Trash. Where is best place for garbage? And how many?

absobSeptember 14, 2013

Husband and I are renovating a house. We will be putting in a new kitchen and able to plan all the details. Have and old kitchen now that does not function correctly as far as location of garbage areas to sink or range areas. Trying to determine best most effective location(s) for trash. Trying to determine best most useful tools or cabinetry to make garbage and cleanup easy and effective.

Where do you have your garbage cans? How many cans do you use? Are they undercounter pullouts? Do you have a trash compactor? If, so what goes in it? Do you recycle? If so, how do you optimize disposal?

I am thinking I would like a pullout garbage on the island to the right of where i would likely stand for food prep. My cooktop would be on the perimeter counter behind me. As well, thinking to put in double ( or quadruple, I saw this in houzz) pullouts to the right of the sink cleanup area, which is also on the perimeter to the left of the cooktop.

Currently, my garbage is a walk across from all cleanup and cooktop and food prep. I can not stand dripping food, water, peeling scraps all across the kitchen. I dream of having a can right next to food prep where I can dump my peels and drop my drippy meat packagings.

I was all set on having a trash compactor too. As we have so much garbage, the idea of compressing it by 80% seems fantastic! I worry about odor and heavy bags. Where we will be moving is on a septic (never had one before) so I am told people rarely use their garbage disposals (which I currently rely on heavily for food waste). So I am concerned about where to out food waste and wonder if a compactor is a good idea with more rotting food than I would like to have around.

I was thinking at first, a trash compactor would solve all my issues, crushing everything down to very small. But worry about how heavy the bags are and the distance from kitchen to garage garbage bins is pretty far. I would put this to the right of sink cleanup area, and left of cooktop. Then when do dishes or cooking could throw food packaging and scrape food into very easily. But I worry about odor. Also with compactor feel,like I would not be inclined to recycle very much.

Another thought maybe having two pullout bins in this location might work. One for food waste, one for recycle. The one on the island would be used for food prep waste and miscellaneous. I think though I would probably fill up and need to take out once a day the food waste on on the perimeter and the island once per day, but think I would fill up the recycling one two times a day with oj bottles, milk cartons, boxes, etc. this is where I thought the 4-can pullout might be helpful, as I could use on for waste, one for bottles, one for paper, one for packaging. But I don't think I really need to sort since our recycle pickup can be all mixed together anyway...

We seem to have a lot of packaging in our house (Costco) that I am always quickly filling up our current one garbage can system. I easily fill two bags a day, more likely three if I threw out every bit of packaging and box and bottles that I needed to each day. This is also where I feel a trash compactor would help immensely, but then once can't be recycled, is this right?

Your help is appreciated. I have been going over my garbage routines for the past few months now and just can't seem to decide what will be most effective. I hate taking out the trash and our current system is an awful mess. i want to make our new kitchen easy to use and easy to remove. i would rather just have to take out the trash only once per day (or every day sounds even better!) No one seems to like talk trash around here :)

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I'm happy with my small one garbage can system but it sounds like it won't work for you. I am confused though, buying in bulk from Costco should reduce waste, not increase it.

Anyway, we have a small garbage can under the sink that is sized for reuse of plastic grocery bags. I prefer a small garbage can because I would rather make regular trips to the large can (stored in the garage) than keep the waste in the kitchen. The small size also allows me to carry it to a prep area if needed. We keep our recycling bins in the mud room near the garage and take those out once a week, so in effect we have just one small bag of garbage and a compost tin in the kitchen under the sink.

This post was edited by ellaf on Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 10:25

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Our pullout trash is in the center of my work triangle, but not next to where I prep. For prep garbage, I use a single small plastic grocery or Target bag (whatever is close at hand) and have it on the counter next to the cutting board for peelings, meat trimmings and packaging. I relay this to the trash when I'm all finished. The bag-on-the-counter works perfectly for me. If I had put the trash pullout next to my work area, it would still need to be open while I'm working, which blocks my aisle.

We have another area nearby for recycling. I could not sacrifice cabinet space for this in our small kitchen, and we have waaaaay more recycling than those pullouts hold, anyway.

We take the trash out to the main can once a day. It gets smelly if I leave it overnight, so I'm pretty sure I would never want a compactor....

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 10:53AM
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If you have a trash compactor, I don't think the stuff can be recycled...and most communities supply massive recycling bins so why compact the recycle stuff?

