litter work well, too, but don’t forget to routinely replace them.
Renovating? Whether you go custom or use prefab pieces (such as these ones above from IKEA), have a garbage centre built inside your cabinetry.
Bigger isn’t always better. You don’t want to be forced to take out the garbage, say, twice in one day, but you shouldn’t let it sit there for a week or longer, either. Consider your needs and habits and select a size that will have you taking out the trash every few days.
Compost stench cure
Keep a small composting bin in your freezer. The sub-zero temperature will stop the waste from decomposing and, thus, from developing a smell.
Chuck bin checklist
Shopping for a kitchen trash can? Look for these features.
- Lid: An absolute must for containing smell
- Easy open: Effortless access (think: A pedal, touch- less technology, etc.) is more convenient and sanitary
- Bag concealer: A mechanism, such as a secondary interior bin, that allows you to tuck the bag out of sight
- Style: Take your kitchen’s decor into account
Pick of the litter
Our favourite functional and stylish trash cans.
Tidy compartments keep compost, recycling and trash separate. Joseph Joseph powder-coated steel Totem trash can in Stone, 60 l, Danesco, $299.
A split lid (operated by a strong pedal) means this petite option can easily fit under the counter. Simplehuman fingerprint-proof stainless steel Butterfly Step trash can, 30 l, Hudson's Bay, $160.
Mutto is known for its stream-lined designs, and this trash can is no different. Muuto plastic Hide-away trash can in Grey, 45 l, The Modern Shop, $219.
This receptacle's handy touchless lid and replaceable carbon filter confine odour. iTouchless stainless steel Deoderizer trash can, 50 l, The Home Depot, $144.