Pros and cons to door-mount trash cans?

artemis78December 18, 2010

Our trash will be under the sink, and I'd planned to do a door-mount pullout trash can. (We have plenty of room with sink and plumbing.) But DH suddenly is saying he hates door-mounted pullout trash cans, and would much prefer to have regular trash cans under the sink with standard doors.

What are the pros and cons, broadly, to each of these options? I know why I like pullouts (single action, only one clean hand needed) but want to get a better understanding of why some people don't like them or choose not to have them, since DH is not good at articulating this.

If you have a door-mount trash, why did you choose it? If you don't have one, what was your reason (if not just a space/logistics issue)?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ours is a pullout under the sink. I don't mind opening the door, and don't mind pulling it out, and I even get a small bit of satisfaction pushing it back in knowing it is once again hidden from sight, but when the remodel comes it'll definitely be a door mount for the ease of one simple movement.

Besides the trash there is nothing else that fits on that side of the sink so it is not like I am ever opening the door to get in the sink cabinet for anything else over there. Being yours will be new (yea!!!) perhaps you will have extra room and other organized options in that area?

Oh! And sometimes I do wonder if the door mount will be cleaner because it is one piece, and offers less lee way for dribbles and grunge to find their way on the back of the cabinet door as garbage gets tossed because I do find we are occasionally guilty of half opening the door to stuff garbage around it and in to the container.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 9:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To add to Never_Ending's pros... When using at sink, can open it and leave it open to sweep trash into the bin while working. Less likely to "miss" if it rolls out and rests at a higher level than if just removed and placed on the floor. Access to the trash bin from 3 sides...left, front, right. More can use it as a trash pullout or you can remove it if you need it elsewhere in the have choices/options!

Has your DH said why he prefers something that takes extra effort and is less user-friendly?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 1:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I HATE my trash can sitting on the bottom of the cab under the sink. It is extremely UN-user friendly. I hate asking DH to move when he's at the sink so I can reach the trash. He hates asking me to move when I'm at the sink so he can reach the trash.

Someone always misses when throwing something in there (not me!) and stuff spills over the back. I always feel like I have to bend down/over a bit to make sure trash gets in there. I'm 5'8" and you can't see UNDER a cabinet when you're that tall.

I can see why putting trash under there became a trend how ever many decades ago; the space isn't usable for much else and the trash gets hidden. But in a brand new kitchen, it seems antiquated to me not to modernize it.

Good luck and I hope you win this one!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 2:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks! Unfortunately we will end up with the space conflict no matter what, since the trash will be in the same under-sink cabinet either way---just a matter of whether it's a pullout or whether it's behind a door. I think it would help with making sure people didn't miss, though---which is especially important because we will actually have two cans, the trash with the recycling behind it, so I think it will be a pain to have to move on to get to the other. (The pullout we have has full-extension hinges, so solves that problem.)

Anyone out there who doesn't like the pullouts?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 3:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh! I thought when you said "door mount" in the title you literally meant swing out the door and have the trash swing too because it's hanging on the door. That does exist. Big con is that if you put any weight in it, it pulls on the hinges and will eventually the screws will abrade the holes and pull free.

As to pull-outs, they're very nice. In my opinion the nicest ones have a box that the bins hang in so that crud can't fall through. Other folks like it when the bins stand in a tray so that they can put little things like bags, twist-ties and all around the bases. They also make them so that there's just hardware that the bins hang from but no upper surface. That seems to me to be the worst of both worlds. Maybe that's the one that your husband doesn't like?

Personally, I don't like having the garbage in the cabinets. I use my trash pull-out for recycling, with the general blue bin stuff in one bin, and the money returns in the other. My garbage goes in my old covered pail, which has a place under the sink. When what's in it is mostly paper napkins and other unrecyclables it stays there. When I have meat paper or other garbagy garbage, it comes out until it's emptied. That way there's a visual surety that the cover is on tight, and that the garbage will be dumped.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 4:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have a round rev-a-shelf mounted to the door. I thought the weight would pull on the hinges, similar to what pllog describes. The weight is actually held by the inner cabinet box and the mechanism on the door merely directs the can (pulls it open without supporting the weight.)

I love our can for compost and such. People do miss sometimes but they also miss with our separate pull out trash. I often leave the door open for easy access to the can when I'm prepping but I'm usually the only one in that part of the kitchen at the time.

