where to put a bin in a small kitchen

So, you may have moved into a new space, and you now have a compact little kitchen. One of the first questions to consider is where to put a bin in a small kitchen. You will be glad to know that there are lots of options!

In this article, we will go through a few ingenious ways of hiding your kitchen bin, which will increase the clean appearance of your kitchen space, optimise your kitchen layout, and make recycling easier. There are many options to match your kitchen style, so let’s get started.

Places to Put Your Bin if You Have a Small Kitchen

Nowadays, a lot of apartments and homes have small kitchens. Small kitchens are the front face of modern living and an interior designer’s dream. How can you optimise the compact space to feel spacious and functional? These ways of putting recycling bins and waste bins in your kitchen will show that smaller kitchens can provide much storage room and are not as limited as you might think.

Here, you can find several options that will suit you and your kitchen space!

Pull-Out Kitchen Bin

This one has increased in popularity over the years and might even be the most popular bin design today. The pull-out cabinet bin can be made in a variety of ways, all of which are excellent if you have a small amount of floor space. Instead of having your bin out, you can cleverly tuck it away into a cabinet of your choice – a top storage solution! You could have a lid on this bin to keep the cabinet from smelling. Also, a lid is a good way of containing the trash or offers an ideal ‘hide’ solution.

Here are some different ways of creating a pull-out trash bin.

Pull-Out Bin With an Automatic Opening System

This style is great for optimising your time and the practicality of your kitchen design. The bin can be attached to the cabinet door or the cupboard; when you open the cabinet door, the bin will be brought out of the cupboard.

Pull-Out Bin With Sliding Wheels

Pull open the cupboard door, then slide out the bin! Simple and easy.

Pull-Out Bin (Stationary)

You can have your bin inside the cupboard, unattached to the door and freestanding for an even simpler bin mechanism. This system is helpful if you don’t want to risk the breakage of wheels.

Make sure that there is enough space for you to tip your rubbish into this bin, though. The space needs to be above the bin, but the bin capacity can fill the length and width of the cupboard.

The Dual Pull-Out Bin

You can combine this option with the other types of pull-out kitchen bins. You can create a divider in your bin or buy two bins or trash cans which will fit next to each other. This is useful if you have recyclable items and trash, but you want to dispose of them separately (correctly!).

Under the Sink

Kitchen cabinets are the perfect places to store your kitchen bins. They remove the distasteful sight of trash to a location that is not always in your line of sight. This keeps your kitchen atmosphere clean and tidy.

One way to increase the efficiency of your kitchen is to place your kitchen bins near disposal and cleaning facilities. For example, as close as possible to the sink or dishwasher if you have one. This trick allows for easy washing and cleaning of plates and utensils.

In addition, having the bin next to the sink can brush away the kitchen waste, quickly turn to the sink, and wash the dirty item. This way, you’ll reduce foot traffic across the kitchen and makes cleaning up much faster.


A key aspect of the modern kitchen is an island counter. Sometimes these kitchen islands even double as eating places, with chairs around the island. Why not turn the base into more kitchen cabinets if your kitchen island is big enough? If these are not already built-in, you could begin a DIY adventure if you want the challenge.

The cabinet door of the island is a convenient place to attach a bin: this is especially the case if you eat at the island because the kitchen bins will then be near you after you have finished your meal. These hidden compartments are clever ways of utilising your kitchen and having bins in different places.

Drawer Bins

a woman throwing trash in a  rubbish container

Rather than a kitchen cupboard, you might opt for bin drawers. These are stylish and can be incorporated anywhere in your kitchen, creating a neat and practical appearance!

The pan drawer waste management system is easy to operate. You pull the drawer out and have a shallow bin, or the entire cupboard could be a drawer with deep trash or a recycling bin! The small bin is ideal for food waste but perhaps not for general trash, which can be much larger. For example, recycling boxes, paper, plastic, and glass trash may be large and fill up quicker than any kitchen trash and food waste you might produce from cooking.

