The Best Recycling Bins for Collecting Waste in Style

Our top pick is the Simplehuman Dual Compartment 58-Liter Step Can

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The Spruce / Lecia Landis

A recycling bin allows you to keep recyclables neatly contained until they’re ready for collection. “Luckily, these days there are more and more aesthetically pleasing recycling bin options,” says Melissa Homer, a trained cleaning professional and member of The Spruce's Cleaning Review Board. However, Homer emphasizes that a recycling vessel should still be functional, noting that “at the end of the day, they still need to be a practical place to store trash.”

With form and convenience in mind, we researched the best recycling bins for every room in your home, evaluating their capacity, material, lid type, and functionality. Our top pick, the Simplehuman Rectangular Dual Compartment 58-Liter Step Can, has a dual-compartment design and an array of convenient features.

Here are the best recycling bins in a variety of categories.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: simplehuman Rectangular Dual Compartment 58-Liter Step Can

4.6
Simplehuman Rectangular Dual Compartment 58-Liter Step Can

Home Depot

What We Like
  • Separates trash and recycling

  • Steel foot pedal

  • Removable recycling bucket with handle

  • Built-in bag holder and dispenser

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy

  • Expensive

Our top pick is the Simplehuman Rectangular Dual Compartment 58-Liter Step Can, which features a dual-compartment design for trash and recycling. Alternatively, you can use this bin to separate different types of recyclables, such as paper and plastic. One side has a blue liner bucket equipped with a handle, which allows for easy lifting and disposal of recyclables. A convenient compartment at the back of the bin neatly stores and dispenses liners, so you’ll always have a clean bag on hand.

This bin also features Simplehuman’s innovative step pedal, designed to last over 150,000 steps (or 20 steps per day for 20 years). The hands-free operation makes for a more hygienic experience, as does the silver-ion finish, which reduces the spread of germs and resists fingerprints. Patented technology ensures that the lid closes silently every time—another big plus. Although this pick is on the expensive side, we think the convenient, sophisticated design is worth the investment.

With a total capacity of 58 liters, this large receptacle is ideal for a high-traffic kitchen, basement, or garage. The side intended for trash holds 34 liters (about 9 gallons), while the recycling compartment holds 24 liters (about 6 gallons). This unit is on the heavy side at over 20 pounds, which could be challenging when moving or cleaning it. On the plus side, it’s not likely to be tipped over by children or pets. This product is backed by a 10-year warranty, guaranteeing years of reliable use.

Price at time of publish: $250

Dimensions: 25.8 x 22 x 14.2 inches | Capacity: 58 liters | Weight: 21.3 pounds | Material: Stainless steel | Available Colors: Brushed | Number of Compartments: 2

Best Budget: Umbra Garbino Recycling Bin

Umbra Garbino Recycling Bin

Umbra 

What We Like
  • Sleek, modern design

  • Ideal for smaller spaces

  • Two integrated handles for easy lifting

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Limited capacity

  • Open mouth won't contain odors

With its curvy good looks, the affordable Umbra Garbino Trash Can is a plastic recycling bin that doesn’t skimp on style. It comes in three modern color choices—black, matte black, and metallic white—to match almost any decor, and you can easily wipe down the smooth, high-quality plastic with a damp cloth.

Thanks to two integrated handles at the sides, it’s easy to lift, transport, and empty. What’s more, it weighs less than a pound. Since this bin has a fairly small capacity of 8.5 liters (2.25 gallons), it’s best suited for a smaller room, like an office or craft room. Its wide, open mouth makes it easy to load. The only downside to the open design is that it doesn’t contain odors or conceal the bin’s contents. If you want to keep this recycling can clean and dry, you can purchase liners elsewhere at an additional cost, though they could take away from the modern aesthetic of this small recycling can.

