How To Pick The Right Size Kitchen Bin

Befuddled by bin sizes? Don’t worry. We explain how many litres (aka size) you need.

The size of a kitchen bin depends on a household’s needs. Small families or those who empty the trash frequently need a bin of 10 – 40 litres. Bigger families or those who do not empty often can use 40 – 60 litres. A bin of 60+ is perfect for large families, recycling or anyone with a lot of trash.

Buying the wrong size bin could end in disappointment and a smelly kitchen. Here’s how to choose your perfect size kitchen bin.

Read Next: Kitchen bin storage ideas.

The Reason There Are Different Sized Kitchen Bins

Imagine that there was only one size kitchen bin available. This hypothetical bin would have made a lot of people unhappy because it cannot cater to different needs. On the other hand, choosing a bin that can handle your trash output or recycling habits can make life easier. 

Choosing a bin seems simple enough. But there are things to consider before you make a final decision.

  1. The size of your family.
  2. How often you clean out the bin.
  3. The space that is available in your kitchen.
  4. The purpose of your kitchen bin.
  5. The availability of bin bags.

Choose The Right Kitchen Bin For Your Household’s Size

Is A Small Kitchen Bin Right For Me?

Small households include a single person, a couple, and maybe three adults (a child in the house tends to create more trash – think special foods, diapers, and care products). On average, such a household might need a bin of 35 litres. But depending on the home, a family can also choose anything between 10 and 40 litres. 

The Benefits Of This Bin Size
  • It can fit in small kitchens, making it perfect for a flat or dorm room.
  • Suitable for those who like to remove the trash daily.
  • Quick to clean.
The Drawbacks Of This Bin Size
  • The bin can fill up quickly on certain days – not a happy thought when you hate taking out the trash.

Is A Medium-Size Kitchen Bin Right For Me?

How To Pick The Right Size Kitchen Bin

This range of kitchen bins includes small-medium to medium-large. Their litre capacity roughly goes from 40 to 60 litres. An average household of two to four people could benefit from a medium kitchen bin if their trash output is not excessive or they clean the bin every day. 

The Benefits Of This Bin Size
  • This size can also save space where space comes at a premium.
  • Perfect for families who take the trash out every day.
  • It can also suit a single person or a couple who only want to empty the bin a few times a week and not daily.
  • Relatively quick to clean. 
The Drawbacks Of This Bin Size
  • It can fill up too quickly if the household consists of 4 people or a couple with a bigger output.
  • The bin must be emptied on most days.

Is A Large Kitchen Bin The Right Size For Me?

The bigger sized kitchen bins have a capacity of 60 to 100+ litres. These are suitable for any family with a frequent trash output or those who recycle. Indeed, many larger bins have compartments to separate paper, glass, plastic, and more. A larger kitchen bin is also suitable for the workplace like a restaurant where there is a daily habit of discarding vegetable peels, packaging, and eggshells.

The Benefits Of This Bin Size
  • A good option for those who have a large output and want to empty the bin regularly.
  • A large kitchen bin can also be used by a smaller household that does not want to remove the trash too often.
  • Large recycling bins make it easy to separate and bag different materials. 
How To Pick The Right Size Kitchen Bin
The Drawbacks Of This Bin Size
  • Considering their size, these bins are not really space-friendly if you live in a small place.
  • They require more effort to clean. But don’t let that switch you off. Grab our best tips on how to clean a kitchen bin.
  • Bin bags for this size trash can might not be readily available.

Want To Leave Trash In The Bin? Why That’s A Bad Idea

As you have probably already read in the benefits section, some people want a larger-sized kitchen bin purely to reduce a hated chore. Seriously, it is understandable. Taking out the trash is not glamourous or exciting. Worse, the chore is going to be there for the rest of your life (let’s not forget how the bag dribbles trash juice on your foot).

Solution? Get a bigger bin and take out the trash less. Regrettably, hating chores is not a good reason to get a bin that is larger than you really need. When trash stays in the kitchen bin, organic matter starts to decompose. This causes the following problems:

  • Really bad odours in the kitchen.
  • A kitchen bin that reeks even after you take out the trash.
  • The bad smell makes it a terrible chore to clean the bin.
  • The odour comes from germs and bacteria multiplying in your bin.
  • It attracts cockroaches, ants, rats, and flies. 

Space Is An Important Factor In Choosing The Right Size Kitchen Bin

The kitchen in a restaurant and the kitchen in your holiday caravan is not going to use the same bin. Small places like bachelor flats, student rooms, and mobile homes do not have space to waste. Very often, in such places, people place their kitchen bin inside a cabinet. While this limits you to the smaller bins, you can always get two bins if your needs are more than one bin can handle. Lacking space does not mean that you have to contend with emptying your trash can several times a day – be creative.

Time Will Also Tell If You Have The Right Size Bin

If you have a fair idea of how much trash your household creates every day, you are on the right track. But the reality is that our needs change and grow – and so does the amount of stuff we discard. When a family member moves in or out, a baby is born, or we change our lifestyle, the level of trash tends to increase or decrease. If the latter is true and you have a big bin, then things are not that serious but otherwise, you might want to get a bigger or second bin. 

A Quick Summary On Choosing The Right Size Kitchen Bin

  • Kitchen bin sizes are different to meet the needs of smaller or bigger families.
  • Nothing is carved in stone. If you are living alone and you fancy a large bin, there is no reason not to get one.
  • Smaller households usually use bins with a capacity of 10 – 40 litres, a medium home can benefit from 40 – 60, and a large family or those who recycle can use 60 – 100+ litre bins.
  • It’s important not to buy a large bin plainly to avoid taking out the trash.
  • You might need a different-sized bin as your family’s needs change.
  • Some bigger bins might not fit the bin bags that you have.