The modern indoor waste basket has come a long way since its modest beginnings as a simple circular catch-all stuck in the corner of every bathroom and kitchen.
Today’s trash receptacles are made of all sorts of materials in all shapes and sizes — and prices. The basic open-topped plastic models can still be picked up for as little as $1, but today’s consumers can be coaxed into spending more than $1,000 on a single garbage can.
There are trash cans fashioned from lacquered wood, and woven from rattan, there are models cast in brass and finished in the finest stainless steel and chrome. There are old-fashioned models that require getting your hands dirty when lifting the lid. Or choose one that opens magically when voice- or motion-activated to keep one’s hands tidy.
Depending on your budget and decor, here are a few things to consider before buying a waste receptacle for your home:
- Size. Most trash liners are manufactured in certain sizes: 13-gallon bags for the kitchen and four-gallon bags for the bathroom, bedroom or office. Make sure your new can is compatible.
- Location. Decide where you want to put your new trash can. Larger cans will fit more trash but will likely need to be kept in sight. If you want to hide your can under the kitchen sink, you’ll need a smaller one that requires a lot more trips outdoors.
- Materials. A stainless steel waste can will coordinate nicely with a kitchen outfitted in stainless steel appliances. In a bathroom, something more decorative or colorful might be in order. Leave the mesh or wire trash cans for the bathroom or office.
- The lid. Why touch the trash can if you don’t have to? Many brands offer hands-free opening trash cans. Some have a foot pedal, while others are motion- or even voice-activated.
- Recycling. Some trash cans include a built-in sorter to separate glass, plastic, paper and other recyclables from regular trash headed to the landfill.
- The budget. While the latest voice-activated features and upscale materials are nice, is it worth it to spend that much money on something that holds your garbage? Only you can decide.
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