How to Choose Kitchen Trash Can?

If you think you can place just any type of trash can in the kitchen and make it work, then you are wrong. Putting trash in the can and taking it out is a daily task that you have to do at home and hence it should not be frustrating work, but it will be if you end up buying the wrong type.

However, knowing the size and the type of trash can you need for your kitchen is important, consider all the important features to get the right trash bin for your kitchen to make the daily work around the kitchen easier.


What Is the Standard Trash Can for Kitchen?

There are different sizes in which trash cans for household use are manufactured. It is one of those important factors that you ought to consider before buying a trash can for any place around the house, especially the kitchen.

The kitchen is one place in the house, where most of the trash is stored. If you cook different types of meals at home most of the time, then you know the amount of fruit and vegetable peels that pile up in the trash can.

Hence, evaluate your use of a trash can in the kitchen and then decide the right size that you need in the kitchen.

How Big Is A 8 Gallon Trash Can?

If you live alone in an apartment or live with someone but rarely cook at home, then 8 gallons would suffice. An 8-gallon trash can is not big enough and stores up to 30 litres of trash. However, if you throw recyclable items as well as the trash in your kitchen in a single bin then 8 gallons might not be enough for you.

An 8-gallon trash can is good enough for light use only and if you take out your trash daily then such space for a trash can might be adequate for you.

How Big Is A 13 Gallon Trash Can?

A 13-gallon trash can is the standard size of a trash can. It is spacious enough to accommodate a small family or heavy use for few people only. They are not too big or too small.

If you have tight kitchen space, you can easily get a trash can with 13 gallons and place it in a narrow kitchen floor space. They can also be stored in kitchen cabinets, although the height is to be considered since with the lid open the trash bin might not fit.

In short, for a good amount of kitchen trash and recyclable items and if you take out the trash daily then a 13 gallons trash can with 50 liters space, would do well by you.

How Big Is A 30 Gallon Trash Can?

30-gallon trash can is a good size for heavy use in the kitchen. It offers space up to 115 Litres to store all the trash and recyclables around the kitchen.

A trash can with a space of about 30 gallons will work well for you if you cook a lot in the kitchen or throw most of the trash of the house in the kitchen.

However, even a 30 gallons kitchen trashcan will not be enough if you do not take out the trash daily, for the trash can built up, even a 30 gallons trash can be less and not provide you complete use of a trash can around the kitchen.

Read More: 20 Gallon Kitchen Trash Can

How To Choose Kitchen Trash Can?

There are certain things that go into consideration when choosing a trash can for the kitchen. Most large-sized trash cans are placed inside the kitchen. That is because the kitchen is the main location to store trash in the household.

Most of the food leftover items, fruit and vegetable peels and other recyclable items are all thrown into the kitchen bin. Hence, having the right type of trash bin for your kitchen is important.

If you choose the right size, right capacity, and the right location, then kitchen work will not be made frustrating for you. And daily kitchen work will be easy.

Here is how you can choose the right type of trash bin for your kitchen.

What Size to Choose for A Large Kitchen?

It all comes down to the size of the trash bin you need for your kitchen. If you have floor space available then you might not be too concerned with the space problem, but only about the amount of trash found in your household.

However, if tight kitchen space is also a concern, then you should properly consider the width and height of the trash bin. You ought to choose a trash bin with the right dimensions and the right amount of space available to store up all of the trash found in the kitchen.

There are trash bins that have dual compartments for waste and recyclable items. While some of them might occupy too much space, some of them are made in a narrow shape to fit into tight spaces easily.

The space available in the kitchen, and the space required from a trash can is how you decide the right type of size of the trash bin you need. For your large kitchen you can easily pick a trash bin with space of 30 gallons or more.

What Size Is Best for A Small Kitchen?

In a small kitchen, the space available is a real problem. While cooking in the kitchen, you would realise how important the additional space in the kitchen really is. It could be the floor space that you need to move around while cooking or the cabinet space to store the important utensils and other kitchen items.

If the floor space is limited and the cabinet space is limited as well, then the size of trash bin you need becomes a concern. For small kitchen floor space, make sure to get a trash bin that is narrow if you have tight space. However, if you need a pull-out trash bin for your cabinet, then the height of the trash bin with the lid open should be considered too.

Moreover, it also depends on the usage of the trash bin in the kitchen. For most light use and small sized kitchens, 8 gallons trash bin proves to be enough. However, for a bigger use you may get a 13 gallons standard trash bin since they are manufactured in different shapes, one can surely fit the tight space in your kitchen.

How Many People Are Using the Trash Can?

The people using the trash can in the household is how you decide the right size and the space required from the bin. If you live alone and are not fond of cooking in the kitchen, then a small 8 gallons trash bin would fit you well.

If you need a trash bin for heavy use or for two people, then a standard 13 gallons trash can is the right size. Similarly, the bigger the family the bigger the trash can should be. For a small family and light use a small size would be fine. For a large family and large amount of trash can, the trash can should be of the big size.

How Empty You Often the Trash?

The times you replace the trash bag in the can is what decides the size of trash can you need as well. It is advised to remove the trash often from time to time, to avoid the odors from building up and spreading around. If the trash is not taken out on time, the insects and pests can reside within the trash and cause hygienic problems if you come in contact with that trash.

