It may be a mundane subject but the issue of waste management within todays kitchen is growing and one that cannot be overlooked when designing and planning a kitchen.
The days of a peddle bin in the corner which gets shuffled out of the way to access a cabinet are thankfully behind us and these days all of my clients require the waste bins to be hidden within the kitchen design. There is, like most things in modern life, a large choice in sizes and also methods to integrate the waste collection system within a kitchen, so lets get started by looking at these…
The first option is the original and most basic method, which is to fit a bin or frame to the interior of the cabinet door. The main problem with this system is that the bins are usually very small and while it’s better than nothing and OK for a small kitchen or office tea point it’s not suitable for a family kitchen.
The second method is for the bins to be fitted to a frame that in turn is fixed to the cabinet. The kitchen user then opens the door and pulls out the bins. While this system is an improvement on the first and usually comes with at least two bins for recycling alongside general waste they are still not ideal because the user has to do two operations, usually with rubbish in their hands and it all gets a bin awkward and usually messy. The other disadvantage to this method is that the runners are generally not soft-close and can be a bit clunky.However it is the only way to get a seriously large bin into a kitchen cabinet which some people favour. This one below has a huge 40 litre capacity.
The next two options are very similar and only really differentiated by the door fixing method. These systems work as a complete pullout door or drawer and can hold a lot more waste and have a huge amount of capacity variations. One of the main advantages is they open with one operation and the various bins are right in front of you. The other advantage is they use the drawer system already employed in the rest of the kitchen design which allows for continuity and soft-close systems. They also come in a large range of widths up to 1000 mm and usually have an arrangement to suit most families. One fairly recent innovation and accessory is the electronic push-open system mentioned on a previous Blog while it is still fairly expensive it is a great system and one that is now made by other manufacturers other than Blum.
The first of the two fixing methods is to fix the door to the drawer sides at the base of the cabinet. The bins are then fitted into a standard drawer base and can be moved or changed in arrangement by the user. The disadvantage to this is that it is generally harder to clean the area and also the action of pulling open the door at the top while the fixings are at the bottom can mean the door has some flex and the fixings could weaken in time.
The second fixing option is when the bins sit in a frame that is fixed to the door much higher up as the bins hang in their frame. This gives a much more secure fixing and also means the bin area can be kept clean more easily. The disadvantage is the maximum cabinet width is 600 mm and they come in standard arrangements.
When it comes to choosing which cabinet to place the bins in my favorite arrangement is to have them to the left or right of the sink with the dishwasher on the other side. This gives the kitchen user the perfect position to stand at the sink and use the bins and load the dishwasher without moving too far. This helps with the speed and ease of an operation that everyone wants to get done as quickly and simply as possible.