If you get a pull out, make sure you get one with a quality glide. My mother used to rent a cottage with a pull out trash under the sink. The first thing she did each year was to take the trash out from under the sink and use it free standing in the kitchen. I think the slides were a bit flimsy and the can was too tall for her to use conveniently under the sink. I grew up with a trash bucket under the sink and since it was low, it was easy to drop stuff into it.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 10:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


1. Doggys, kittys, parrot, or any other critter you might have, can no longer use the trash can in the corner of your kitchen as an all-night playground.
Nothing worse than waking up to coffee grounds and wet shredded paper towels from one end of the kitchen floor to the other end.

2. Not that you have them, but I do; lazy members of the family can no longer walk by an over-flowing trash can in the kitchen and claim they didn't see it was full. Or, "I didn't know it was that full!"
Once it's inside a cab, should they try to over-flow the trash, the cab door won't close. Obviously it's full....time to take it out.

3. Unexpected guests? You don't have to worry they will walk in the kitchen and see an unsightly, over-flowing trash can in the corner.

4. So many more Pros but I've only had a half a cup of java so far but believe me, no matter how cramped for space I am, I would never give up my inside-a-cabinet trash/recycle door-mount mechanism.


1. If you have a 6'5" 240 lb. son who insists on packing the trash down before removing the trash and liner from the plastic can, I don't care how well it's made or how expensive the unit is, it's going to weaken and eventually break away from the cab door.

2. It's a little more energy to remove the plastic cans once a week, spray the whole metal door-mount mechanism, floor of cab and inside door of cab with a sanitizing kitchen cleaner and then wipe down the whole thing.
Then again, I'll do this gladly rather than walk in and see that over-flowing trash can sitting in the corner of an otherwise clean kitchen.

Hint: If the trash liners are on the other side of the room and lazy family members keep forgetting to walk to the other side of the room to get a fresh replacement liner after they've emptied the trash, and you walk in half asleep and dump used coffee grounds in UNlined trash....
you'll want to unroll a bunch of fresh liners and put them in the bottom of plastic trash can. Then put in your fresh liner.
This way, no excuses......they pull out the full liner and right there staring them in the face are a bunch of fresh liners at the bottom of plastic trash can. No "I Forgot!" excuse.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 10:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks all! Yes, it's the pullout door-mount that were debating---though I have seen the pivoting ones and wondered if they might be a good compost solution for the other side of the cabinet, too. Plllog, your post reminds me of one distinction of our household---we have municipal food waste and a garden compost, so any food waste or napkins, fish papers, paper products, etc. go into separate bins. The main trash is typically plastic wrap, odd metal or plastic items that don't get recycled, etc.---nothing with food on it, and it's not unusual for it to it for a couple of weeks before getting full enough to be emptied. In contrast, the food waste bin goes out almost daily, so that stuff is moving through more quickly (and is on the counter far from dog noses!) In our old kitchen, we just had a SimpleHuman freestanding can that worked fine except for not really having a place, so it was in the middle of the kitchen. That's another option, since we have some places that could house a can like that in the new layout.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 12:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

If you have multiple bin requirements and have the space for a can, honestly I think you can't beat a freestanding stand (and yep, SimpleHuman is the best--raccoon tested by ME).

I do not like my in-cabinet garbage. Too many kids use it so it gets gross, the cabinet face gets scuffed, it gets smelly, etc. etc. There really wasn't a better place in my layout but I'm thinking about putting trash in the way somewhere anyway.

If you get the pullout trash (if you were considering that kind of door mount), you'll want a foot pedal, especially if you're used to one. Doesn't have to be the Hafele one.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 12:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Artemis, I wish we had that! We have green waste pickup for composting, otherwise known as "vegan", and can recycle almost anything plastic, metal or glass, including styro and cling film, but very specifically cannot do foody paper and boxes. Home composting is beyond me.

This is my recycling pullout before the door went on. It's attached with screws, just like a drawer front. The bouganvillea bract is incidental. :) It found its way back out to become mulch. :) Much better than Amity's con of cleaning that mechanism! I do my (vegan, no paper) compostables on the counter too, even without dog noses. I've never had a dog who got into the garbage--at least, not since I was five and the beagle went "to live in the country"--but I'm going to remember Fori's racoon proof can. Though my last dog would probably figure out how to use the opener.

Zelmar, what you have sounds very interesting!! I've only seen the ones that were literally hanging on the door.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 5:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know I'm in the minority--but I really do like my pull out trash under the prep sink. I have it mounted on a spring mechanism, so I bump it with my knee and it bounces out for me. I suppose I could have had a foot pedal instead, but I like this setup. I don't have to touch it to open it, and it's handy when I'm washing or peeling vegetables.