Price at time of publish: $8

Dimensions: 13 x 9.75 x 10.25 inches | Capacity: 9 liters | Weight: 0.8 pounds | Material: Polypropylene | Available Colors: Black, metallic white, and matte black | Number of Compartments: 1

Best Stylish: Brabantia 60-Liter Dual Compartment Bo Touch Bin

Brabantia 60-Liter Dual Compartment Bo Touch Bin

 Crate & Barrel

What We Like
  • Two removable inner buckets

  • Stay-open lid

  • Elevated height reduces bending

  • Adjustable, non-slip legs

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Reports of denting

The Brabantia Bo Touch Bin, which takes its design inspiration from vintage coolers, will make a chic accent to any room. Its dual-compartment design allows you to separate trash and recycling, and each side holds 30 liters (about 8 gallons). The interior buckets are removable for easy lifting and emptying and made of smooth plastic that’s easy to clean. Since this bin stands taller than other models at 32 inches, you don’t have to bend over so far to access it. It sits on four adjustable legs with non-slip feet that keep the unit securely in place.

Another convenient feature is a soft-touch mechanism that enables the lid to open and close smoothly. The lid will stay open as long as needed, so you can perform longer cleaning tasks without interruption. This bin is also Cradle to Cradle certified, which means that the manufacturing process meets certain sustainability and social fairness standards. It comes in several elegant finishes, including matte black, matte steel, and concrete gray. Although it’s one of our more expensive picks, and some users report issues with denting, it comes with a 10-year warranty to protect your purchase.

Price at time of publish: $269

Dimensions: 32 x 21.5 x 12 inches | Capacity: 60 liters | Weight: Not listed | Material: Steel and plastic | Available Colors: Matte black, matte steel, concrete gray, white | Number of Compartments: 2

Best Stackable: IKEA SORTERA Recycling Bin

IKEA SORTERA Recycling Bin

IKEA

What We Like
  • Space-saving, stackable design

  • Can separate and conceal various recyclables

  • Foldable lid for easy access

  • Affordably priced

What We Don't Like
  • More utilitarian than other options

  • Available in white only

If you prefer to keep your recycling out of sight and enjoy shopping at IKEA, the SORTERA bins are affordably priced bins and stackable. While they're more utilitarian than attractive, these individual bins allow you to effectively separate paper, plastic, and other recyclable items in a garage, mudroom, or wherever you choose. You can label the plain white exteriors by categories, such as metal, glass, and paper to easily determine what material belongs in each bin. Meanwhile, the hinged lids will keep your recycling neatly concealed until it's ready to be collected.

These bins come in two sizes—38 or 61 liters (10 or 16 gallons)—so you can decide which is best for various types of recycling. Both sizes nest together and can be neatly stacked to save floor space. Each bin has a foldable lid, which you can open even if there's another bin stacked on top of it, allowing easy access to its contents.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: 17.75 inches x 16.25 x 21.75 inches | Capacity: 61 or 38 liters (available in two sizes) | Weight: Not listed | Material: Plastic | Available Colors: White | Number of Compartments: 1

Best Touchless: simplehuman Rectangular Dual Compartment Sensor Can With Voice and Motion Control

Simplehuman Rectangular Dual Compartment Sensor Can With Voice and Motion Control

Simplehuman

What We Like
  • Dual compartments

  • Voice- and motion-control sensors

  • Fingerprint-resistant surface

  • Built-in liner dispenser

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Batteries not included

  • Some reports of malfunctioning

The dual-compartment Voice+Motion Rectangular Sensor Can from Simplehuman offers voice control for convenient, hands-free operation. It recognizes three simple commands: "Open can," "Close can," and "Stay open," which will give you more time to perform longer chores. If you forget to tell it to close, the lid will automatically shut after 10 minutes. This bin is also engineered with a motion sensor, allowing you to open it with a wave of your hand.

