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Proper waste management is key to proper kitchen maintenance. Kitchen trash cans are therefore essential to keep the kitchen running.

However, most waste bins are bulky eyesores. This is especially true for houses that observe proper waste segregation and recycling practices.

Most homeowners look for various ways to hide these bins while keeping them within easy access to the kitchen work area. Solutions can range from doing away with waste bins in the kitchen entirely to making use of designer trash bins.

In this article, we’ll review some of the more common creative ways to hide trash cans in the kitchen. 


One of the most straightforward ways to deal with unsightly trash bins is to relocate them to somewhere out of sight. It’s fairly simple but you do still need to make sure that their placement shouldn’t add unnecessary work to kitchen users. You could also utilize garbage disposals to lessen the need for kitchen trash cans. In any case, finding the right balance between location and accessibility is the key to making it work.

Kitchens are commonly where a home’s side or back exit is located. You can take advantage of this by placing your kitchen bins right outside of the house, next to these exits. This works best if your auxiliary exit is on a side of the house that’s hidden away from public view.

This relocation has two added benefits. First, any foul odors coming from your trash bins are automatically kept outside of the house; no need for any additional ventilation measures. Second, this means that your kitchen bins will be that much easier to empty into your main outdoor waste bins when trash day comes.

Utility rooms located right next to your kitchen are perfect places for trash cans. Just be wary of two things when doing this. First, try to use utility rooms that have ventilation systems set up. Natural ventilation from outdoor windows will do if the room doesn’t have exhaust vents. This is to deal with any unwanted odors coming from the trash cans. Second, try to make sure that you don’t store any food items too close to the trash cans in the same room.

If your house has your kitchen located right next to your garage, you can make use of their proximity to each other by storing your main trash bins there. It’s a quick solution that a lot of households employ. Garages are typically already used for extra storage so relocating your trash bins there is easy to do.

Compact Spaces

One surefire way to minimize the risk of having your trash can ruin the look of your kitchen is to simply make sure that it takes up as little space as possible. Depending on how much trash your kitchen produces, you can find smaller, more compact bins to service the space.

If you’re going for a more minimal look in your kitchen, employing space-saving methods is important. In this vein, there are ways to make it so that trash cans are kept compact and visually unobtrusive.

Garbage flaps are typically what you see when you visit neighborhood coffee shops with self-serve counters. They’re those circular flaps and cutouts where you can discard your used straws and stirring sticks when you’re done with them.

You might be surprised to know that garbage flaps aren’t just for coffee shops. You can install them on your kitchen countertops at home and use them to access trash cans under the counter without having to pull them out.

unsplash.com / Mitchell Luo

Garbage flaps make for easily accessible and usable waste disposal while also keeping your trash can tucked away and hidden in your kitchen cabinetry. You can even install a bunch of them to make waste segregation easy.

Do note, however, that garbage flaps have a set size. So larger waste materials might not easily fit through them. Another disadvantage is the fact that you won’t be able to tell right away if your trash cans are getting full.

But if you’re diligent about sorting, checking, and taking out your kitchen waste, garbage flaps are the perfect addition to your kitchen.

Trash bins can also be mounted on pull-out shelving mechanisms attached to your kitchen drawers. These kinds of pull-out trash cans fully utilize the depth of your kitchen counter and cabinetry while also making sure your trash cans stay hidden.

When using pull-out trash cans, there is the added convenience of being able to effectively swipe away any kitchen waste on your counter or kitchen sink and place them straight into the trash bins. If you place multiple trash bins in the same drawer rail, that’s an easy way to keep your trash segregated but also not take up too much space.

If you’re all out of cabinet space, certain types of trash cans can mount on vertical surfaces. If you’re trying to hide trash cans in the kitchen but you still want to keep things nice and compact, you can mount these trash cans on the inside of a cabinet panel or the concealed side of a kitchen island.

It’s worth noting, however, that most wall-mounted trash cans are smaller in size and can only handle a certain amount of trash. These types of compact trash cans are more suited for kitchens that serve a smaller amount of people.

Hiding places

If you don’t have a surplus of extra rooms or space in your house, finding alternative placements for your kitchen trash cans can be tricky. Apartments in buildings, for example, won’t have the luxury of placing their bins outdoors or in a garage.

In those cases, trash cans have to be located within the kitchen itself. Thankfully, if trash cans must be placed in a kitchen, there are clever ways to hide them in plain sight.

Trash cans don’t have to be fixtures in a kitchen. Many variants come with built-in wheels so that you can move them from place to place easily. Other trash cans come in easy-to-carry sizes and shapes for the same reason.

These mobile trash cans are perfect for smaller homes. Users can have them handy in the kitchen when cooking and cleaning but also have the choice of hiding them in another location when not being used.

If moving your trash can isn’t for you, covering them up with small curtains when not in use is another clever way to conceal them. These are quick and easy ways to make sure that your kitchen trash can is nearby when needed but concealed when unused.

Kitchen curtains are cheap, easy to use, and quick to install. You can even use them to conceal other fixtures in the kitchen that you don’t want out in the open, such as washers or dryers.

Sometimes, one man’s trash can be another man’s design centerpiece. Instead of covering up or relocating your kitchen trash can, you can even choose to keep it out of the open. Certain designer trash bins are styled in a way such that they’re not eyesores when kept in view.

You can play around with the different available options in terms of form, material, and color. Depending on the look you want your kitchen to have, the variations of designer trash bins are endless.

Editorial Contributors
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Elisabeth Beauchamp

Senior Staff Writer

Elisabeth Beauchamp is a content producer for Today’s Homeowner’s Lawn and Windows categories. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in Journalism and Linguistics. When Elisabeth isn’t writing about flowers, foliage, and fertilizer, she’s researching landscaping trends and current events in the agricultural space. Elisabeth aims to educate and equip readers with the tools they need to create a home they love.

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Lora Novak

Senior Editor

Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

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