If you empty your trash often, that is from day to day, then any small size trashcan can be adequate for the kitchen use. But if you are used to letting the trash stay in the bin for long and prefer emptying it only after a few days or a week then you might need a very large trash can, so that all the trash can be stored in the bin once and then cleaned.

Nevertheless, make a habit of emptying the bin almost daily so the space of the trash can is utilized properly.

How Much Trash Is Present in Your Kitchen?

The amount of trash you have in your kitchen is mainly how you evaluate the size of the trash can needed. If there is only small amounts of food leftovers, fruit, and vegetable peels then a small trash can would be fine.

If there are recyclable items that you need to store in the kitchen bin, then you might consider a dual trash can or a bigger single trash can to store all type of trash and recyclable items.

It is important to know the amount of trash that is produced by your household; in the kitchen, so you can spend right amount of money on the right type of trash can and not waste your money. While it can be about the budget, it is also about the effort and energy spent in maintaining the trash in your kitchen or the entire household.

Read More: Best Cheap 13 Gallon Trash Can

How Do You Calculate Gallons of a Trash Can?

Knowing the gallons required for the trash can in the kitchen is essential. When you know how much trash you have to dispose and how much gallons of the trash can are needed, only then the trash can will be the right fit for you.

  • But how do you actually do it?
  • How to calculate the gallons of a trash can?

When you are out looking for a trash can you might want to compare it to the ones already present in the house to make sure to make the right decision about the space available in the new trash bin you will be getting.

Calculating the gallons of a trashcan can be a technical or mathematical task, but it is surely not hard. The easy way is to get the garbage bags of different sizes and try and fit them into the bin. While you might not get the accurate count of the gallons in the trash can, you will at least get the basic idea of how much gallons your trash can has.

The net weight, height and other dimensions is what decides the space of the trash can. The amount that a trash bin holds is also specified in litres to give you a better idea of much the trash bin holds. For example a standard 13 gallons trash can holds up about 50 litres, which weighs around 110 lbs.

Read More: 30 Gallon Stainless Steel Trash Can

How Thick the Trash Bag Be for Kitchen?

The thickness of the trash bag you are using for the bin in your kitchen is crucial. A good and firm quality of the trash bag ensures that the trash stays in place instead of the bag ripping apart after being stuffed.

There are different types of trash bags you can get for your trash bin. Some people might even prefer normal grocery bags to be used as trash bags. While it might be okay to do so, it is not exactly convenient. Trash bags are made specifically of different materials than the ones used for grocery bags. The trash bags hold good amount of trash and do not rip apart easily as compared to ordinary grocery bags.

So, how thick the trash bag be for the trash can you use in your kitchen?

For standard and light use in the kitchen, to store normal usual kitchen items including some pointy bones or pieces, this trash bag with a thickness of 0.9 MIL is good enough. It is made of good plastic material that is flexible and stretchy. This type of plastic ensures that the bag does not tear down after you throw a pointy object into it.

For heavier use than normal kitchen use, you might need a trash bag which is stronger and thicker. They are called heavy-duty trash bags with thickness of around 1.5 MIL. They store up all types of heavy items including boxes and cardboards. They are also made of good plastic that is firmer as compared to other types of trash bags. They hold up pointy and sharp objects easily.

The thickness and the type of trash bag you get for your trash can depends on the type of waste item in your household. Hence, make the decision after considering your requirements.

Read More: How to Hide Kitchen Trash Can?

Kitchen Trash Can Size Chart

There are different sizes for a kitchen trash can.

Size (in gallons)In litresFor how many peopleLocation
8301 or 2 peopleFor small kitchen
13502-3 peopleFor small kitchen
16603-4 peopleFor usual use in the kitchen
20753-5 peopleFor heavy use
301154-6 peopleFor heavy use, to store recyclable items

Bag Size Reference Chart

The trash bag you need for your trash can should be bigger than the size of the trash can itself. A 20 gallons trash bag for a 20-gallon trash bin is not the right decision. Trash bags are made of plastic, hence its mentioned space available is different than the one for the trash bin.

The size of trash bag you need for you trash bin are as follows.

Size of trash binSize of trash bag required
8 gallons9 gallons
13 gallons15-20 gallons
20 gallons30-35 gallons
30 gallons40-50 gallons

The size of trash bag required for your trash bin depends upon the width and height of the trash bin. That way you can choose the right space and height of the trash bag for your kitchen bin.

It is advised to choose a bigger trash bag for your bigger trash bin, since it makes it easier to store and manage the trash. It can also be easy to tie down the bag without the trash spilling over and making a mess. Thus, it is recommended to pick a bigger size of the trash bag.

Read More: Where to Put Trash Can in Kitchen?


Managing trash in the kitchen can be a tricky task if you end up buying the wrong type of trash bin. Knowing your requirements before making a purchase is crucial.

There are different types of trash bins available for kitchen use nowadays. They have different operational mechanisms and unique features. Once you have considered the size you need and the location you have available then you can easily get the right type of trash bin for your kitchen.

Read More: Best Kitchen Garbage Disposal