Hygiene First: 6 Best Locations For A Garbage Can In The Kitchen


Your kitchen’s garbage can is a necessary evil. It can be gross to deal with, but consider the alternative!

But, where should you position it – under the sink, by the back door, or out of the kitchen altogether?

Best Locations For A Garbage Can In The Kitchen

Here are the best locations for a garbage can in the kitchen:

  • Under the sink
  • In a cabinet
  • Under your counters
  • Near the sink
  • By the back door
  • Just outside the kitchen

Always position your garbage away from food preparation, but close to the back door for ease of removal.

Where should I place my kitchen garbage can?

place garbage can in my kitchen

Your kitchen garbage can should ideally place somewhere it’s easy to throw refuse into from a cleaning area. Where possible, this should be away from fresh food preparation areas!

Consider ease of removal, and place a large garbage can close to an outside door where possible. Therefore, you won’t have to lift heavy, foul-smelling garbage all the way across your kitchen!

This all means you may have to reconsider your kitchen’s layout. Look carefully at where you clean and prepare food. Is there space to place a large can near the rear door without obstructing it?

It’s healthy to have at least one garbage can in the kitchen that you empty every couple of days. It may be prudent to set up a small trash bin for recycling items, and a larger can for general waste.

Otherwise, let your daily routine dictate where you place your garbage! Consider where it is least likely to create foul smells, and is most practical for throwing out everyday waste.

The best places for your kitchen’s garbage can

Still unsure where to place your kitchen garbage? Here are a few creative locations to play around with.

Under the sink

Housing a small refuse can under your sink saves space, shields smell, and encourages regular emptying! It’s nice and convenient to open your sink cabinet, pop up your trashcan and throw in what you need to.

Many of us find we create a lot of waste around the sink. From preparing salads to stews, I often use the area near my sink for food preparation.

It’s good hygiene to keep garbage far from your fresh food, but tucked under the sink, it’s hidden yet convenient.

The drawback to this garbage storage option is limited space. Many of us only have so much room under our sinks! While this may encourage regular emptying, it’s not very practical for larger families.

Consider using a can under the sink alongside a larger receptacle elsewhere for general waste. It’s worth designating one as a recycling unit, too. 

In a cabinet

in a cabinet

Similar to housing under the sink, cabinet-fitted garbage units are some of the easiest to access. You don’t have to be at the sink to use it. Simply swing open the door and cast your trash away.

You could fit a cabinet with a recessed or built-in trash can to prevent smells, and convenience when preparing food. Some cabinets even arrive with trash receptacles already built-in!

Cabinet trash holds the same problems as sink trash. You’ll have limited space, unless you set up a can in every cabinet! That, however, risks bad smells and poor hygiene.

It’s best to designate one garbage cabinet if you wish, but again, set up another receptacle if necessary.

Under your counters

under your counters

If you’d prefer a larger garbage can and still want ease of access, an under-counter option is ideal. If you have ample space below your cleaning areas, it’s easy to simply throw trash away under your worktop.

This option is a great space-saver, as you won’t have to place your garbage can out in the open. It’s also likely to hold more garbage, as there’s no cabinet restrictions.

But, there’s a risk of hygiene problems, and bad smells. You’ll need to keep your can(s) fresh and empty if your garbage is in the heart of your kitchen!

It may also be awkward to remove and carry garbage out from under your counter. If your counters are deep into the kitchen, it’s a long distance to carry a heavy load of waste.

Near the sink

Placing your garbage bin near the sink makes throwing trash away convenient, and there’s no cabinet restrictions. Depending on where your sink is, you may also have only a short distance to carry trash outside.

However, this option can take up essential floor space. It’s not the best option for smaller kitchens!

By the outside door

If you have floor space available, placing a garbage can near the back door is ideal for removal. It’s the least amount of traveling needed to take heavy trash bags outside, and it’s away from food prep.

However, can you easily (and safely) open the door and remove the garbage? Or, will you need to move the can every time you go outside?

While convenient for removing waste and making space, you’ll need to make frequent journeys across to the bin during preparation.

Just outside the kitchen

Alternatively, housing a garbage can outside the kitchen removes smells and frees up lots of space. It’s also convenient to carry your trash to the curb.

What may restrict this option for you, however, is the risk of vermin. Housing a trashcan right outside your kitchen may encourage scavengers to visit. The answer to this is to empty frequently or to house your garbage can in an outbuilding or utility room.


faqs locations for a garbage can in the kitchen

When should I empty my kitchen garbage can?

As soon as it’s full! A full or overflowing garbage can not only smells bad, but it’s also a hive for bacteria. You’ll risk attracting flies and vermin depending on where it’s positioned.

Is there a right way to store garbage in my kitchen?

Providing your garbage can is covered and emptied when full, there’s no ‘perfect’ place for your kitchen trash. Think about a convenient, practical spot for your daily needs, and what’s most hygienic based on your kitchen layout.

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