Double Bin: Sort Your Rubbish And Recycling In One

Save on valuable kitchen space with recycling and waste in one place.

Double Bin: Sort Your Rubbish And Recycling In One

by Eleanor Weaver |
Updated on

We’re all doing our best to be more eco-conscious, splitting rubbish from recycling in our homes - which is why a double bin is a modern kitchen must. Whether that’s with two separate kitchen bins, by dumping cardboard by the fridge, or by using a reusable bag to decant recyclables in our outside recycling bin. It’s fair to say these methods aren’t the most efficient and quickly ruin a well-kept kitchen's aesthetic.

Best Double Bin At A Glance

Editor's Choice: John Lewis 2-Section Recycling Bin, 60L - View at John Lewis
Best sensor double bin: Tower Recycling Sensor Bin, 60L - View at Argos
Best for compact kitchens: Joseph Joseph Intelligent Waste Totem Compact Bin, 40L - View at John Lewis

To make being eco-friendly easier, we’d recommend kitting out your kitchen with a double bin. With dedicated compartments, you can separate rubbish from recycling or use it to split recyclables if you live in a stricter zone within the UK. Keep your cardboard from your stash of empty wine bottles and keep your kitchen looking its best. Or, you can grab a separate recycling bin for your kitchen.

Or, consider a sensor bin - a technological wonder. They're ideal if you hate dealing with the mess and want to stick your waste in the kitchen bin as quickly and efficiently as possible. Whether pedal bin or sensor-led, the right double bin for your home will depend on how much rubbish you throw away. Those of us following zero-waste lifestyles with mason jars full of pulses and metal shampoo bottles may have less to recycle. We’ve picked out the best double bins to meet your rubbish and recycling needs.

Best Double Bins

Editor's Choice

Pairing style and function, this John Lewis 2-Section Recycling Bin, 60L, features foot pedals for individual operation, a sleek, hard-wearing design, and soft-close lids. Perfect for getting going in the morning without the clang of bins waking the rest of your household. With handles embedded in the design, it's easy to move around and lightweight. It's available in s/steel, black, mid-grey, and cream.

Customer review: "This bin is very neat without impacting on the bin size. Big enough to hold your general kitchen waste and recycling without the feeling of the bin taking over the kitchen. Neat, easy on the eye and a reasonable price."


  • Individual pedal operation
  • Sleek design
  • Sturdy and reliable


  • Inner buckets aren't particularly strong

Best double bin for smaller households

Similar to the other John Lewis & Partners double bin featured earlier on our list, this John Lewis 2 Section Recycling Bin with Handles, 40L, has an independent pedal operation, a soft close lid, and handles for easy transportation. However, this pick comes with a different colour range and a smaller 40L capacity, best suited to smaller households. Available in stainless steel, black and grey.

Customer review: “Good size, functional and sleek. Closes and opens well - Recommended."


  • Easy to empty
  • Nice soft-close lids
  • Looks smart


  • Inner bins have no handles

Best sensor double bin

The Tower Recycling Sensor Bin, 60L allows you to assort your rubbish and recycling without even touching the bin - how nifty is that? The lid opens silently and automatically when it senses motion, leaving your hands free to juggle trash. Just remember to add the four AA batteries (not included). This bin has a smart black finish and includes a bin freshener holder to keep your bin smelling clean.

Customer review: “I bought this sensor bin last month and it’s great! We decided not to use the divider for recycling so the extra space is worth it. Love that it has a filter too!"


  • Zero-touch leaving you hands-free
  • Fingerprint-proof coating for a smart look
  • Removable lid makes emptying easy


  • Batteries are not included

Best for trapping bin smells

Speaking of bin fresheners, the EKO X Cube Recycling Bin, 40L, 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.

Customer 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.”


  • Coloured bin for easy identification
  • Deodorising compartment
  • Anti-bacterial, fingerprint-resistant coating


  • The stainless steel model is out of stock

Best for compact kitchens

Joseph Joseph Intelligent Waste Totem Compact Bin, 40L
Price: $149.99

If you're strapped for space, this double bin is arranged as a totem - one compartment on top of the other. This practical design takes up less floor space and gives you the double bin option. Simply pull out the bottom bin like a drawer to access. This bin also features a ventilated odour filter in the main lid and, as a fab bonus compared to other bins, features a 3L removable food waste caddy. This Joseph Joseph Intelligent Waste Totem Compact Bin, 40L, is also available in stone and in larger capacities.

Customer review: “This is a brilliant bin! Everything about it has been so well designed. It looks neat and does not take up much space in the kitchen but can hold a lot of recycling and rubbish. The bottom section wheels out so smoothly and neatly. The compartment for the food waste sits neatly in the bin and hooks onto the side of the bin if you are lining the top section. The air freshener seems to do the trick too. It's the best bin ever! Expensive but you get what you pay for."


