Don’t Waste Away: How to Manage Your Trash in a Small Kitchen

November 21st, 2011 by

Managing kitchen trash becomes a true logistics issue when storage space is limited in a small space. Should your kitchen trash be hidden away or will it be exposed for all to see? Will it be in a covered vessel or an open-top container? Is there a trashcan liner or not? There are many options to explore in order to accommodate everyday trash, recycling and compost. Read on to explore the options.

Cabinet Conversion with Easy Access

The best option for concealing trash is to convert cabinet space under the sink into your personal trash and recycling center. This space is traditionally one of the widest cabinets in the kitchen, making it a great choice. There are a variety of waste systems available for installation; the prices widely vary so be sure to shop around for the best option to suit your space and needs.

The most popular selection is a system in which metal tracks are screwed into the base of the cabinet, allowing the trash bins to glide in and out of the cabinet for easy access. Most systems of this style offer a set of two smaller bins, one for trash and one for recycling. Many residential waste management collection companies now offer single stream recycling; this allows paper and plastic recycling to be disposed in the same receptacle. If this is the case in your city or town, this system is a perfect choice for you.

Many people opt to use the under-the-sink space exclusively for cleaning supplies so keep in mind that any kitchen cabinet can be converted into a hidden trash management center. Check out the options in your kitchen and decide which cabinet suits the size requirements for your trash system choice.

Remember, if your choice of trash systems involves any permanent fixtures, metal tracks held in place with screws or nails, check with the landlord for approval before getting out your toolbox. You don’t want to have to pay for the repair of any permanent damage to the apartment.

A Unique, Less Common Trash Solution

A door-mounted kitchen trash system keeps the trash out of sight and out of the way of traffic. A sturdy wire rack hangs on the inside of a cabinet, pantry or cellar door and holds a three or five gallon trash bag. The system has a drop down lid that keeps the waste contained and helps to secure the trash bag in place.

A variation of this small kitchen trash system is one that uses a sturdy wire rack that holds a rectangular plastic trashcan. This system is not quite as flexible as the plastic trash bag version but it is still space-efficient and keeps trash out of sight.

Is There a Simpler, Less Permanent Option?

Despite the limited space in a small kitchen, there are simpler trash systems with no installation required. Small stacking systems can be stored in the corner of the room or at the natural end of the counter. A separate receptacle for trash, recycling and compost, if used, can be neatly stacked on top of each other and emptied as needed.

So what will work best in your small kitchen to manage the trash? Shop around and decide whether a hidden or exposed system will work and which style best fits your floor space or cabinet configuration.

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