The sleek stainless steel exterior has a silver-ion coating that resists fingerprints and stays shiny in the face of everyday use. The two inner plastic buckets are removable for easy emptying and cleaning. The blue-handled bucket holds 24 liters (about 6 gallons) and is ideal for recycled materials, while the larger bucket, which holds 34 liters (about 9 gallons), is better suited for trash. This model's rim keeps liners out of sight and securely in place. Another noteworthy feature is the built-in liner pocket, which dispenses liners individually without the need for tearing or perforations.

This unit has two power options: the included wall adapter or six AA batteries (sold separately). We have read some reports of the trash can malfunctioning within a short period, so be sure to take advantage of Simplehuman's 10-year warranty if you encounter any problems. Although this pick has a steep price tag, we think the hassle-free technology is worth the splurge.

Price at time of publish: $300

Dimensions: 25 x 22.2 x 13  inches | Capacity: 58 liters | Weight: 16.3 pounds | Material: Stainless steel | Available Colors: Brushed, white, matte black | Number of Compartments: 2

Best Outdoor: Suncast 33-Gallon Hideaway Can

Suncast 33-Gallon Hideaway Can

Home Depot

What We Like
  • Stylish design

  • Extra-large capacity

  • Water- and weather-resistant

  • Latching lid to contain odors and deter critters

What We Don't Like
  • Requires assembly

  • Not as large as some alternatives for outdoor use

If you're looking for a rugged bin to keep outdoors, the Suncast 33-Gallon Hideaway Can is a great option. It's made of a durable plastic that's both water- and weather-resistant and has a latch to effectively contain odors and prevent nosy critters from rummaging through the contents. At almost 32 inches tall and 16 inches wide, this bin has plenty of room to store recyclables, but it doesn't occupy a tremendous amount of space. Its 124-liter (33 gallons) capacity is the perfect size for larger gatherings by the pool or patio.

This trash can comes in two neutral colors—brown and taupe—a welcome change from the standard bright blue color you'll find on many recycle bins. The faux wainscotting design will blend in nicely with most outdoor furniture decor, making it an ideal choice for decks and patios. Note that this trash can requires some assembly, but the process is quick and easy.

Price at time of publish: $60

Dimensions: 31.63 x 15.75 x 16 inches | Capacity: 124 liters | Weight: 15 pounds | Material: Resin | Available Colors: Brown, taupe, gray | Number of Compartments: 1

Best With Multiple Compartments: Step N' Sort 16-Gallon 3-Compartment Stainless Steel Trash and Recycling Bin

Step N' Sort 16-Gallon 3-Compartment Stainless Steel Trash and Recycling Bin

Amazon

What We Like
  • Multiple compartments to separate recyclables

  • Sleek and durable design

  • Hands-free foot pedal

  • Includes a sticker pad to label bins

What We Don't Like
  • Can't secure trash bags in place

  • Open bottom won't contain spills

This 60-liter (16 gallons) Trash and Recycling Bin from Step N' Sort is a great option if you’re searching for a multi-compartment bin. It has three compartments to sort various recyclables and trash. The inner buckets are removable, and each bin has a handle for easy lifting and emptying. Each bin also has its own hands-free step pedal, allowing for more convenient and hygienic operation. This unit comes with a sticker pad, so you can label the pedals and indicate which items belong in each compartment.

The Step N' Sort bin has a sleek and durable stainless steel build, and its larger 23-inch-wide design is a good fit for busy kitchens. Most users say it works great for recyclables, but there is no mechanism to keep trash bags securely in place. It’s also important to note that this recycling bin has an open bottom, which means that any overspill could end up on the floor.

Price at time of publish: $121

Dimensions: 24 x 13 x 24 inches | Capacity: 60 liters | Weight: 28 pounds | Material: Stainless steel | Available Colors: Black, silver | Number of Compartments: 3

Best for Home Office: Yamazaki Como Trash Can

Yamazaki Como Trash Can

Amazon

What We Like
  • Sleek design

  • Compact size

  • Wide handle for portability

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't have a lid

  • Won't contain odors

This Yamazaki Trash Can functions as a simple, sleek, and compact 10-liter plastic recycling bin, making it an ideal choice for a home office or smaller space. It stands 12.5 inches tall and 7.5 inches wide—a perfect size to tuck under a desk or a table. It features a wide wooden handle, so you can easily lift it and empty the contents into a larger recycling bin, and it's extremely lightweight, too, at just over 1 pound.