  • Ventilated odour filter to help reduce odour
  • Option to customise with caddy
  • Easy-to-clean powder-coated steel finish


  • Recommended bin liners are a tad too small

Best for smaller recycling compartment

Simplehuman 46 Litre Rectangular Recycle Bin

Rrp: $149.99

Price: $139.99

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 Rectangular Recycle Bin, 46L, 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.

Customer review: “The compartments inside are a good size, each inner bin is easily removable and has an air vent near the bottom allowing for the bin bag to filled and not puff up like other bins. Opening mechanism is really smooth, and looks good."


  • Fingerprint-resistant
  • Silent, soft close lid
  • Non-skid base


  • Lid lock is a little stiff

Best for value

SONGMICS Dual Rubbish Bin, 2 x 30L
Price: £129.99 (was £149.99)

Offering 60 litres overall, this double bin is fantastic value for larger households. With an elegant black finish and stainless steel details, this SONGMICS Dual Rubbish Bin, 2 x 30L, features foot pedal operation, an airtight seal to trap smells, and an anti-drip system for the cleanup of wet objects. It's soft-close and has handles, and in this bundle, you get six rolls of 120 refuse sacks included.

Customer review: “I’m extremely pleased with this. The quality is superb and it has a great finish. It really has finished off my kitchen. I also like the smell before the bins as they need changing just before they get smelly. I tried using normal black bin bags but this caused problems for the lids to close. So it is best to get more bags.”


  • Bin bags included
  • Internal compartments easy to remove
  • Individual lid operation


  • Hard to find supermarket liners that fit as well as those provided

Best for special features

If you're after the crème de la crème of kitchen double bins, this is the pick for you. It may be expensive, but the Simplehuman 58 Litre Recycler 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.

Customer 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.”


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


  • Some customers think this overpriced

OUR VERDICT: Which Is The Best Double Bin?

The right double bin for you completely depends on your requirements as a household. However, if we had to pick one, it would be the John Lewis 2-Section Recycling Bin, 60L.

Pairing style and substance, we're a big fan of the individual pedals for compartment access, helping to prevent bad smells from escaping if you're just trying to recycle. At 60 litres, it's a great size for larger households but, for the price, would be well-suited to mid-sized households too. Durable, easy to manoeuvre, and available in trendy colours, it would be a welcome addition to our kitchens.

Buyers Guide

There are some key features to look out for:


A 30-40 litre bin is good for small households, a 40-50 litre bin is ideal for families of two to four, whilst a bin with a capacity of 50+ is best for larger households who produce a lot of kitchen waste. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that, with a double bin, one side will be assigned to recycling.


The most common materials for kitchen bins are plastic and stainless steel, with most double bins being made of the latter. This also happens to be the best material to look for in your kitchen bin – it’s sturdy, fire- and odour-resistant, and easy to clean.


While we get that a bin isn’t meant to be pretty, we think choosing a bin that suits your kitchen aesthetic helps it fit into your home and makes it much more appealing to look at. We’ve found a range of designs and colours so hopefully, you can find one that fits right in with your kitchen cabinets or appliances.


There are three main types of lid mechanisms available: lift-off, foot pedal control, and sensor. Lids that are operated with a foot pedal or sensor are much more hygienic as they require zero hand contact. Foot pedal-operated double bins are the most popular, with options for a single or double pedal for individual bucket access, whilst sensor double bins are more rare and more expensive.


Some double bins come with added extras which you might find incredibly useful in a bin. This could include having an odour filter to eradicate smells, handles, or a small food waste caddy included in the build for areas where you need to separate food waste. These added extras may result in a more expensive bin so consider the need for these when buying your double bin.


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:




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.

Why does my bin smell?

Banish those nasty smells that emanate from your bins, especially after a warm day. As well as making sure your bin is regularly emptied, it’s also important to regularly disinfect both your indoor and outdoor bins.

It's probably odd to think of cleaning the one spot where you throw away rubbish but it's certainly a must to get rid of those smells and give you peace of mind that your kitchen and household bins are hygienically clean. Products like spray disinfectant and antibacterial wipes are ideal.

We recommend an eco-friendly cleaning product.

Zoflora’s Multipurpose Disinfectant Cleaner which you can spray until a light coverage is achieved, before wiping down to remove grease and grime. Then in between bin cleans, use Zoflora Wipes in our favourite scent, Rhubard an Cassis, to eliminate malodours and leave behind a beautiful fragrance.

What size double bin do I need?

As a general rule, small households of two to three people, or homes that don’t produce a lot of waste, should opt for a bin that’s 30-40 litres. Families of four to five should choose a bin that 40-50 litres with larger households looking for sizes above this.

Eleanor Weaver was the Deputy Homes & Garden Product Editor for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in kitchen accessories and appliances, including washing machines and microwaves. Having been a renter for a decade now, she loves looking for home inspiration in her spare time and is a master of DIY.

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