Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Hide kitchen trash: add chutes and bins

by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Kitchens: where groceries are unloaded and unpacked, homework is done, mail opened, food prepared, dishes done, parties hosted. Today's kitchen is a multi-use area and as such, it can produce a lot of garbage. Finding a clean, convenient way to handle all of the different types of garbage and sort recyclables in the kitchen can be tough. Necessity is the mother of invention, and this particular need produced some very convenient solutions for handling waste and more in the kitchen.

Trash chutes: whisk away waste

There are quite a few different types of chutes, ranging from straightforward holes in the counter to elaborate door and chute systems that deliver garbage directly outside. Here's a breakdown of the popular styles:

  • Holes in the counter are great for under-counter compost bins, particularly when positioned near the prep area to allow for easy removal of skins, peels, seeds and the like. For this reason, several companies offer an in-counter trash chute with built-in cutting board -- often including a stainless steel lid to cover the whole operation. You can also find basic, round chutes that, while easy to install, often have a lip that makes sweeping the waste on the counter into the chute slightly more difficult. Aesthetically, custom cut-out trash chutes are the way to go. They sit flush and blend in when lidded and allow for easy disposal. In tile or stone countertops, consider using a custom-cut cutting board as a lid.
  • Doors in the wall may be less convenient for cleaning up prep work, but they're great for everything else. They can be built into a backsplash, an adjacent wall or the side of a cabinet. The doors can help keep the smell (and mess) down and cover chutes that can lead anywhere, from the cabinet below to the trashcan or recycling bin outside. Talk to your contractor about your options for installing a trash chute as part of a cabinet refacing or kitchen remodeling project.

Hidden bins: out of sight, out of mind

Things have moved beyond the tried-and-true trick of hiding the garbage can under the kitchen sink. The new trend in stashing your trash is giving those bins the space they need -- if you have it. Dedicated trash and recycling bin drawers are perfect for in-counter chutes, and typically can be pulled out easily to empty the bins. Built-in trash compactors are also handy, helping you reduce the volume of what you throw out. These options can be disguised to look like every other cabinet in your kitchen (save for the buttons on the trash compactor). Talk to a licensed contractor about your options for secreting away your garbage cans and keeping them fully functional.

About the Author
Karl Fendelander cut his teeth on web writing in the late nineties and has been plugged in to the newest technology and tuned in to the latest trends ever since. With an eye for design and an ear for language, Karl has created content and managed digital media for startups and established companies alike. When he unplugs, Karl can be found biking about town and hiking and climbing throughout the West.

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