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Buying Guide to Kitchen Bin Sizes

The right bin unit can make all the difference to your kitchen. Your kitchen bin needs to be more than stylish; it also needs to be functional and fit in the perfect space in your kitchen.

The key to finding the perfect kitchen waste bin is understanding sizes. If your bin is too small, you’ll be emptying it every day, whereas if it’s too big, it might not fit into your interior.

Here at Binopolis, we have a vast range of kitchen bin sizes and styles, making it easier than ever to find the perfect unit for your kitchen! To help you find the right one, take a look at our guide to the different sizes.

How are Kitchen Bin Sizes Measured?

Bin sizes are measured in litres (L) and go from around four litres for a food waste caddy right up to 108 litres for our largest two-compartment in-cupboard bin or 120 litres for a single compartment freestanding kitchen bin.

The concept of a litre of waste is difficult to visualise. In most cases more litres is usually better, particularly when people are recycling more and there is a growing need to separate waste and recycling into two, three, four or even more categories.

Our range of bins falls into three main categories:

  • In-Cupboard Bins - fitted into a kitchen cabinet
  • Freestanding Recycling Bins (with 2 or 3 compartments)
  • Freestanding Single Bins with one compartment

Choosing which is best for you is ultimately down to personal preference. However, in-cupboard bins are becoming increasingly popular as they provide great capacity options and free your floor space.

What Size of Kitchen Bin Do I Need?

An easy question to pose – a more difficult one to answer! Our advice is to go for the largest bin you can accommodate. With all the packaging of food products and other goods nowadays, any space soon gets used up.

Ultimately it’s the actual dimensions of the product that will determine whether it will fit your situation. In addition to capacity in litres, we provide the width, height, and depth of each product within each product page’s specification section.

The key test of the size bin you need is the quantity of waste that you generate. The best guide for this is how full your outside refuse bins are when the council empties them at the end of the week or fortnight.

Most councils have now equipped households with wheelie bins – usually 240L or 120L in size, and sometimes one of each to separate waste and recycling - and empty them fortnightly rather than every week.

If you fill a 240-litre wheelie bin every two weeks, you generate around 20 litres of waste a day. For a 120-litre bin, it’s about 10L a day.

For reference, a 240-litre wheelie bin typically measures 100cm tall and 55cm square; a 120-litre version is again 100cm high but 40cm square. Traditional dustbins generally are around 100 litres.

There are many kitchen bin sizes out there, so we’ve collated some of the most common below:

Common bin sizes

Large Kitchen Bins - 80L/60L

Bins that are 60 litres or above are generally considered to be better for larger households.

Large kitchen bins are our most popular. 60+ litres is great for a family home or anyone that creates a lot of recycling and waste but doesn’t want to empty their bin too often.

50L Kitchen Bins

Any kitchen bin around the 50-litre mark will be ideal for medium-sized households. You won’t need to empty it too often, especially if it’s a standard, single-compartment model.

40L Kitchen Bins

30-40L kitchen bins are in the medium-to-small range. These kitchen bins are perfect for smaller families or those that are happy to empty their bins more regularly.

We have a fantastic range of space-saving bins for small kitchens, including 40-litre models with multiple compartments.

Small Kitchen Bins

Anything below 30-litres capacity is considered a small kitchen bin. These bins will often be small units that can be neatly placed by a worktop or built-in if from our in-cupboard range.

Small kitchen bins are useful for small households that might not generate as much waste.

In Cupboard Kitchen Bin Sizes

If you are looking to fit an in-cupboard bin, then the greatest influences on your potential capacity are:

  • The type of door (hinged or pull-out)
  • The width of your cabinet
  • The height of your cabinet
  • The depth of your cabinet

Cabinets with Pull Out Doors

The table on the left shows the biggest capacity by the number of compartments that will fit in a full-height cabinet (680mm) with pull-out doors. The internal cabinet depth required for these largest capacity bins varies from 480 to 530mm, so please check the internal depth of your cabinet against the fitting depth given on the product page.

Our in-cupboard bins with a capacity of over 64 litres generally have at least two 32-42-litre buckets, which typically take up around 80% of the internal 680mm height of a full height kitchen cabinet – the actual buckets being about 550mm tall, so a generous size. Some models offer three or four compartments, making it easier to separate out different types of waste and recycling.

Bins with smaller capacity buckets (12-28 litres) are generally much lower and enable in-cupboard bins to fit below cabinets with a drawer at the top or even below a sink.

Cabinets with Hinged Doors

The table on the left shows the biggest capacity by the number of compartments that will fit in a full-height cabinet with hinged doors.

Please note that some of the largest capacity products for hinged door cabinets are made for cabinets 400mm wide but can also be installed in 450, 500 or 600mm-wide cabinets.

The maximum capacity for 600mm wide hinged door cabinets with two, three or four compartments is reached by using two of our products for 300mm-wide cabinets.

Freestanding Kitchen Recycling Bin Sizes

With an increasing need to separate waste and recycling, our recycling bins are especially popular.

Our largest freestanding recycling bin (from Brabantia) is 60 Litres – with two compartments each of 30L. We have similar-sized models from Joseph Joseph at 60 litres with three compartments. These are great for families.

If you need something larger, for a big family or office, you can combine two or three single-compartment bins to make a recycling centre.

Our widest selection of recycling bins is in the 35-60 litre range, which is great for families. We have a wide range of different models from leading brands.

These come in a mix of pedal, touch and sensor opening bins in various shapes and sizes.

We then have a wide choice of recycling bins with a capacity of 30-35 litres from Brabantia, which are great for smaller households.

Freestanding Single Compartment Kitchen Bin Sizes

Many of our customers still prefer a single compartment kitchen bin, especially if they live in a flat or an apartment with just a rubbish chute.

As bin specialists, we have a wide selection to choose from in different sizes, shapes and opening styles, all from leading brands.

Our largest capacity single compartment bin comes from Wesco with a capacity of 120 litres – perhaps too big for most households but great for offices, shops and commercial spaces.

Most customers choose a bin from our selection with a 50/60-litre capacity, with options from great brands such as Brabantia, Joseph Joseph and Wesco. This size of kitchen bin is useful for families and larger households.

More modest in size is our selection of single compartment bins from 36-49 litres, a great choice for smaller households, more compact kitchens or tight spaces.

Our range of single compartment bins with a capacity of 20-35 litres has great options for tight spaces and includes all-time classics like the Brabantia 30 litre Touch and Pedal bins We have models of this size in both touch and pedal versions!

Our smallest capacity single bins are all around 10-12 litres – great for bedrooms, bathrooms and the home office!

Get in Touch for Further Help or Advice

We hope you enjoy browsing our great range of kitchen bins! Our products come with a range of information and dimensions so that you can buy from us with confidence.

If you have any questions or queries, feel free to get in contact with our friendly customer service team. You can also explore the Binopolis blog and our Buying Guides, which are full of inspiration and advice.