Group 6 2 minutes Read

talking trash

Lauren Zerbey

So here’s the great thing about house bloggers – even though I sometimes feel alone in my obsession with the details of domesticity, I take comfort knowing there are others out there who share my weirdness. And that’s why I think it’s ok to devote an entire post to waste receptacles. You see, I have been longing for the day when I could justify buying fancy trash cans.

It all started when I spied these pull-out bins from Simple Human (the double for trash and compost and the single for recycling). Unfortunately, our gloriously deep sink was 1/2″ too deep and the bins wouldn’t fit. Good thing I measured first.


With my Simple Human dreams crushed, I spent the better part of a lunch hour researching other refuse options. I found that if one is going the more custom route, there’s all sorts of fancy cabinets that swing, tilt and pivot, but we had a basic 36″ IKEA cabinet to work with. Finally, I found a few viable options from Rev-A-Shelf. They didn’t steal my heart (and they’re about the same price as the others), but they would work.

Assuming I would have to buy them online, I was scanning a few reviews on Amazon when one commenter shared that she found them at Lowes. So I swung by after work, and what do you know, there they were! Better yet, they had more options, allowing us to upgrade to a 4-bin system!

The two smaller bins on the left are for trash and compost. Here in Seattle, yard waste is picked up once a week so along with your weeds, so can throw in food waste including meat, dairy and biodegradable items like egg cartons and pizza boxes. I considered a countertop pail with a tight seal and carbon filter (love this new one from Simple Human), but we really needed something more substantial. Sadly, they don’t make lids for this size bin, but if it gets to be problem I have some ideas on ways to fabricate my own.

For the two larger bins, it’s recycling and dog food. We can divert most of our paper, metal, glass and plastic for recycling (commingled even!) because yes, Seattle is just that awesome. For Bailey’s dietary needs, we had been planning on converting one of the island drawers to a dog food bin, but with room under the sink the fourth bin is perfect for his grub.

Thanks to a slightly off centered plumbing trap, the 4 bins fit perfectly in the space. This resulted in a mini celebration dance on my part, because of course things never fit perfectly. When I showed Kyle the setup, I got a one line, “sweet”, before he turned back to whatever he was doing. (He was probably just internalizing his elation.) Anyway, the pull-out tracks were easy to install – they have two stationary cross bars that get screwed to the cabinet base and that’s pretty much it.

The small space between (and in front of the trap) is just big enough to hold detergent, trash and compost bags and a few essentials cleaners (have you seen Bon Ami’s new retro branding? Love!). For now I’m using a wire basket that I had lying around, but I’d like to get something slightly deeper and with dividers (more compartmentalization, yes!).

So there you have it. No more unsightly trash cans or dog food containers out in the open. So c’mon, fess up – who else has a dirty (but well-organized) secret to share? I know you’re out there.