Best Kitchen Recycling Bins

Increase your sustainability points with the best recycling bins for your household.

Three recycling bins in the kitchen

by Natalie Corner |
Updated on

Key trends for this year are sustainability and eco-friendly. One of the best ways we can contribute to this is by looking at the ways in which we recycle our waste. Kitchen recycling bins have become a staple in our homes, but the way in which we use them are not always so efficient.

A double bin is a good solution to keep your kitchen tidy from the extra recycling waste, or a standalone recycling bin can be just as useful. It depends on the size of your household and the space you have to store multiple bins, but there are plenty of different designs for you to choose from to suit your style and kitchen recycling bin needs.

Kitchen Recycling Bins: What Features To Look For

Capacity: A 30-40 litre waste bin is good for small households, and a 40-50 litre bin is ideal for families of two to four, while a bin with a capacity of 50+ is best for larger households that produce a lot of kitchen waste. If you are choosing a double bin, factor in at least 15-30 litres for your recycling waste and the same goes for a separate recycling bin, because all those plastic products tend to be bulky if they are not broken down correctly.

Material: The most common materials for kitchen recycling bins are plastic and stainless steel. Stainless steel is often the best material to look for in your kitchen bin – it’s sturdy, sleek, fire-resistant, and easy to clean.

Design: If you want to have all your waste and recycling in one place then a bin that comes with separate internal bins for your recycling is probably most desirable. If you have a separate utility room or larger kitchen that can host a separate recycling bin, think about what style is less obtrusive and suits your kitchen colour scheme, or if this isn't a concern colour-coded bins will help keep recycling separated by forgetful family members.

Best Kitchen Recycling Bins 2022

Best recycling bin for small households

Amazon Basics 2x15L Dual Compartment Dustbin with Steel Bar Pedal
Price: $87.75

This recycling bin from Amazon Basics doesn't skimp on quality just because it's more affordable. The stainless steel design with two sturdy inner buckets will fit in a smaller kitchen or office if you're hoping to improve on your recycling efforts.

Customer review: “This bin is fantastic….well, as fantastic as a bin can be. Although not the biggest bin in the world, having the two compartments means you think about how much rubbish you throw out, and makes sure you regularly empty your bins which really highlights how much unnecessary waste we all go through daily… looks great and closing mechanism works very well. The inner bins can be pulled out for ease of emptying… and it looks good in the kitchen, brilliant bin."

Pros

  • Side handles to lift bin easily
  • Soft close to reduce noise
  • Easy to clean
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Doesn't fit large recyclables
  • Bin bag doesn't always secure
  • Bin lid doesn't open 90 degrees

Best stylish recycling bin

If you need a recycling bin that isn't such an eyesore, this stylish alternative from Joseph Joseph is a great pick for the kitchen. It has a large capacity for recycling mixed crushable waste such as glass, plastic, paper and drinks cans leaving your waste bin free for non-recyclables. The smaller caddy has two compartments so you can split your glass and paper waste, the larger collector works better with crushable items so you can get the most out of the capacity.

Review: "I love these. I love smushing items into my trash can, which works poorly with every other design. This is surprisingly great! They also look nice and can handle a standard trash bag just fine."

Pros

  • Each caddy is easy to empty
  • Stylish
  • Large capacity
  • Lids turn into handles

Cons

  • Large collector not suitable for glass
  • Collector lid is sometimes stiff

Best recyling bin for space-saving

Review: "I have a really narrow space which doesn't fit two regular bins next to each other for general waste and recycling, so I went for these stacking bins. They are really working great so far. There are two of us and we use one for general waste and two for recycling, though the capacity is actually better than expected and we haven't used the second recycling one yet. We're also able to stack our food caddy on top which is an added bonus. I wouldn't recommend these for food waste as there is a small gap between the bin and lid so you wouldn't want to put anything smelly in them."

