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Stylish Stainless Steel Trash Cans for the Kitchen 2015 | Recycling & Touchless Options

Updated on June 9, 2015

Top-Rated Waste Bins at a Range of Prices

Kitchen trash cans may not be the most glamorous purchase you'll ever make but every kitchen needs one and there is a wide array of options to choose from at a variety of price points.

The trash cans vary in material, finish, price, mechanism, colour and size, so first decide where you would like to position the can in your kitchen, then decide how big you need it to be. Next, decide a budget, then lastly search for the best 'look' that will suit your current kitchen décor best.

New technology means there are some interesting options in the lid-opening mechanism, from the simple swing-shut lids, to touchless lids, motion sensors, infrared, foot pedals and super soft-closing lids. Below I have listed my favorite 15 options in price order, with all of them receiving very good reviews on Amazon. They includes fabulous retro styles, different colors, different stainless steel finishes and a few other interesting functions.

I hope you find what you are looking for :)

Image credit: Amazon (see below for details).

See The Trash Cans In Action!

A Counter Top Option - $19

This mini trash can can be kept on a kitchen table and is ideal for putting food wrappers and scraps into. I would find it very handy for keeping next to a coffee maker for throwing used paper filters into, or for putting used tea bags into without having to carry them all of the way over to the main bin whilst they're dripping wet.

The can is also portable so would be useful to take camping or keep in the car for long journeys.

simplehuman Countertop Trash Can, Brushed Stainless Steel, 1.5 L / 0.40 Gal
simplehuman Countertop Trash Can, Brushed Stainless Steel, 1.5 L / 0.40 Gal

This mini trash can can be kept on a kitchen table and is ideal for putting food wrappers and scraps into, and would be very handy for keeping next to a coffee maker, or using at your next party or special event. The can is also portable so would be useful to take camping or keep in the car for long journeys.

The swinging lid is opened easily and can be lifted straight off to empty the contents. The finish is a lovely brushed stainless steel with a fingerprint-proof finish to keep it looking clean. The inside lining is smooth plastic so any mess can easily be wiped with a cloth to remove. The volume is 1.5 Liters/ .4 Gallons and the can measures 5" x 5" x 7.4"(H).

 

Small Step Trash Can - $26

This round trash can has a fun retro design and is ideal for small spaces or for other rooms besides the kitchen, such as the office or bathroom. I think it's a cool choice for an affordable price, and is versatile in it's usage.

simplehuman Round Retro Step Trash Can, Black Steel, 4.5 L / 1.2 Gal
simplehuman Round Retro Step Trash Can, Black Steel, 4.5 L / 1.2 Gal

The exterior is black steel with a domed lid and silver side handles, whilst on the inside there is a hard plastic bucket which lifts out and makes it really easy to empty the contents.

There is a strong, high-polished step pedal which is depressed with your foot to open the lid, and the capacity of the can is 4.5 liters/1.2 gallons. The overall dimensions are 12.2" x 9.8" x 8.6".

Attractive modern appearance and a quality that will last many years.

 

Infrared Touchless Trash Can - $40

This smart stainless steel trash can has an infrared motion sensor on the top which means you just need to move your hand over the top (within 10" of the sensor) to open the lid. This hands-free operation is handy and hygienic, not to mention fun to play with!

NINESTARS DZT-8-1 The Original Automatic Motion Sensor Trash Can, 2.1 Gal. / 8 L., Stainless Steel
NINESTARS DZT-8-1 The Original Automatic Motion Sensor Trash Can, 2.1 Gal. / 8 L., Stainless Steel

Cans with lids are a must-have in any kitchen because they hide the waste out of sight and trap all of the food odors inside. Of course the downside with lids is that you have to touch them to open them, but that's why touchless trash cans like this one are so useful; you don't even need to touch the lid to open it.

The size of this product is 13.7" (H) x 7.2" x 11.3", with a 2.1 gallon capacity, and the stainless steel is 'anti-fingerprint' to help prevent messy fingerprints on the silver finish.

1 year warranty included.

 

Brushed Stainless Steel Waste Bin - $55

This cylindrical trash can is sleek in appearance and has a lovely brushed stainless steel exterior. The black plastic lid is lifted by stepping on the foot pedal at the base of can, which is built to last for an incredible 150,000 steps!

simplehuman Round Step Trash Can, Stainless Steel, Plastic Lid, 30 L / 8 Gal
simplehuman Round Step Trash Can, Stainless Steel, Plastic Lid, 30 L / 8 Gal

The easy-to-control lid opens to a vertical position so that it doesn't get in the way at all whilst you're using it, and then when the foot pedal is released, the lid actually falls slowly and silently to a close unlike a lot of trash cans which slam shut.

