What to Buy

Let Me Tell You About My Trash Can (It’s the Best)

The investment piece your home really needs.

January  5, 2022
Photo by Simplehuman

I’ve done the separate trash and recycling can thing… and to be honest? It sucks. When I bought my first Simplehuman can five years ago, I wasn’t exactly sure about New York City’s recycling laws (for the record, it’s all bottles and cans in one bag, all paper in another) and I didn’t want to commit to a dual-sided trash can if that wouldn’t totally work. Oh, and I also wasn’t making all that much, and couldn't really justify a bigger splurge on something I was literally dumping garbage into.

Five years, three apartments, and one better paying job later, I became a Simplehuman trash can convert, and it was finally time to take the dual-sided plunge. Lucky for me, Simplehuman still manufactures the exact dual-sided step can of my dreams, and lucky for them, I’m a real adult now (kind of). Read on for all the reasons I’m shouting about my garbage can from the rooftops—it’s that good.

Easy-to-Clean Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is sometimes my worst enemy, because quite often, it’s stainFULL. The fridge, dishwasher, and oven in my apartment? Constantly covered in fingerprints and water drips, and it drives me bonkers, so much so that I'm constantly wiping each of them down. Apparently Simplehuman uses an “invisible silver-ion coating,” but I also think this has a lot to do with the sheen of the stainless steel. While my appliances are more matte, this can is super shiny, so A) it gets less finger-printy and dirty to begin with and B) it’s very easily cleaned with a damp cloth.

Compost Bin Attachment

I audibly gasped upon seeing the adorable compost attachment. I was so excited, in fact, that I made a resolution to really start composting this year, and to drop off all our food scraps at the local compost bin (which is only a five minute walk from my apartment). It has a low-profile hook that attaches to the side of the can, and a truly stink-proof lid (I’ve had some rank old bananas in there I couldn’t smell). Plus, the whole thing detaches for easy cleaning and disposing.

Photo by Simplehuman

Large-Enough Recycling Bin

A gripe I have with “Big Garbage Can” is that so many recycling cans are small. Sure, I take the garbage out every day, but do I want to be carrying a bag of recyclables, too? No, let me answer that, I do not. I am very pleased to report that the recycling side of this can is a perfect size and accommodates about a week’s worth of recyclables for us. Now, that timeframe is highly subjective, of course, but we use a lot of milk, drink a lot of Trader Joe’s green tea lemonade, and get a good amount of cardboard packages, so do with that what you will. Oh, and the insert is blue, indicating: hey, this is the recycling!, and has a handle, making it perfect for carrying to my building’s larger recycling bin sans bag.

Liner Holder

Maybe a little pocket for spare trash bags isn’t something you thought you needed, but trust me, you’ll be glad it’s there. In my house growing up, we kept several garbage bags at the bottom of the can as replacements after emptying the trash, but unsurprisingly, they would get pretty icky. This can has a geniusly-designed pocket on the back wall that dispenses liners, so each time you take the garbage out, you’re reminded to replace the bag and they’re quite literally right at your fingertips.

But a word on the custom Simplehuman liners? Yes, they’re great. They fit the can perfectly and are the perfect size for our apartment’s garbage chute, but are they necessary? No. I’ve been using regular old garbage bags and just cinching the handles as best I can around the can, and this works just fine most of the time.

Strong & Sturdy Design

This might seem like a silly final bit on a garbage can, but the weight of it is just perfect. I've had and used cheaper, plastic garbage cans before, and there's possibly nothing worse than the can flopping around or not opening properly when you have hands full of something particularly nasty. At $200, this trash can is definitely an investment piece, but I can tell you from personal experience, that it will last you at least five years, and make your life easier by not even having to think about your garbage can... it just works.

Would you splurge on this trash can? Do you already have and love it? Tell us in the comments below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

Grab your copy

It's here: Our game-changing guide to everyone's favorite room in the house. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks—from our community, test kitchen, and cooks we love—to help transform your space into its best self.

Grab your copy

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Caroline Qualey
    Caroline Qualey
  • greekgal1963
  • bontemps
  • Nahgem7
  • StrawberryShortcake
When I'm not writing & editing for Home52, I'm likely to be found DIY-ing a new piece of furniture (or restoring an old one), hanging things on the wall in my apartment, or watching hours of vintage RHONY.


Caroline Q. April 6, 2022
I genuinely don't make "big life choice" purchases like this till I consult the Food52 Coven. Your kitchen trash is arguably the biggest life choice out there (move over marriage and kids). I've been burned before, as have we all. But you having this for five years and still being able to like it enough to write an article about it has gotten me past my fear of commitment. I mean who does that unless they are truly in love? Clearly it's time I settle down.

This is just to say I've ordered the can and thank you for your help.
greekgal1963 January 29, 2022
still ❤️ our tall round (red) kitchen canister purchased from Costco 2009 or 2010... just has a few small dents from moving!
bontemps January 14, 2022
I love mine! I do use the liners. My family relocated to the UK and I found the trash bags here to be inferior to the good old hefty bags back home. The simple human bags are a much better alternative. I did not know about the compost bin.
Nahgem7 January 13, 2022
Simple Human trash cans are the best!! We love our trash recycling duo! I also use the trash bags. Never a leak. I buy a big box once a year. I didn’t know about the compost bin but I will definitely look into it.
StrawberryShortcake January 13, 2022
I find the smell still escapes from these cans due to the liner holder hole in the back. What size / brand garbage bags to you use in it for the trash side ?
Angela P. January 13, 2022
I use 100 count Neutrino trash bags compatible w/ Simple Human size H from Amazon; also Simple Human odorsorb kit that sticks to the inside of the lid. If you smell odor, change filter.
Angela P. January 13, 2022
I should add that I LOVE this trashcan! One of my best purchases.
Caroline Q. April 6, 2022
so sounds crazy but, if you go to the pet store there are carbon filters that are thin and fit in the lid of most cat litter boxes. I'm wondering if one of those cut to size to block the hole might help you in this.