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How To Organize Waste in a Small Kitchen

updated May 7, 2019
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Sorting waste can be a real challenge in a small kitchen. First there’s your basic trash, then there’s recycling (co-mingled if you’re lucky) and compost. Like most people, we didn’t want to give up precious floor space for these bins, so we came up with a semi-custom and affordable solution.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Besides not having the space, I also didn’t want to look at trash cans on a daily basis. The solution – convert the 36″ wide sink cabinet into a waste sorting station! After researching different pull-out options, I found two different sizes from Rev-A-Shelf that fit in our cabinet and around our plumbing trap. (The system consists of a metal track that is screwed to the base of the cabinet, with plastic bins set into metal glides for easy in and out access.) We use the two smaller bins for compost and trash, and the two larger ones for recycling and dog food (another item that’s hard to find a space for!). As an added bonus, because we decided not to install a garbage disposal and have pared down our cleaning supplies, the often awkward under-the-sink area is now an efficient use of space.

In addition to Rev-A-Shelf, Simple Human and IKEA make similar products that can easily be installed in an existing cabinet. (A word of advice – measure your space before you purchase. Since we have a deep sink, we were more limited in our options.)

1 Installed pull-out containers

2 Pull-out cans, $59.99-$69.99 from Simple Human

3 Rationell waste sorting bins, $3.99-$17.99, from IKEA

4 Rev-A-Shelf pull-out cans, $67.27 from Lowes.com

(Images: As linked, first image Lauren Zerbey)