The black plastic lid won't show up fingerprints and the whole construction is durable, lightweight and simple to keep clean.

The size of the can is 23.8" x 15.4" x 12", and it has a 30 liter capacity.

 

Pull-Out Trash Can - $60

This sturdy, well-built trash can is stored inside a cupboard or cabinet, letting you hide away your waste tidily - a neat solution whilst also being a great space-saver.

simplehuman Under-Counter Pull-Out Trash Can, Commercial Grade, 30 L / 8 Gal
simplehuman Under-Counter Pull-Out Trash Can, Commercial Grade, 30 L / 8 Gal

This sturdy, well-built trash can is stored inside a cupboard or cabinet, letting you hide away your waste tidily - a neat solution whilst also being a great space-saver.

The can glides in and out of your kitchen cupboard on smooth ball-bearing tracks, and even better, it's so easy to install with just 4 screws (included) being used to attach the 1-piece metal track to the inside of your cabinet. The can is also able to be pulled fully out of the cabinet when needed so that it's exceptionally easy to use and change the bags. Measures 20" x 19" x 10" inches.

 

Touchless Lid-Opening Can - $60

This is a brilliant price for a stainless steel trash can, and this one even incorporates the use of motion sensors so that you don't even need to touch the lid to open it - clever! This means that you can use the bin even if you have both of your hands full, and the touchless operation means that there won't be fingerprints and dirt on the steel finish, and also there will be no cross-contamination of bacteria.

NINESTARS DZT-50-9 The Original Touchless Automatic Motion Sensor Trash Can, 13.2 Gal. / 50 L., Stainless Steel
NINESTARS DZT-50-9 The Original Touchless Automatic Motion Sensor Trash Can, 13.2 Gal. / 50 L., Stainless Steel

This is a brilliant price for a stainless steel trash can, and this one even incorporates the use of motion sensors so that you don't even need to touch the lid to open it - clever! This means that you can use the bin even if you have both of your hands full, and the touchless operation means that there won't be a probably with fingerprints and dirt on the steel finish, and also there will be no cross-contamination of bacteria.

The lid has a compartment which requires 3 "C" batteries (not included) to be inserted, and once this is done you just need to wave your hand over the top and the lid pops open smoothly, and 3 seconds after you move away from the trash can, the lid will automatically close. Energy saving technology keeps the battery working for longer too, so you shouldn't need to replace them more than once or twice a year.

The can has a 13 gallon volume and measures 11.4" x 16.2" x 28.4" inches.

 

Large Red Hands-Free Trash Can - $90

This huge 48 liter trash can is available in a black, white or red color, and has a motion sensor lid to allow it to open without direct contact. I love the bold red color of this one.

Dual Chamber Recycler - $90

This option is very similar in operation to the other touchless trash can by 'Nine Stars' displayed above, however this version has two sections inside - allowing you to separate regular trash from your recyclable waste. This is in fact the World's first hands-free recycle unit for the home.

NINESTARS DZT-70-11R The Original Touchless Automatic Motion Sensor Trash Can/Recycler, 18.5 Gal. / 70 L., Stainless Steel
NINESTARS DZT-70-11R The Original Touchless Automatic Motion Sensor Trash Can/Recycler, 18.5 Gal. / 70 L., Stainless Steel

This option is very similar in operation to the above trash can, however this version has two sections inside - allowing you to separate regular trash from your recyclable waste. This is in fact the World's first hands-free recycle unit for the home.

The receptacle is also low maintenance due to the fingerprint-proof finish and plastic lining for super easy cleaning. The modern look of the stainless steel makes this a very stylish bit of kit for the home and will fit in effortlessly with most kitchen decor.

The lid is automatic for high marks in user-friendliness.

Requires 4 x "D" batteries. 18.5 gallon capacity, and the can measures 13" x 21.3" x 26.2".

 

Stylish Retro Bin - $100

If it's possible for a trash can to be attractive, then this sleek red bin definitely is! It has a retro stylized round body made from steel, and is a lovely bold red to add a burst of color to your kitchen.

simplehuman Round Retro Step Trash Can, Red Steel, 30 L / 8 Gal
simplehuman Round Retro Step Trash Can, Red Steel, 30 L / 8 Gal

This tall and slender can has retro flair but quality modern features, and is available in a variety of eye-catching colors. The lid opens using an all-steel pedal which is built to last for 20 years - at 20 steps a day! - and is designed to close very softly and gently after use.