Having your food waste in a small drawer compartment is an innovative modern kitchen feature. The household can easily access a drawer and scrap the food waste into the drawer. Since food waste needs to be disposed of regularly, this drawer will fill up quickly, and you can empty it quickly, too.

The size of the kitchen bin influences how often you change the bin. A small bin means more changes and less smell and degradation of food. A large bin means that you will wait a long time to change the bin, which could result in foul odours coming from the bin and permeating your kitchen.

Other Options

  • Freestanding Bins: You might opt for freestanding bins with floor space. This option works better if you have limited cupboard space. Having bins out is convenient if you don’t like opening drawers or cupboards, but it can compromise the floor space if you have the bins out.
  • Bag: You could have just a sturdy bag to place your trash and recycling. Whilst this does not hide the trash completely, you are more likely to take the bin out and dispose of it in the outdoor trash can or bin. Doing this will save you from having a bin inside the house all the time, which can come with nasty smells.

Top Tips for Placing a Bin in a Small Kitchen

When disposing of rubbish, you want to save time by having an efficient kitchen layout. Here are some tips to get your kitchen running smoothly and stylishly.

The Hidden Space or Drawer

You could install any in-cupboard bins, but ensure enough space above the bin for a hidden drawer or simply just shelf space. In this space, you can place trash bags, cleaning products, or supplies in easy and convenient reach to the bin – a perfect storage solution. Pull the drawer out for even more storage.

Food Waste Bins

You might have a small food waste bin in your preparation area. You can put this in your cupboard or keep it on the side. The convenience of a small trash bin means that it is likely to fit anywhere! Food waste needs to be put in the outdoor trash cans regularly. Otherwise, it may begin to smell – this smell might seep into the rest of your kitchen space.

Benefits of Using Small Bins

A small kitchen usually means you need a small bin. This is not as big a problem as it first sounds: you empty a small bin more often, and it will help keep your kitchen space clean and fresh.

The more often you empty the bin, the less time the contents have to start to smell as they degrade over time, especially for food waste. Recycling trash is less likely to begin smelling foul, but it is still important to change the bin regularly.

Environmental Steps

Why not get yourself a compost container? You could place this in your kitchen near the window. Another option is on a ledge on a wall in a sunny spot. If you have some garden space, this could be an ideal spot for a compost container, too.

A compost container can reduce your need for a large bin in your small kitchen because you can deposit your food waste here. Always check that your food waste is compatible with the soil, though. This solution is an excellent idea if you are looking for ways to help the planet. Not to mention, using your garden and outdoor space frees up storage space in the house.

Your small kitchen might be a sign to begin new methods of saving the environment!

DIY Adventures

Recycling bins and kitchen trash bins can be great to begin a DIY adventure. If you are handy with building your kitchen appliances or cabinets, you could create your in-cupboard bins, drawer trash cans, and recycling units. If there is no place for your kitchen bin, use your creativity to create the perfect place. Is this on the back of a cabinet door? Is this hiding in a drawer under the sink? It’s up to you! You can hide your bin anywhere convenient and hide the mess.

Use old materials or furniture that you would have discarded from elsewhere in your house to create a unique style for a storage space that no one else has! Save plastic, especially as this is sometimes non-recyclable. Better to up-cycle it into sometime useful.

Where to Put a Bin in a Small Kitchen: The Final Advice

The bin is perhaps the most often-used item in the entire kitchen! It competes with the sink and fridge for its frequency of use. The bin is an important component in the kitchen as it will hide the trash and therefore help to create a neat kitchen atmosphere. If you think you don’t have much space for your recycling bins and trash, hopefully, this article has helped.

We know you want the bin to be in an accessible location because no one appreciates a hard-to-reach bin. The bin needs to have a decent capacity, too. Otherwise, you might pour your rubbish and trash straight into the trash cans outside!

Our highest recommendation is to create an in-cabinet bin, which you can then pull out the bin or have an automatic slide. This solution will save you time, provide an ideal storage spot to hide your trash, and help improve the stylish appearance of your kitchen.

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