You do flatten your recyclables as you put it in the container, I assume?

In our new house, we will have a pullout drawer to the right of the sink for garbage and recycle, although having read the above post, a one garbage can system might make more sense - and just keep the one recycle bin in our attached garage. Small compost bin on the countertop, of course...if you are on a septic, then presumably composting would be easy for you - you've got a bit of outside space for at least a basic compost bin. Composting is easy and doesn't stink if you do it correctly.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:01AM
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We have a mish-mash and that's because the recycling program changed after we had redone our kitchen otherwise we would have planned it differently.

Our recycling has to be separated. So we have compost recycling under the clean-up sink, a pull-out trash by the prep area with 2 containers, one for garbage and the other for tincans/glass/plastic. Under the prep sink we have a container for cardboard and a container for newspapers.

I would have reconfigured to have compost stuff by the prep area. Now I have to put all my vegie/fruit peelings/seeds etc into a bowl and then I take it over to the compost area. I can't put it directly into a compost container. I hate this aspect but it does work out for clearing plates directly into the compost container as it's by the DW.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:05AM
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We have two pullouts to the right of our sink. One is 18" with two cans - one for garbage and one for recycling. The other is 15" with a lidded can, that we use for compost. We also have a Solos in-counter small compost bin that we use as secondary compost.

I'd say only ~15-20% of our waste goes out in the trash bin - the rest in either recycling or compost.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:40AM
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I have an 18" pullout next to my sink with two cans...trash and recycling..but honestly I am conditioned after so many years to take the recycling to the garage where the bins sit just outside the door. So I rarely use the second bin for recycling..just can't seem to get into the habit.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 1:21PM
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I am intrigued as to how you have your recycling bins in the mud room? Had not thought of this idea. How is yours set up? Is it near the kitchen? My mud room would be far from kitchen, but perhaps could setup recycling center hear for all the packaging, bottles, boxes I am fretting about. But will not have much space in the mud room? What kind of bins do you have, how many in the mud room?

Same thing...what do you mean by another area for recycling? Please elaborate in yiyr setup and location. That seems like could solve a lot of my garbage issues...

What I mean by Costco...
Whenever I go, have lots of little boxes to recycle, as well as the big boxes that hold the multiple little bags of cereal or cans of tomato sauce etc. so much large packaging that does not fit into my current one garbage can system.

Also, currently not composting here but plan too in new kitchen. Are those little tiny ceramic composting bins I see in countertops for composting peels, etc. helpful and big enough for daily scraps? Other composting tips welcome...

Thanks everyone, just hearing your set up and feedback is very helpful :)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 1:27PM
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The little compost bins come in all styles - ceramic, metal, etc. Some people just use a large can with lid and park it under the sink (functional, but unattractive).You can get biodegradable bags from your grocery store, Amazon, etc - they hold about 1 gallon, which is about the size of the bin. Every day or two pick up the bag and toss it in your big compost bin that you have outside. The bag will rot in time.

Don't put meat scraps in your compost. Egg shells are fine, but they don't decay as well. Coffee grounds are wonderful for your compost and garden - you can actually get them for free at many coffee shops! Anyway - toss dried stuff, like chopped up leaves, etc., in with your food scraps. Smaller stuff is better, of course. Stir the big compost bin once in a while.

A good compost pile will NOT stink (contrary to popular belief).

You can go crazy with composting - there are even classes that teach you how to do it really well - become a Master Composter!. Or you can take a simple approach, like I've described. This doesn't take much time, of course, but you won't get a fresh batch of really great dirt (finished compost) every 8 weeks, either.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 2:02PM
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Hi. You said, "I am intrigued as to how you have your recycling bins in the mud room? How is yours set up? Is it near the kitchen? My mud room would be far from kitchen, but perhaps could setup recycling center hear for all the packaging, bottles, boxes I am fretting about. What kind of bins do you have, how many in the mud room?"

Our mud room is about 6x12, about 30 feet from the kitchen, and has the washer and dryer in it too. I have two big buckets gotten from Target years ago, the kind that you can use in your back yard as ice buckets, and I keep them on a wire cart. After the dinner dishes are done we walk down there with the empty cans etc., not a big deal.

Our buckets are actually too big, I plan to downsize soon. Once a week the recyclables get put into those plastic bins that go out to the curb.

There are just the two of us so maybe that's the difference? We clearly generate less trash and recyclables then you do.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 3:03PM
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