Pros

  • Space-saving
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor

Cons

  • Bought separately
  • Not secure closing so smells may escape

Best recycling bin for families

This space-efficient 2-section recycling bin fits perfectly against a wall with two 30L compartments. A pedal mechanism that works separately for each compartment, the lids are wide enough to dispose of waste with a soft close.

Customer review: “I purchased this bin to replace one where the mechanism kept breaking and so far this bin seems far superior quality and still a great price. The design is sleek, and the lids have a smooth opening/closing. I have a little boy so was worried about the stainless-steel finish having mucky fingerprints all over but so far, the fingerprint-proof finish is doing its job!”

Pros

  • Individual pedal operation to prevent bin smells escaping
  • Sleek design
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Inner buckets aren't particularly strong

Best colour coded recycling bin

The satin finish to this stainless steel bin provides that sleek edge for any kitchen. You decide how to colour code your recycling, but the pedals make it easy to stick to each bin. The VonHaus Recycling bin is wide and fairly short, with some shoppers reporting that the inner compartments are as big as they imagined but 15L will still support a small family.

Review: "A really good buy for those of us that have to split up all the recycling into a multitude of big boxes outside by type of rubbish. Start indoors with this. It's a sturdy design and having had it 9 months, other than keeping the stainless steel clean and new looking (always a pain), this is a very hardy unit that can cope with a lot of bashing about, movement around the kitchen when cleaning, and so forth. Each slot has a bin bucket well-attached to a chrome finished handle. They're very easy to get in and out of their respective slots. You can put bags in if required (we do for the one we use for general waste, but the card/paper and plastic bins we just rinse after each use and leave bagless). The pedals are showing no signs of wear as of yet, whilst they initially look a little flimsy they're well attached at both ends to lift the relevant lid, so I think we're going to be good with this for a while."

Pros

  • Metal handles for ease
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Small inner bins
  • Bin bags may stick out

Best recycling bin with deodoriser

The EKO X Cube Recycling Bin has a deodoriser compartment that can hold a carbon filter or perfume capsule to keep your bin smelling as fresh as possible. Alongside this, the bin has an anti-bacterial fingerprint-resistant coating and a bin bag stabiliser to hold your liners firmly in place. We also love that the two inner buckets are colour coded, great for reminding other members of the household to sort correctly.

Review: “This bin has replaced our existing standard bin. Love that it's separated into two sections, one for recycling and another for non-recycling. It's a very sleek design and looks great in our kitchen. 40l is perfect for 2 people but would recommend getting the larger size for a family. The bin is definitely odourless and would highly recommend.”

Pros

  • Coloured bin for easy identification
  • Deodorising compartment
  • Quiet closse

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Best luxury stackable recyling bin

Taking the vertical bin shape and separating it into two clever compartments, the Joseph Joseph Totem Max Bin is your answer to recycling more efficiently. It has three different compartments for recycling, food waste and general waste, all while keeping it compact and not taking up too much extra space. It also has integrated odour control with replaceable activated carbon filters and removable buckets with liner retaining holes and carrier bag hooks.

Tried and tested by A Modern Kitchen: “This works great for a family household, the bin compartments are big enough that you wouldn't need to empty them every day and are nicely sorted for recycling when the tie comes to take out the rubbish. I would say you need to make sure you have a suitable space for the bin as it doesn't fit under a counter due to the lid on the top. However, it does work well being able to switch around the designated compartments, and works out cheaper only needing medium-sized bin bags rather than one large sack."

Pros

  • Smaller footprint
  • Good for large households
  • Three compartments
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Tall so doesn't fit under the counter
  • Bin lid doesn't always secure easily

Best recycling bin with separate pedal operation

Make things easy when it comes to recycling with this colour-coded option by EKO. Cheaper than the EKO X Cube and without a deodorising compartment, it still has plenty of features that make it a solid choice. Two inner compartments each with a different colour bin are housed under the larger side of the bin, with a smaller compartment perfect for smelly food waste. The soft close lid reduces any clanging metal sounds and the dual pedal mechanism avoids any of that smell wafting into the air if you're recycling non-food waste.