My $.02...

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 6:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dear cj47: I'd love to hear more about your trash set up with spring mechanism -- sounds like a great idea. Do you have pictures or more information? (I'm also trying to decide if I'll have a pull out garbage/recyling under the sink like Artemis78, or will designate a separate cabinet for the pull out garbage. In a smallish kitchen, I am loath to "waste" a 18" base cabinet just for the garbage.)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 10:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Francoise47, I'll try to get some pictures posted tomorrow. I don't recall the maker of the insert our cabinet maker used but I will try and give him a call to find out.

You will need to plan for this, though--that means that the plumbing needs to be run so that the trash can will fit, and there needs to be enough vertical space as well. My cabinetmaker INSISTED that there would not be space, but I knew that there would be, so be sure you do your own measurements and make your wishes known.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 11:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I adore my door mounted slide out trash can. It did take a little while to retrain DH, who loves to pack the trash down before taking the bag out. He can still do that, but he has to support the door while he packs or it bends the slides. I have had it for 2 years now with no issues or complaints at all. I especially like that it's out of sight, easy to access and the dogs can't get to it. Mine is located right under my main food prep area so I can just sweep stuff off the counter and right into the trash can. SO easy!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 7:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi plllog,

These are the cans. The mounting of the can is easier to see with the gray basket. Dh had to add a strip of wood for the can to be mounted to because we have inset cabinets. We had the gray one first but we had difficulty with it after a while--it was the cheapest version and it started sagging under the weight of our scraps for compost (we wait until it's full before emptying). We felt more confident purchasing the sturdier white version after we knew the set up worked well for us. The gray pail will get installed in the bathroom. Both versions have an inner pail that lifts out for emptying.

The attachment to the door at the bottom is merely for pivoting the can out (the lid lifts off at the same time.) It's was just what I needed.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Zelmar, thanks for posting that!! It's very cool!!!! Especially because it's covered. That is definitely a getter mousetrap!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my pullout garbage can. Mine is next to the sink, however, which might be what is helping to contribute to my love fest. My work triangle is pretty narrow, so before my remodel, we were constantly shifting that stand alone garbage can to get around the kitchen. It was messy, ugly and always in the way. On the big plus side, if you are short, it is so much easier lifting a garbage bag out of a raised pullout than from floor level.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 8:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

@zelmar, I'm exploring those pivot-out trash cans as an alternative use of our under-sink space if we switch to a freestanding you know off-hand the maker of yours? (I see several by Rev-A-Shelf and a couple by Hafele that look similar, though they're priced all across the board so can't quite tell what the distinctions are---looks like the bigger one is cheaper, which doesn't make much sense so there must be some other differences!) Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 2:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

O. M. G. I just went to the rev-a-shelf website. Now I know it is true that this whole business is peopled with completely obsessive folks; it is dawning on me very slowly how utterly outclassed I am. As an inveterate mess-retainer, married to a hopeless slob, I really didn't know how much effort was devoted to de-stuffage-ing.

Zelmar, when I first read about your compost setup I couldn't picture it and really was unclear of its utility. I just might become a convert.

Someone, plllog perhaps, noted wanting a lid for their compost. It may depend on local conditions, but I've found that lids on compost are more trouble than they're worth. You'll be dumping the goods before it starts to smell and the lid just interferes with acquisition as well as de-acquisition, plus it gets dirty and needs cleaning (before such time as it just breaks of course).

I had a beautiful ceramic vase-shaped compost bucket with an iris painted on it by an artist in Monmouth, ME -- it kept breaking and I even bought a new one. But I've given up on that; compost bins need bonking on the compost walls. Now I use a square 2-quart food service plastic bucket; perfect size, shape, etc. I've never mounted it on a door but I bet it could be gerry-rigged as zelmar has above. But again, I don't even see the need of a top. Just install a wire cage for the bucket so it will lift out and be done with it. Even if there are dogs or skunks around, a kid-latch on the cabinet door should help.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 3:07AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Why is a backsplash so hard to choose?
Got the counters in place my Taj Mahal...
What does this tile say to you?
I am still in the planning stages of a small, U-shaped...
Largest sink I can get? 33" exterior cabinet, 31/32" interior. HELP!
1st time home buyer here and we're trying to replace...
Joyce de Leon
Gap between backsplash and over-the-range microwave?
Hi, all. Does anyone have an over-the-range microwave...
Your longest stretch of granite counter w/o seam?
Our counters will be re-templated later today. It...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™