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Best dual trash can

Which dual trash can is best?

A dual trash can is a single unit with two receptacles inside that allows you to separate your trash as you throw it away. This makes it easier to sort recyclables or keep organic kitchen waste separate. There are a variety of designs on the market from slim, unobtrusive models for a bedroom or office, to larger trash cans suitable for the kitchen.

Many dual trash cans have modern design features, which makes disposing of trash easier and more hygienic. One top choice is the Simplehuman Butterfly Lid Recycling Trash Can. It is made from stainless steel and has a pedal-operated split lid that opens from the center. It also has two removable plastic compartments and a large 40-liter capacity. 

What to know before you buy a dual trash can


The amount and type of garbage your household generates each day will determine the size of trash can you need. Smaller models that hold 10 to 30 liters are ideal for a bathroom or an office. For the kitchen, a larger 40- to 60-liter trash can is preferable.

If you are looking for a trash can to fit inside a cabinet or under a countertop, then think about the height, as there needs to be enough room to fully open the lid. For more options in size and height, check out the Best Trash Cans review at BestReviews.

Material and finish

Modern trash cans are made from various materials and with many finishes. Stainless steel is popular as it is durable, corrosion-resistant and doesn’t retain odors. Other options include toughened ABS plastic or painted metal and these are usually more budget-friendly.


These trash cans all have two compartments for separating items as you throw them away. For the most versatility, look for a model with separate lids and removable plastic bins, as these are more hygienic to use and easier to empty.

What to look for in a quality dual trash can


Deciding if you need a trash can with a lid is another key consideration. Lidless models tend to be smaller and are better for an office or bedroom. Kitchen waste is often quite smelly, so a well-fitting lid is recommended. The most basic trash cans have a lift or swing lid, which some find unhygienic. Pedal or sensor-operated trash cans allow you to dispose of items without ever touching the lid. 


Those with small children or inquisitive pets will benefit from a heavier trash can, as they are harder to tip over. Some models have a weighted base and are very stable. The heaviest trash cans may also have built-in wheels to assist with moving and emptying them.

Cleaning and odors

Spills and leaks are common when dealing with trash, so a model with removable internal bins will make keeping them clean much easier. Most companies also supply trash bags to line the inner compartments. To prevent odors some trash cans also have a built-in carbon filter, which absorbs unpleasant smells.  

How much you can expect to spend on a dual trash can

While there are plenty of budget-friendly options available in the $30 to $50 price range, these are usually made from plastic. For a stainless steel model expect to pay up to $150, and even more for a model with motion sensors and carbon filters.

Dual trash can FAQ

Do you need to use trash bags with a dual trash can?

A. Most dual trash cans have removable plastic bins, so using a liner is a matter of choice. Many companies supply specific liners for their trash cans, but they often come at a premium.

Is there anything you shouldn't put in a household trash can?

A. Most towns and cities have local by-laws for what can and cannot be thrown away, which you can check on their respective websites. For the most part, chemicals, old batteries or damaged electronics must be disposed of by special means.

What’s the best dual trash can to buy?

Top dual trash can

Simplehuman Butterfly Lid Recycling Trash Can

What you need to know: Ideal for larger households, this 40-liter trash can is made from stainless steel with a fingerprint-proof protective coating.

What you’ll love: It has a pedal-operated split lid that opens from the center, and two removable plastic bins for separating recyclables. 

What you should consider: The lids don’t make a seal when closed, so odors may escape.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and The Home Depot

Top dual trash can for the money

NINESTARS Touchless Recycler

What you need to know: This budget-friendly trash can has a water-resistant motion sensor that opens the lid automatically. 

What you’ll love: It has a stainless steel body, a non slip-base and is available in two sizes.

What you should consider: The lid is made from black plastic, which may not suit some kitchens.

Where to buy: Sold by: Amazon and The Home Depot

Worth checking out

Home Zone Living Dual Kitchen Trash Can

What you need to know: This extra-large trash can has a 60-liter capacity and twin metal lids with separate foot pedals.

What you’ll love: It has a modern brushed steel finish. The removable inner bins have built-in carrying handles.

What you should consider: At over 27 inches tall, it may be too large for some compact kitchens.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Chris Gillespie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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