Review: “You don't think about it, but a bin is one of those things you and your family use multiple times a day, so why shouldn't you have a nice one? This bin is expensive compared to some, but wow, what a difference compared to our old trusty but limp-lidded pedal bin. The EKO looks great and fits in well alongside our fridge. It all feels sturdy, and doesn't seem to move around the kitchen when used due to rubber feet. The carry handles on the side are a nice touch too. Having a separate lid for one compartment is genius, as you can keep any smelly bin smells out of the kitchen when doing the recycling. The pedal has a quality feel, and then there is the soft close mechanism… very fancy. If you're a bit of a clumsy oaf, then take care with how much pressure you apply to the pedal as the smaller lid does go flying up when given some welly. It's a small gripe. No doubt they'll be adding a 'soft open' mechanism next! In all, this is a great life upgrade if you've been using the same old bin for years. You'll wonder why you waited so long."

Pros

  • Coloured bin for easy identification
  • Soft close
  • Dual operation so food waste can be contained
  • Carry handles

Cons

  • Be careful with pedal pressure
  • Quite expensive

Best for smaller recycling compartment

If your home is really trying to zero down on producing waste and focuses on buying recyclable products, you may prefer a bin that has one compartment larger than the other to accommodate this. The simplehuman 46 Litre bin is divided into a 30-litre and 16-litre bucket. You can access both at the same time with the single-pedal operation and their patented lid technology ensures a smooth, silent close every time.

Review: “Although not by any standard the cheapest refuse bin it is in my opinion by far the best I have come across. A good size but neither too big nor too small with plenty of room for both recycling material and rubbish. The soft closing feature is excellent and overall finish superb and no it does not show fingerprints and is easy to keep clean with just a wipe with a damp cloth. Overall very worth well buying and as a bonus it has a very long guarantee.”

Pros

  • Fingerprint-resistant
  • Soft close lid
  • Neat solution for households not producing equal rubbish/recycling

Cons

  • Dual open lid could result in bin smells escaping, even if just accessing recycling section

Best for special features

It may be expensive, but this recycling bin comes with 58-litres of bin space, ideal for busy families. Ever-so stylish in stainless steel, the bin has a strong and wide steel pedal with 'Lid Shox' technology for a smooth, silent close every time. Unlike other double bins, this pick features an innovative liner pocket that stores and dispenses liners from inside the bin. Perfect for freeing up kitchen drawer space and getting your liners changed in a jiffy.

Review: “Very glad I purchased this bin, thought it was quite expensive but it’s well worth the money. Perfect size, easy to clean the stainless steel with the anti-fingerprint. Also got me buying the bin bags to go inside, very happy.”

Pros

  • Handy pocket for bin bags
  • Carry handle for easy moving
  • Sleek finish
  • Quiet and soft close

Cons

  • Expensive

Best recycling bin for couples

Alternative retailers
Wayfair$183.99View offer
Saks Fifth Avenue$196.00View offer
Macy's$207.99View offer

With a total capacity of 33L, the Brabantia Bo Touch Bin is for a household looking to keep on top of recycling. It features a soft-touch opening system with a wide lid so it reduces any awkwardness when trying to scrape food or dispose of rubbish. The Bo Touch also comes with legs and adjustable feet to create a secure non-slip base, it means it's a lot higher and doesn't irritate your back when bending over. The room it creates means you can slip a storage basket underneath for bin bags so they're never too far away.

