Review: Two weeks with the simplehuman dual bin rectangular step can


Trash cans have always been a challenge in my household. Let me explain. My dog Ruby is a notorious trickster who can climb any counter and knock down any container if there's food to be had. For years, I had no trash can, piled my recycling high above her reach on top of the fridge, then weighted down my previous cylindrical floor can with heavy metal chains so she couldn't knock it down.

Those days are over, thanks to simplehuman's steel bar rectangular step can, new this month with two compartments for separating garbage. Unlike most larger trash receptacles for the house, this one is wider than it is tall, which makes it really hard for a little nine-pound dog to knock down. Also, since it holds both the recycling and the regular trash, there are no more paper bags full of empty yogurt cups and milk cartons for Ruby to go to town on.

My favorite things about this trash can, though, are the little details that make throwing away garbage feel kinda classy. For example, it has a lid that doesn't slam and a hook you can engage so that you can keep it open while you change trash bags without stepping on the pedal. And to minimize stench while keeping it open, it has a little nook on the lid for a carbon filter — it doesn't eliminate the smell of dog poop completely, but it definitely seems to help. Speaking of the pedal, it's really nice and wide and sturdy so you don't have to search for it at all with your foot — and fingerprint-proof stainless steel means smudges rarely show up on its surface. The bins also have holes on the sides that you can tuck excess plastic from the bags into, so little dogs can't tug at its ends. (simplehuman cans have had this for years, but it's still worth noting.)

At $225 for the 38L and $250 for the 55L, this is not a cheap trash can, at all — but if you think of it as an investment into the overall cleanliness of your cooking space, I think it's totally worth it.

Published by Lisa Katayama

I'm a contributing editor here at Boing Boing. I also have a blog (TokyoMango), a book (Urawaza), and I freelance for Wired, Make, the NY Times Magazine, PRI's Studio360, etc. I'm @tokyomango on Twitter.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hang on – you think of this as a kitchen bin, but you put dog poop in it?

    And a small squirt bottle of water is a wonderful thing for teaching small dogs not to do things that they shouldn’t.

  2. Simplehuman stuff is expensive, but in they are well built, cleverly designed, and look fabulous. I’m kinda longing for this one….

  3. Hm. Need to take a closer look.

    What I’d like to see is a good a three-compartment solution — trash, recycling, and compost. Not necessarily of the same sizes; I don’t generate all that much compostable kitchen waste.

  4. @3: Agreed. Largest for recyclables, middle size for garbage, smallest for compost. Compost usually takes up little space, however much you can generate.

  5. Another voice recommending training your dog properly. A lot easier than rearranging your entire life, possessions and activities…

  6. Dog poop in any trash container is not eco-friendly; it will sit non-decomposing in the landfill for years. From an ecological point of view, the best place is on your neighbor’s lawn…unless he is a gun owner, in which case best is probably your toilet.

  7. DR – as soon as I get a larger place to live in, and thus a dog, we’re going to start up a second worm-bin for dealing with the waste. Our current one makes short work of the food waste.

  8. what kind of world are you living in to spend $225 on a trash can??? INVESTMENT? do you have any idea how ridiculous the sentence “I think it’s totally worth it.” SOUNDS???

  9. Not that I disagree with the review, but is BB gadgets being sponsored by SimplyHuman this month? Or simply reviewing the products that come by, and spending 2 weeks with them, rather than just looking at specs like everything else.

    PS my bamboo shower caddy should come today!

  10. My old room mate bought a Simplehuman trash can for $100, and I thought he was crazy. Then I lived with it for 6 months, and I can’t imagine not having one. The only mistake he made when he bought it was getting a white one.

  11. Girls try to convince themselves those Jimmy Choo heels are an investment too. They’re not. This is not.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *