Why are kitchen trash cans so expensive?

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Even though trash cans are just bins that are used to keep trash over a short period they can be bloody expensive. If you are looking for a trash can for your kitchen you can find some inexpensive, plastic ones that cost between $20 to $40. But many popular models (13 gallon-sized ones) come with a price tag averaging at $100 while some premium models cost up to $400.

Now, what is so precious about these trash containers that people are willing to shed hundreds of dollars for? If you have ever come across any lists of best kitchen trash cans they all have some much-loved features which are the reasons for this higher cost. Here are they;

Build quality

Compared to office cubicle trash cans which are mostly used to keep paper pieces, kitchen trash cans need to be of better build quality. This is because these trash cans often come in contact with moisture, and their build needs to withstand it. Besides, they should be built to hold up heavy bags as food wastes are usually much heavier since they have water content. Some of the most expensive trash cans are made from stainless steel that’s fingerprint-proof so that the can always looks pretty. Plus, stainless steel is sturdier and much more durable in the long run than plastic, and it won’t absorb odors. That being said, most good quality kitchen trash cans have two bins; an outer one made of stainless steel and an inner bin made of high-quality plastic. Also a garbage bag is placed in the inner bin. The use of high-quality materials and an additional bin is one reason why many kitchen trash cans are expensive.

Premium looks & Style

In most kitchens the trash cans are placed in plain view. Nobody wants them to look ugly. You can, of course, buy under cabinet trash cans but those are not an option for many. Therefore people buy trash cans that have a premium look. In most cases these bins are made of stainless steel, and many of them come with fingerprint-resistant coatings to avoid smudges and fingerprints.

For those in small apartments, there often isn’t room for trash cans in the kitchen cabinets or hall closets, which means the garbage will be sitting out in the open. For this reason, people spend a little more on the ones that look much nicer.

Also the lids of these garbage cans are specially designed to hide the bin liner from view. So many of these models have two lids; one to take out and install the bin liner, and another to add trash. All these features and design tweaks are one more reason why many kitchen garbage cans are expensive.

Opening and closing mechanisms

The days of trash cans with simple lid opening mechanisms are long gone. Trash cans now use different types of opening mechanisms ranging from foot pedals to voice activations. The most common types are step trash cans where the lid is opened with a press of a foot pedal. Many kitchen trash cans of this type are tested to withstand up to 1,50,000 footsteps, so just imagine the level of build quality and the cost associated with it. Moreover these lids don’t jump open and hit the wall behind. Most of these trash cans come with specially designed lids that stop at a few millimeters away from the wall to avoid this unpleasantness.

Moreover, the closing mechanisms of these kitchen trash cans use air-dampeners to avoid the sudden closing of the lids. This means that the lids will close slow and steady without making a sound.

There are also touchless models; the ones you can open with just a wave of your hand. The incorporation of such complex lid opening and closing mechanisms makes most kitchen trash cans expensive to buy.


This isn’t as common a feature, but many people will pay extra money for this. Some models have a carbon deodorizer, which keeps the receptacle smelling nice no matter what garbage is in it. If this sounds like something you’d need, you’re probably already getting your wallet out to buy one.

Use of advance technology

Trash cans powered by technology to make life simpler and safer will cost you more but for sure will make your life easier as well at the same time.

For instance, you can have touch free experience with Simplehuman’s stainless steel rectangular kitchen sensor trash can with voice and motion sensor. You just need to say ‘Open Can’ or simply ‘wave your hand’ and lid will open smoothly and you won’t head a thing. Nano silver coating further prevents fingerprints and prevents from spreading of germs.

Ease of trash removal

Another indispensable feature for a trash can is the ease of trash removal. In the case of many trash cans the trash bags get sucked in while pulling them out. But many ones designed for the kitchen use special technologies to facilitate easy trash removal. A few holes under the bottom of the trash bins will do the trick, however, this is not feasible due to increased chances of leakage from the trash.