Tried & Tested by A Modern Kitchen: “The Brabantia Bo Touch has been a total gamechanger. The bin, which I chose in the platinum shade (dark grey), is wider than I would have ever considered but now it's in its rightful position it replaces any need for a separate food caddy or recycling bin. It’s entirely up to you what you want to use each compartment for especially if you have a larger household you may need all three compartments for rubbish, but for a single household this has made my kitchen life easier. I use small to medium-sized pedal bin bags which I usually only take out once a week. The touch top is extremely sensitive, so only a light tap to open it and a gentle push to close it is needed. It's a great investment, although it's a little tricky to clean inside the bin once the inner bins are removed however my vacuum does the job.”

Pros

  • Great for sorting recycling
  • Looks stylish and sleek
  • Plastic so no rusting

Cons

  • Touch-top is very sensitive
  • Difficult to clean

Best recycling bin with sensor

Style and technology are combined with this sensor bin by EKO DLX. Its Phantom Recycling Sensor Bin has as many bells and whistles as a rubbish bin can have and is at the higher end of the price scale. For almost £200, you get battery powered motion sensor for hands-free opening, but manual opening is also possible. The brushed stainless steel finish is also fingerprint-resistant and the dual opening lid with soft close hinges makes for gentle and quiet closing. Please be aware, though, this sensor bin requires six AA batteries to operate and they are not included.

Customer review: “I really love this product. Looks excellent and is very hygienic as no need to touch the bin lid anymore either. Works well and easy to dispense into each section non recycle and recycled.”

Pros

  • Modern and sleek,
  • Standard bin bags fit nicely
  • Compact despite capacity

Cons

  • Some found it closed a little too soon for their liking

FAQs

How Can I Recycle Better?

The best approach to recycling is to start with what you buy and where you shop. Many supermarkets are moving away from wrapping fruit and vegetables in single-use plastic, so take note of what you're putting in your shopping basket and always opt for something that you can easily recycle at home. Or take your own reusable produce bag with you to place your fruit and veg in.

If you've got the space and are not inclined to hoard, reusing glass jars or plastic pots to store odds and ends in will avoid sending them to landfill.

Make sure your bin is big enough for your household, there is no point in buying a small recycling bin for the kitchen as you will need to empty it more frequently. However, a smaller bin will mean no lingering smells if you are forced to empty it sooner – it's down to preference.

Most importantly and perhaps the biggest chore when it comes to recycling – cleaning what you are going to recycle. Items like cardboard and paper need to have any leftover plastic packing tape removed, and any food containers need to be rinsed and dried otherwise they may be classed as contaminated and won't be recycled.

What Can I Put In My Recycling Bin?

The following items can go in your recycling bin, as long as they’re clean, dry and loose – don’t tie them up in a plastic bag as that completely defeats the point:

• Cardboard

• Paper

• Foil

• Glass bottles and jars

• Metal cans and aerosols

• Food and drink cartons

• Plastic bottles and containers

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that recycling rules can vary across the UK so make sure to check what you can recycle locally – enter your postcode on the recyclenow website to find out more.

What Can I Put In A Food Waste Caddy?

If you have a garden and want to start composting then a food caddy bin is a great way to keep your food waste separate from your usual waste bin. It is also reduces smells because of the separation and every time you open your normal bin you won't get a whiff of leftovers from the night before.

Addis Everyday Kitchen Food Waste Compost Caddy Bin, 4.5 Litre
Price: $36.95

Joseph Joseph 30016 Intelligent Waste, Stack 4 Food Waste Caddy with Odour Filter

Rrp: $34.99

Price: $29.99
Alternative retailers
Macy's$29.99View offer
Wayfair$30.00View offer

Check with your local council to confirm if you have a separate food recycling operation, but food waste that can go in your caddy and is also suitable for composting are:

Meat and fish, including bones
Fruit and vegetables
Dairy products, including cheese, eggs and egg shells
Bread, cakes and pastries
Rice and pasta
Tea bags, tea leaves and coffee grounds
Used kitchen paper towels

Do NOT put these in the food bins: packaging of any kind, liquids, such as milk, oil and liquid fat, plastic bags, garden waste or any material that is not food waste.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us