where to put a bin in a small kitchen

Finding a convenient and out-of-the-way floor space for your bin can be difficult when you have a small-sized kitchen. You may not have much room to work with, but having trash cans in your kitchen is handy for keeping your home spaces clean and organised.

There are a variety of locations where you can tuck a bin in your kitchen. Some of these options will keep the bin in plain view, while others will have it hiding from sight. Each location where to put a bin in a small kitchen has its own set of pros and cons, so you may need to take time and decide which location is best for your small kitchen.

This article will look at various storage spots, drawers or sink cabinets you can hide a waste bin in so it is practical and convenient in your food preparation area, yet not taking up too much space on the overall kitchen layout.

Using Wasted Spaces

Many kitchens, even small-sized ones, have some form of wasted space. There could be a narrow gap between appliances and countertops, or there may be a shelf that has nothing in it. Taking a minute to look around your kitchen may expose many potential spots kitchen bins would fit perfectly into.

a neatly hidden trash can

Between Stove and Fridge

Some kitchens have a few gaps here and there between certain appliances or the countertops. For example, you may notice a gap between your stove and refrigerator or between the cabinet’s end and the wall.

These narrow spaces may be a cool and attractive spot for a tall and skinny bin to fill. It’s a great way to use wasted space and keep the bin within arm’s reach when you are preparing food and need to toss food waste into a compost container.


  • Very out of the way location
  • Pets and children cannot knock it over easily


  • This solution will require a narrow and tall bin that may be difficult to find

In an Unused Corner

Almost every area in your house probably has a corner currently not being used. Corners are a great option for small square or round rubbish bins.

You can even use a corner to hold multiple bins for trash, recyclable items, and compost food waste materials. 


  • Makes use of commonly wasted space
  • Keeps the trash bin or recycling bins in a convenient location


  • Leaves the waste bins in easy reach of children and pets

At the End of a Counter

If you use a rectangle-shaped trash bin, placing it at the end of the counter or kitchen cabinets is an excellent location if you have enough space. It keeps the waste bin in an easy-to-reach spot when you need to throw something away and utilises space that may normally be wasted.

You can also get creative and decorate the trash cans in this spot to fit in with your kitchen design. Consider using fabric or contact paper to make the trash bin blend in and look more appealing if you so choose.


  • Keeps the rubbish bin close and within easy reach
  • Perfect kitchen space for rectangle-shaped bins


  • Pets and children can easily reach the bins.

Keeping It Discreet

If you prefer to keep your bins in a discreet or hidden location to make the entire kitchen look tidy, there are various options, even in small-sized kitchens!

For example, you may be able to place your bins in the pantry unit or under-sink cabinet, or perhaps you can use a free-standing piece of furniture to hide it.

drawers and cabinets

Pull-Out Bins

A widespread storage option for having a lid-free bin in your small-sized kitchen but keeping it discreet would be to place it under the sink so you can pull it out like a drawer. It will be hidden by the cabinet doors and can allow for larger bins or multiple compartments to be placed to allow for trash and food waste sorting.

You may need to look for a cabinet bin holder unit that slides out like a drawer and holds your bins in place. This is an easy-to-install unit of cabinet hardware that makes it extremely simple for you to add, remove or change your bins in a matter of minutes.


  • Keeps the kitchen bin unit completely concealed from children and pets
  • Allows for multiple bins for recycling, food waste compost or general trash


  • May restrict the height of the kitchen bin you can use

Tilt-Out Bins

This unit of discreet bins is similar to the pull-out cabinet bins, but it requires a bit more hardware installation. Additionally, it can be found in free-standing pieces of furniture such as a cooking sideboard, serving platform, small island counter, or rolling cutting board, or it can be used as a built-in bin behind a cupboard door.

Tilt-out kitchen bin options make it extremely easy for you when you need to change the bin bag or take out the trash. Also, trash odours are fully contained and won’t offend you or your guests.


  • It fully contains odours behind the cabinet door
  • Provides ease of access when removing the bin bag


  • Requires a specific hardware installation to allow your bin to tilt or pull out

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of stainless steel bins?

When compared to plastic bins, stainless steel is much better for hygiene, making them an excellent option in the kitchen around food and other rooms of your home where waste germs can be a concern.

Waste odours and bacteria can’t permeate stainless steel, keeping your kitchen much cleaner and odour free. Stainless steel is also straightforward to sanitise, which can help keep your kitchen tidy.

Is it easy to install pull-out or tilt-out bin hardware?

Yes, in many cases, this project will take a short amount of time and require only basic tools, making it a great DIY option for experienced and non-experienced. If you purchase a pull-out or tilt-out bin hardware kit, you will receive the bin holder and slide or tilt runners that can be installed inside your storage cabinet.

Instructions are easy to follow, and you shouldn’t spend more than a single afternoon on the project. Slide-out hardware will normally be installed in a drawer fashion under your countertops and behind the cabinet door. In contrast, tilt-out hardware will be installed in a way that you pull outward and slightly down for the kitchen bin to be visible. However, both options may limit the use of a lid on your bin.

The Right Spot

While having a small-sized kitchen may seem like it would limit your options in putting a bin in a small kitchen, chances are it won’t!

Consider placing your kitchen bin in a cabinet, cupboard, or other storage area. Unused corners are excellent options as well. Whether you decide to display or mount your recycling or trash bin, keeping it handy is essential to make cooking and cleaning easier.

Do you now have an idea where to put a bin in a small kitchen like yours? Take a minute to explore your kitchen and see if you can find a storage area that would create a perfect spot for your waste bin.

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