Best Location for Garbage Can in Kitchen – Trash Can Placement

Updated: | Author: Brad Javernick | Affiliate links may be present.

The placement of your trash can could really affect the aesthetics of your kitchen. It can also greatly impact the flow of your cooking process. If you struggle to find the ideal location for your trash can like my husband and I did, I highly recommend considering these options below.

When picking the best location for your garbage can in your kitchen, you should consider what guests see when they first enter through your door. Your trash can should not be the first thing they see. You also need to consider the type of trash you have or are wanting to purchase because the size and style of it are important. Another thing you should consider is the area of space you have in your kitchen.

First Impressions

As the saying goes, first impressions are everything. When guests walk into your house, the first thing you don’t want them to notice is your trash can. Ensure that your trash can is not in direct eyesight of the front door.

Trash Cans With Lid

It is equally important that your trash can has a lid on it (I use this one with a lid). If your trash can is open, guests can easily see garbage that has been thrown away. This can cause embarrassment for you and cause guests to feel uneasy.

Helpful Tip

If you have a trash can with any type of lid on it, you want to be sure that the lid does not hit against the wall while opening and closing the trash can.

This can cause the lid to scratch your walls and even cause an annoying “bang” noise. Instead, leave about half an inch between your walls and the trash can.

Cooking Process

When considering the placement of your trash can, you should think about the counter space you use to prepare your meals.

Your trash can should be conveniently located in this same area to avoid having to walk back and forth to throw trash away while cooking.

Larger Spaces

If you have a larger than average kitchen or continue finding yourself running back and forth to the garbage can, you should consider finding two discrete areas for your trash can. Most people will place one under or near the sink and then near their oven.

Installed Cabinets

If you are lucky enough to be in a house that has a cabinet installed specifically for placing your trash can, I highly recommend that you use it.

It helps to hide your garbage bin from plain sight. It also helps to eliminate any unwanted odors in the household.

Tip: They now make odor-eliminating trash bags which can also help to avoid unwanted stench when opening and closing the cabinet with the trash bin.

Under Sink Storage

If you do not have a cabinet specifically built for a trashcan, you do not have to remodel your entire kitchen. You can simply place the trash can in an open cabinet under or near the sink.

Be sure to measure the under-cabinet space to ensure your trash can will fit.

Under Counter Storage

If you have countertops with open storage underneath instead of cabinets or drawers, this area could also be ideal for your trash bin. It will be convenient in your kitchen while still being hidden when guests first enter your home.

Roll-Away Bins

If you are someone that likes to be able to move your trash can from one location to another, you could consider a roll-away bin or a trash can with wheels at the bottom of it. This would be perfect for someone who needs to move their trash can from room to room.

Countertop Bins

Another convenient option is to have your trash bin system installed into your countertop space. This is a sleek and modern option for anyone looking to remodel their home. There is an opening on the countertop with an installed bin underneath.


A walk-in pantry is a great place to place a trash bin. You do not have to worry about the size of your trash bin being an issue. Plus, your trash can does not become the centerpiece of your kitchen.

Tilt-out Cabinet

If you have read through this list and are still struggling to find a location that is both discreet and convenient, this tilt-out trash can cabinet is a great option.

It can be placed against a wall in your kitchen and look trendy on the outside while hiding your trash bins on the inside.

Final Thoughts

Your trash can could be placed in many different spots in your kitchen. You could use a specially designed cabinet for trash cans, make a make-shift cabinet for garbage, use a creatively designed lift-top box, or hide it in the pantry. The possibilities are endless. The most important things to consider are convenience and aesthetics.

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About Brad Javernick

Brad is a licensed home inspector and the editor of Home Oomph. He's a massive DIYer, and loves to take on new home renovation projects!

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