The stylish and elegant design would particularly suit shabby chic, country and farmhouse kitchen decor, and is a great alternative to the more usual silver and black options.

Has a capacity of 8 gallons and a size of 15.1" x 13.9" x 27.3".

 

For Large Families or Busy Kitchens - $110

Extra large and super convenient stainless steel bullet trash can, ideal for busy kitchens and large families. It's a sturdy build so very hard to knock over and the wide opening allows disposal of bulky items without dealing with a swing lid.

simplehuman Bullet Open Top Trash Can, Commercial Grade, Heavy Gauge Stainless Steel, 60 L / 16 Gal
simplehuman Bullet Open Top Trash Can, Commercial Grade, Heavy Gauge Stainless Steel, 60 L / 16 Gal

Extra large and super convenient stainless steel bullet trash can, ideal for busy kitchens and large families. It's a sturdy build so very hard to knock over and the wide opening allows disposal of bulky items without dealing with a swing lid.

It's a tough can which can withstand a lot of wear and tear from kids and/or pets, and there are no lid-opening mechanisms that can be damaged or broken over time. Not only is it designed to last you for years and years, it's great looking too!

The can has a capacity of 60 liters/13 gallons so it holds a large amount of waste before the garbage bag needs changing, and the dimensions are 16" x 30" x 16".

 

Advantages of Stainless Steel Trash Cans

As you will see from the products on this page, stainless steel is the most popular material for trash cans, with plastic being used for the most inexpensive options.

So why is stainless steel the material of choice? Well the main reason is that it is hygienic; being easy to clean and also resistant to absorbing the odors from garbage. And like other applications of stainless steel, the fact that it is a sturdy metal whilst not being susceptible to rusting is a great advantage.

Another 'pro' of this material is that it naturally has an attractive look. Stainless steel looks great either in a polished finish or a brushed finish, and lends itself to sleek, elegant designs. It is clean looking, modern, and fits in well with nearly all kitchen décor. A steel can doesn't just perform a function, it looks good too.

The brushed steel finish seems to be the most popular because the matte surface is easier to maintain (compared to a shiny finish), and it hides scratches much better.

Due to the fact that the material is so well suited to the job, there is a lot of choice when it comes to designs and products, so you can find the one that is just right for your needs.

Although stainless steel has mostly advantages, it is probably worth bearing in mind the possible disadvantages too, so that you can make an informed choice:

- Expense: This material is used on higher-end trash cans, not the very cheapest, but you can still certainly find very affordable cans made from steel. It's not such a large cost difference compared to plastic, and I think the extra cost is worth it for a more stylish, durable product.

- Fingerprints: This is more of an issue on polished steel rather than the brushed steel, but (especially with kids) it can be necessary to give the steel a quick clean on a regular basis. However, this is much less of a problem if the lid is plastic, or if you do not need to touch the can at all (except when changing the bag). This is why pedal lids and electronic 'touchless' cans are so popular; on touchless models, a motion sensor leads to the opening of the lid, and therefore eliminates the need for you to touch any part of the surface.

- Can be dented so shouldn't be used roughly or put outdoors. Dents can be mostly knocked out but not completely.

One-Touch Trash Can - $120

A 10 year guarantee included in this purchase shows you the quality and durability expected of this trash can, and the removable inner bucket makes it very easy to clean and simple to remove the garbage bags too.

Brabantia Touch Bin, 7 Gal / 30L, Matte Steel Finger Print Proof
Brabantia Touch Bin, 7 Gal / 30L, Matte Steel Finger Print Proof

A 10 year guarantee included in this purchase shows you the quality and durability expected of this product, and the removeable inner bucket makes it very easy to clean and easy to remove the garbage bags too.

The lid has a one-touch opening mechanism, so a light touch on top of the lid is all that is needed to open it, and then you simply close it when you have finished. The design is a narrow space-saving size and is available in attractive colors.

The capacity is 30 liters/6.5 gallons and measures 12" x 11.9" x 29.9".