Another bonus is the smooth plastic construction, which you can easily clean with a soft, damp cloth. The only downside to the open design is that it won't conceal the bin's contents or contain odors. However, those might not be problems if you're using it strictly for dry waste.

Price at time of publish: $27

Dimensions: 12.5 x 7.5 x 9.75 inches | Capacity: 10 liters | Weight: 1.21 pounds | Material: Plastic | Available Colors: White, blue, brown | Number of Compartments: 1

Best for Odors: iTouchless SoftStep 13.2 Gallon Stainless Steel Step Trash Can With Odor Control System

iTouchless SoftStep 13.2 Gallon Stainless Steel Step Trash Can With Odor Control System

Walmart

What We Like
  • Smudge-proof stainless steel design

  • Ergonomic foot pedal

  • Silent-close lid

  • Removable inner bucket

What We Don't Like
  • Replacement filters are an additional cost

  • Some reports of broken parts

If odor control is high on your priority list, this 50-liter SoftStep Step Pedal Trash Can from iTouchless comes equipped with a filter to absorb and neutralize smells. One filter comes with the unit, but you will have to purchase replacement filters separately. Convenient features include a silent-close lid and an ergonomic foot pedal that requires minimal force to operate. The lid will also stay open as long as necessary, so you can perform longer cleaning tasks without interruption. This trash has an attractive stainless steel surface that resists fingerprints and smudges, making it easier to clean.

The inner bucket is removable, so it’s easy to lift and empty. Thanks to rubber pads on the non-skid base, you don’t have to worry about the canister sliding around. Another convenient feature is the tuck-and-hold bag lock, which prevents trash bags from slipping or falling into the canister. This unit doesn’t require custom liners and is compatible with 13-gallon trash bags. We found a few reports of parts breaking shortly after use, but a one-year warranty protects the product.

Price at time of publish: $100

Dimensions: 26 x 16.75 x 12.5 inches | Capacity: 50 liters | Weight: 13 pounds | Material: Stainless steel | Available Colors: Ivory cream, rose gold, silver | Number of Compartments: 1

Best for Food Waste: OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin

OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin

Amazon

What We Like
  • Compact size for countertop

  • Extremely lightweight

  • Removable lid

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Odors can be an issue

  • Awkward fit with liners

The 0.75-gallon OXO Easy-Clean Compost Bin is a great way to store food scraps and other compost materials. Measuring 7.5 inches tall, 6.6 inches wide, and 6.4 inches deep, it's compact enough to sit on your countertop. The lid is removable, which is convenient for emptying and helps to suppress odors when closed, despite not being airtight. However, the lid's handle may obstruct the positioning of a liner bag. The smooth plastic construction helps to prevent buildup and makes it easy to clean.

This compost bin is lightweight and easy to carry at just a little over 1 pound, which is a major plus if you're traveling to a drop-off facility. It's available in several colors and also comes in a larger, 1.75-gallon size to suit various needs. Although the lid reduces odors, some users say it doesn't eliminate them entirely. For that reason, you may need to empty your compost more frequently.

Price at time of publish: $23

Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.6 x 6.4 inches | Capacity: 6.62 liters | Weight: 1.19 pounds | Material: Plastic | Available Colors: Charcoal, white, white/gray, white/green | Number of Compartments: 1

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick, the Simplehuman Rectangular Dual Compartment Trash Can, has a convenient dual-compartment design, a silent-close lid, and a built-in liner dispenser. If you're on a budget, consider the Umbra Garbino Recycling Bin, which offers a simple yet stylish design and works well in small spaces.

