Taking out the trash is a gross chore — perhaps the grossest of the daily tasks — depending on if you actually deal with it daily. Unfortunately, when a task is so dreadful, it can lead to procrastination, which, depending on the contents of your trash can, will exacerbate the grossness of it all. This is why you should splurge on an extremely nice trash can.
A good trash can won’t make the chore of trash disappear, but it will be a loyal custodian of your secrets. It will conceal last week’s rotten produce and your failed attempt at dinner; it will discreetly prevent odors from rising out so you can pretend nothing even happened. A good trash can opens when you ask it to and closes gently but without hesitation. A good trash can cannot be made out of plastic because plastic absorbs stains and odors. A good trash can is your friend and ally.
Sadly, most basic trash cans struggle to be good, with wide seams that leak odors and flimsy construction that does not stand up to long-term use. Once the step function stops working or the lid becomes unreliable — and it will — a trash can is truly trash, and the accumulated amount of time you will spend messing with a dysfunctioning bin as a daily concern is surely a reason to invest in a better solution.
Trash cans go through a lot, especially if you like to cook, or if you live with other people who cook too. I have had one million roommates in my life and trash management is easily one of the most significant communal responsibilities. Many relationships have been ruined because of trash.
When the house decided to upgrade to a fancy trash can a few years ago, dividing the $100 cost between the six of us, there was a unanimous newfound appreciation for the stainless steel receptacle, probably because it actually worked, making clear how atrocious our non-responsive gunky predecessor was. And since taking out the trash sucked less, people did it more often.
There’s a saying that says to invest in the stuff that separates you from the ground: mattresses, tires, and shoes. I would like to generally extend that to the things that separate you from filth. How can anything else be good if waste-removal is not? A solid trash can will support you every single day, more than any other appliance could. It doesn’t do any good to hate the unavoidable reality of creating waste as a result of living, but you can improve your relationship with it. If you can deal with your trash, you can deal with anything.
Here is my favorite trash can, the Simplehuman 38L rectangular step can. I wish this were a sponsored post so I could give you a coupon code because you’re also going to want the custom-fit liners to match.