What Size Trash Can For Kitchen? – How To Choose The Perfect Fit

Are you tired of constantly overflowing trash cans in your kitchen? Wondering what size trash can is the perfect fit for your needs? Look no further! In this blog post, I will guide you through the process of choosing the right size trash can for your kitchen.

Whether you have a small apartment or a large family home, finding the perfect trash can size is essential for maintaining a clean and organized space. No more messy spills or unpleasant odors – let’s dive in and discover the ideal trash can size for your kitchen.

What Size Trash Can for Kitchen?

The size of the garbage can you need for your kitchen will depend on the size of your kitchen and the type of waste you generate. The larger the kitchen, the larger the trash can you need. Small kitchens usually need a 10-15 liter trash can, while larger kitchens can accommodate a 20-25 liter trash can. If you generate a lot of wet waste, like food scraps, you may need an even larger trash can.

How Big Should a Kitchen Trash Can Be?

Trash cans for kitchens come in a range of sizes, typically measured in gallons. The most common sizes you will come across are 10, 13, and 20-gallon trash cans. However, larger options are also available for those who generate a significant amount of waste or have a larger household. The key is to choose a size that can accommodate your typical amount of daily waste without overflowing too quickly.

Different Sizes & Capacities

To get a better understanding, let’s look at the different sizes and capacities available for kitchen trash cans:

  1. 2.5 to 8 Gallon Trash Can: Suitable for small kitchens or single-person households. It can hold about 2-3 days’ worth of waste.
  2. 8 to 20 Gallon Trash Can: The most popular and versatile size for an average-sized kitchen or a family household. It can hold around 4-5 days’ worth of waste.
  3. 20+ Gallon Trash Can: Ideal for larger kitchens or households with multiple residents. This size can hold up to a week’s worth of waste.

what size trash can for kitchen per person

Image Credit: Trash Can Unlimited

How to Choose the Perfect Size Trash Can for Your Kitchen

When choosing the size of your kitchen trash can, there are several factors to consider.

1. Size of your kitchen

Consider the size of your kitchen when choosing a trash can. In a small kitchen, space is limited, so opt for a compact option like a slim-fit or under-the-sink trash can. For medium-sized kitchens, a 13-gallon can should be sufficient. Larger kitchens can accommodate larger trash cans without crowding the space.

2. Frequency of emptying

Think about how often you empty your trash can. If you frequently cook or generate a lot of waste, you may want to consider a larger size. A larger can will minimize the need for frequent trips to the outside trash bins. Additionally, take into account the number of residents or users in the household.

3. Type of waste

Consider the type of waste you generate. If you separate recyclables from non-recyclables, you may need separate trash cans or a dual-compartment option. If you frequently dispose of wet waste, choose a trash can with a tight-sealing lid to prevent odors. Bulky items like pizza boxes or large containers may require a larger can or one with a swing-top lid.

4. Design & aesthetic

Take your kitchen’s design and aesthetic into account when selecting a trash can. Choose a size and style that complements your kitchen décor. Pedal bins, swing tops, touch bars, and automatic sensor options are available, allowing you to choose a design that suits your preferences.

5. Storage & placement

Consider where you will store the trash can in your kitchen. Under-the-sink bins or pull-out options are great for maximizing space. Freestanding bins are versatile and can be placed anywhere in the kitchen. Corner bins are perfect for utilizing unused corners. Choose a size that can fit comfortably in your desired location.

6. Bag availability & costs

Check the availability and cost of bags for your chosen trash can size. Some smaller or larger trash can sizes may require custom-sized bags, which could be more expensive or harder to find. Opt for a standard-sized trash can if you prefer the convenience and affordability of readily available bags.

7. Additional features

Consider additional features like odor control mechanisms, locking lids for child/pet safety, and removable inner buckets for easier cleaning. These features can enhance the functionality and usability of your trash can.

Tips for Using a Kitchen Trash Can

  1. Always use trash bags that fit securely in your trash can to prevent leaks and spills.
  2. Rinse out food containers before tossing them in the trash can to minimize odors.
  3. Consider using separate bins for recyclables, compost, and regular waste to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle.

How Often Should I Empty My Kitchen Trash Can?

The frequency of emptying your kitchen trash can depends on various factors such as the size of the can, the number of residents, and the type of waste generated. As a general guideline, aim to empty your trash can before it becomes overfilled or starts to emit unpleasant odors. For larger trash cans, emptying every 4-5 days is often sufficient, while smaller cans may need emptying every 2-3 days.


Choosing the right size trash can for your kitchen is crucial for efficient waste disposal and maintaining a clean and organized space. Consider the size of your kitchen, the frequency of emptying, the type of waste generated, and the design and aesthetic preferences when selecting a trash can size.

By following these guidelines, you can find the perfect fit for your kitchen and bid farewell to overflowing trash cans. Remember, a well-chosen trash can is the key to a fresh and tidy kitchen.

Do you have any questions or tips regarding trash can sizes for the kitchen? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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