What to Look for in a Recycling Bin

Compartments and capacity

To determine what size recycling bin is right for your home, consider the number of people in your household and where you intend to keep the bin. A unit with a 10-liter (2.64-gallon) capacity or thereabouts should be sufficient for a home office or smaller space. A 49-liter (13-gallon) recycling bin is an ideal option for kitchens in small-to-medium-sized households. For larger households or high-traffic areas, consider a unit with a capacity between 58 and 124 liters (15.3 to 33 gallons).

As for internal organization, a dual or multi-compartment recycling bin allows you to separate trash and recycling or sort different recyclables, such as paper and plastic. These solutions could take up more real estate. On the other hand, the beauty of a multipurpose bin is that it allows you to keep everything neatly contained in one canister. If your space is limited, one unit could help you optimize it.

Material

Recycling bins come in a variety of materials, but stainless steel and plastic are the most popular options on that market. While plastic is typically cheaper, easier to clean, and lighter in weight, it’s not as durable as stainless steel and is more prone to cracking—especially in extreme temperatures.

Stainless steel recycling bins tend to be pricier and more stylish in design. On the downside, stainless steel is more susceptible to fingerprints and other marks, making it a little more challenging to clean. Since stainless steel tends to be heavier than plastic, this type of bin might be harder to lift, but it’s also less likely to be knocked over.

Lid type

A unit with a soft- or silent-close lid is always a welcome feature, especially in a home with rambunctious children. Some bins come with a foot pedal for hands-free operation, while more advanced models offer touchless technology for convenience and hygiene. If you keep a recycling bin outdoors, a hinged or locking lid will deter raccoons and other nosy critters.

Extra features

Any bin equipped with a handle (or multiple handles) will likely be easier to lift. Some recycling bins include a filter to neutralize odors. Others offer a built-in storage compartment that allows you to keep extra liners on hand yet neatly concealed within the canister. If you're interested in hands-free operation, smart technology, which you’ll find on more expensive models, lets you open the bin with a simple voice command or wave of your hand. Hands-free operation is not only convenient but more hygienic as well. A foot pedal requires some physical effort, but it also allows for hands-free operation, reducing the spread of germs in the home.

FAQ
  • What goes in a recycling bin?

    “If you live in a region with single-stream recycling, then everything from glass to metal cans to plastic food containers to paper can go into one recycling bin,” says Melissa Homer, chief cleaning officer at MaidPro. “In regions with legacy technology, paper goods need to be recycled separately from glass, plastic, and metal.” Acceptable materials for recycling collection will vary by location, so always be sure to check local guidelines.

  • Where is the best place to store recyclables?

    To encourage everyone in your household to recycle consistently, Homer suggests making the recycling bin easily accessible. She recommends storing them “as close to the kitchen as possible, as that is the one room in the home that generates the most recyclable items.” She also explains that the kitchen is an ideal location, because you can clean all of your containers before placing them in the bin. If your containers are dirty, processing facilities may refuse them. Rinsing off any food residue before recycling will also prevent bacteria from forming in the bin.

  • How do you clean a recycling bin?

    According to Homer, you can easily wipe down most recycling bins with a microfiber towel and all-purpose cleaner. However, if you need to eliminate messy spills or stuck-on grime, Homer recommends that you “give your recycling bin a more aggressive scrub-down with hot water, dish soap, and a scrubbing sponge on an as-needed basis.” The best way to keep a recycling bin clean is to place only clean, dry items in the container.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Sage McHugh, a home and lifestyle writer who has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019. To select the best recycling bins on the market, she considered dozens of products, carefully evaluating their material, capacity, lid type, and extra features. Sage consulted hundreds of customer reviews, as well as write-ups from third-party websites. For expert insight on choosing and caring for a recycling bin, she interviewed Melissa Homer, The Spruce's Cleaning Review Board member and chief cleaning officer at MaidPro.

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