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The Garbage Can That Unexpectedly Stole My Heart

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When I was in college, I had a stint as an intern at a magazine’s lifestyle department. I worked directly under the home & market editor, and scored a ton of amazing home products that were called in as samples, or had been sent to us for product testing. From casserole dishes to area rugs, my less-than-luxurious apartment got a major upgrade. But one of the best items I nabbed was this simplehuman trash can—before seeing this guy, I had no idea that a trash receptacle could be so chic.

Feast your eyes!
Feast your eyes!

This step-can was a perfect fit in my apartment, which was furnished with mostly white furniture and metallic accent pieces (plus, I’m a sucker for rose gold). The back is nearly flat, so it nestles nicely against any wall―crucial, since space has been an issue in every apartment I’ve lived in. If you’re not a fan of rose gold or want something less pink, simplehuman makes this in a few more subdued colors, including white, grey, and black. They all have silver metallic trim, so your trash area still gets a little bit of style without being too flashy.

My simplehuman step-can replaced the $10 plastic bin I’d purchased out of desperation the day I moved into my apartment (shockingly enough, a trash can wasn’t on my decor wishlist), and it made an immediate difference in our kitchen. My pre-existing bin had a swinging lid, so gooey stuff was forever getting stuck to it. Or worse, I’d try to toss scraps into the garbage can and they would just hit the swinging door and fall on the floor. Sigh. The quality was noticeably low (you really do get what you pay for), and the liners never stayed in place. I had to clean it pretty much every time I made a meal with more than two ingredients, so at least twice a day.

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You can liken simplehuman trash cans as the Ferraris of garbage bin world, in terms of performance and sticker price. The current model of my garbage can retails for around $80, which may seem like a lot of cash for a plastic bucket to hold your trash, but after my experience with the less-than-stellar inexpensive can, I'd happily pay it (also: It's so pretty!). Simplehuman makes even pricier models, so this particular one is on the affordable end of the brand's offerings.

When it comes to performance, this garbage can isn’t just a pretty face. It’s an example of thoughtful, functional design. My favorite feature is the built-in pocket where you keep the liners, which you can only see if the can is open: simplehuman sells refill packs that dispense one at a time, and there’s a special slot in the actual trash can where you can slip the pack in. The brand's liners are a little pricier than the store-brand trash bags I’d previously been buying, so once I ran out of the pack that came with my can, I switched back to regular liners. It’s super easy to find 12-gallon trash can liners or tall kitchen bags, and they do a fine job.

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I also love the special silent close lid, especially as someone prone to slamming things (I’m not usually mad, just in a hurry!). The patented “lid shox” technology ensures a slow, silent close; I love not having to worry about food spattering or forgetting to put the lid on the garbage can. Best of all, since the whole thing is plastic and stainless steel, it’s super easy to clean. I usually just wipe it down with a sponge, a Clorox wipe, or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser during my weekly kitchen scrubdown.

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In my research, I learned that simplehuman products are built to last, which might explain why this trash can lasted through college and every apartment I’ve lived in since. The pedal on this trash can is wider than your average step-can, so it’s easy to pop open from any awkward angle; and it's also engineered to endure 150,000 steps, which is more than 20 steps a day for 20 years. I don’t think I use it all that much, so hopefully it will last even longer than that.

I’m glad this garbage can fell into my lap—and I’m even happier that it doesn’t sacrifice form for functionality. It seems so simple (pun intended) but as someone who spends a lot of time in her kitchen, if I have to look at a garbage can everyday, shouldn't it at least be aesthetically pleasing? And regardless, couldn’t all of our kitchens use a little more shine?

Go Put That Can to Work

Do you have a favorite garbage can you'd shout your love for on the highest rooftops? Let us know below!

Tags: Product Design