The kitchen is often the heart of the home, where we spend most of our active time. It is essential that it’s a place where the family likes spending time together. One element that can detract from a pleasant kitchen experience is a messy bin. Garbage bins can be the source of pesky annoyances, but unfortunately, no kitchen can do without them. A few adjustments to the kitchen setup can ensure a healthy and happy bin system.
Here are our essential tips for efficient trash organisation:
Consider your Kitchen Layout
To implement the perfect kitchen trash system for your home, you need to consider the room layout first. An ideal kitchen layout is one where the preparation, cooking and cleaning zones are separate but within a few steps from the other. The best place for a bin is in the cleaning zone; far enough from fresh food, but near the exit to make taking it out as well as recycling easier.
Outside the Kitchen
Organising and controlling kitchen waste does not end in the kitchen. An effective trash system extends to the outside bin and then to the recycling collectors. Ensure that the movement of waste is as smooth and efficient as possible. Garbage should move in a clear line from the preparation area to the bin, then to the outside bin and onward to municipal collection. This means that the large bin outside should be relatively near the house and have a clear path to move to the collection point. Avoid placing any landscaping, steps or any other obstacle in its way.
Keep a healthy trash system by ensuring the garbage is taken out regularly. To do this on a daily basis is ideal but not essential. It is also essential to ensure that the bin is clean. Use biodegradable bin-liners and clean the container weekly by giving the outside a rub down followed by a monthly disinfectant clean. Follow the same cleansing routine for the outside bin. If you form a healthy cleaning habit, trash cans will not become disgusting and unhygienic or unsightly.
A larger family will naturally require a bigger bin and bin system. If you have to take out the trash more than once a day, consider trying a two-bin system. One bin is used for dry goods and another for wet waste like leftover food, vegetable peels and egg shells. Smaller households should stick to small bins, or continue to take out the trash regularly to ensure a healthy kitchen environment.
A great way to keep the bin situation neat and tidy is to hide it. A built-in bin is an easy and inexpensive way to free up floor space and organise the kitchen. Small and medium-sized containers can be fitted to a cabinet door to pivot, slide or swing open as the door opens. Another option is to install a countertop with a lidded waste shoot, with the bin hidden in the cabinet below. A fitted bin is an aesthetically pleasing alternative that is less likely to contaminate the kitchen as it remains closed most of the time.
Recycling is crucial for the health of our planet as landfills have proven an unsustainable practice, which means we are obliged to start reducing, reusing and recycling. Implementing an earth-friendly waste system in the kitchen is easy and near effortless. It can even start with simple changes like using your leftover ingredients to make delicious meals.
Because paper, plastic and glass don’t naturally decompose, you can fit three recycling bins in the pantry if space allows, or position them outside. Bigger kitchens can benefit from a built-in multiple-bin. Use a small garbage bin for things that are 100% waste, to encourage you to buy less of those items and motivate recycling. If you do not have dedicated recycling pick-ups in your area, then go on a weekly recycling trip, where you drop off recycling items at designated areas.
Not many people know that any uncooked food waste, including raw eggshells, can be successfully added to the compost heap. Even tea bags are a useful composting ingredient. Invest in a budget-friendly compost bin to make your own nutrient-rich plant food. This way you’ll be saving on gardening costs while reducing unnecessary landfill contents.
Reducing waste can help keep the whole kitchen organised. Buy only what you need at the grocery store and avoid overspending by incorporating meal plans into your home. Choose items that are in reusable containers, or take your own with you for fresh produce. Support local farmers’ markets to buy produce that is in season, and to cut down on unnecessary packaging at the same time.
Kitchen optimisation that enables responsible home waste management helps you reduce waste, which means a more organised kitchen, a happier family, and ultimately a healthier planet for us all.