 

Swing-Top Steel Trash Can - $130

Solid and sturdy stainless steel can with a 'brushed' finish and a swing-top lid which you push down lightly on either side in order to dispose of any garbage. The lid then automatically closes.

simplehuman Swing Top Trash Can, Commercial Grade, Stainless Steel, 55 L / 14.5 Gal
simplehuman Swing Top Trash Can, Commercial Grade, Stainless Steel, 55 L / 14.5 Gal

Solid and sturdy stainless steel can with a 'brushed' finish and a swing-top lid which you push down lightly on either side in order to dispose of any garbage. The lid then automatically closes.

The unit allows for quick and simple bag changing, and the minimalist design looks very sleek. This trash can is perfect for large families, as the capacity is 14.5 gallons; a bit larger than the norm.

Dimensions are 15" x 15" x 29".

 

Butterfly Lid Pedal Bin - $160

It may be an expensive option but it's also top-rated on Amazon as one of the best available, and has excellent quality parts including an all-steel foot pedal built to last 20 years (at 20 steps a day), and patented technology that closes the lid softly and silently every time.

simplehuman Butterfly Step Trash Can, Stainless Steel, 45 L / 11.9 Gal
simplehuman Butterfly Step Trash Can, Stainless Steel, 45 L / 11.9 Gal

It may be an expensive option but it's also top-rated on Amazon as one of the best available, and has excellent quality parts including an all-steel foot pedal built to last 20 years (at 20 steps a day), and patented technology that closes the lid softly and silently every time.

The high-end trash can has an elegant butterfly opening which is a split lid design, and this takes up minimal space when opened. There is also a catch to keep the can open if you want to use it for a prolonged period of time. The split lid as well as the rectangular shape allow this can to be a smart space-saving solution for tight spaces, and it is certainly made to last for many years.

The capacity is 45 liters/12.5 gallons and the dimensions are 23.3" x 10.4" x 26".

 

Rectangular Recycler in Brushed Stainless Steel - $175

This high quality can has both a trash and a recycling section inside, each with their own container. A good size for a small household, it is sturdy and has a well-thought-out design.

simplehuman Rectangular Step Recycler, Fingerprint-Proof Brushed Stainless Steel, 46-Liter /12-Gallon
simplehuman Rectangular Step Recycler, Fingerprint-Proof Brushed Stainless Steel, 46-Liter /12-Gallon

If it's possible for a trash can to be attractive, then this sleek red bin definitely is! It has a retro stylized round body, made from high-grade steel, and is a lovely metallic tomato red to add a burst of color to your kitchen.

A sturdy and durable build, this can is corrosion resistant and features an innovative plastic bucket inside which accomodates a can liner without any of the messy bag edges showing on the outside. The lid is opened with a foot pedal .

Measures 13.8" x 13.8" x 29.7".

 

White Rectangular Step-On Can - $180

This appealing design would particularly suit shabby chic, country and farmhouse kitchen décor, and is a good size even for smaller spaces. The bright white finish gives a really elegant appearance.

Safco Products 9905WH Squared Step-On Waste Receptacle, 13-Gallon, White
Safco Products 9905WH Squared Step-On Waste Receptacle, 13-Gallon, White

This trash can has been designed to have perfectly squared corners unlike most other rectangular shaped cans, which allows it to be placed neatly into a corner of the kitchen, out of the way.

The lid is opened with a pedal and glides smoothly down again to close. A fingerprint-proof exterior helps keep the product looking as good as new for many years, and even for a trash can it's quite pretty!

Measures 25.5" x 11.5" x 19.5" in size.

 

Just A Few More Options... - 3 Inexpensive Waste Baskets and Eco-Friendly Grocery Bag Holders

InterDesign Axis Over the Cabinet Wastebasket Trash Can or Storage Basket for Kitchen - Chrome
InterDesign Axis Over the Cabinet Wastebasket Trash Can or Storage Basket for Kitchen - Chrome

Stylish and strong metal wire waste basket which you simply hang onto a door in your kitchen to install.

 
Kitchen Art 18530 Scrap Trap With Scraper, Plastic, White
Kitchen Art 18530 Scrap Trap With Scraper, Plastic, White

Perfect for cooks who want convenience and perhaps lack surface space, this food bin allows you to simply sweep food scraps into it from your work surface.

 
Spectrum Diversified Over-The-Cabinet Door Trash Bag Holder, White
Spectrum Diversified Over-The-Cabinet Door Trash Bag Holder, White

A white colored steel product which fixes onto cabinet doors and allows you to re-use plastic grocery bags to put your trash in, therefore helping you be eco-friendly.

 

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