Designer Leslie Roosevelt of Gilday Renovations says most customers want trash bins hidden behind cabinet doors in their kitchens. If a customer claims they don't want that, Roosevelt says she tries to convince them. “I'd rather have visitors walk into the kitchen and ask where the trash is,” says the Silver Spring, Md.-based designer. Most of her customers decide on hidden trash and recycling because they want to save space, not because it's a necessity.
Roosevelt usually designs kitchens with a trash bin in a base cabinet on one side of the sink and the dishwasher on the other side. Having the three in a row, she says, is more efficient, especially during clean-up, the most hectic time in the kitchen. She advises designers to make sure clients have walking room even when the trash cabinet and dishwasher doors are open.
KraftMaid marketing manager Kim Craig Boos suggests that if there is space, remodelers should include bins for recycling near the sink. “It makes more sense from a logistical and a movement perspective,” she says.
Andy Wargo, senior project consultant for McClurg Associates in Marcellus, N.Y., says he usually places trash near the main sink or near a smaller food preparation sink. “People will give up something else in their kitchen to get this,” he says.
As for recycling, Wargo says 60% of his customers ask for a place for recycling, and the other 40% want it, but forget to ask for it. He notes that customers today are willing to sacrifice cabinet space for recycling bins. Project consultant Chris Cummings, also with McClurg Associates, says finding a place for trash and recycling is often part of the reason for the kitchen remodel. “We help clients decide how many bins they want,” he says. “It's usually three: one for garbage, one for glass/cans, and one for plastic.” Wargo says that if there isn't space for recycling, he usually puts it in a nearby mudroom.
He says that most standard cabinet lines offer pull-out cabinets for trash and recycling, and that “even the lesser lines offer this as a feature.” Roosevelt adds that these cabinets usually consist of a front full-size can for trash and a smaller rear can for mixed recycling. The cabinets are usually 18 to 21 inches wide and sometimes have a drawer above the door. She also notes that some manufacturers offer a smaller operable single trash can for the sink base cabinet. “It is shorter and fits around the disposal. As you open the door, the can swings out and the lid lifts. You can close it with your knee,” she says. These are good to retrofit into a cabinet, but the cans are small. “They work well for auxiliary trash,” she says. KraftMaid offers a 24-inch-wide recycling center with two cans or a 33-inch-wide cabinet with four cans Boos says, commenting that “it's about cutting clutter. Homeowners want a more streamlined look in all areas of their homes, including trash management.”