The Top 5 Kitchen Trash Cans with Separate Compartments for Recycling


Do you love living in a clutter-free, organized environment? Is your home your sanctuary, but do you also care about the planet? You’ll already have embraced the idea that small steps can add up, and we have a challenge for you. It’s time to Mari-Kondo your kitchen trash and make recycling a breeze.

Every culinary adventure creates waste — from food scraps to plastic packaging, glass jars, and cans — and it’s got to go somewhere. Why not make a difference by sorting your kitchen trash from the get-go?

Change starts at home, and the kitchen is its beating heart. We’re thrilled to talk trash with you today, because successful kitchen recycling requires a suitable trash can. This guide explores the best multi-compartment kitchen trash cans. They make recycling so easy that you’ll never be tempted to dump all your kitchen waste into the all-purpose trash again!

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A Quick Look at How Recycling in the Kitchen Can Change Your Life

Making a commitment to recycling all the kitchen waste is a great step that helps you:

  • Reduce landfill waste.
  • Conserve resources.
  • Minimize your carbon footprint.

Beyond the environmental impact of recycling your kitchen waste, being mindful of the way you dispose of your trash also has a more direct impact on your lifestyle. It’ll let you know exactly how much waste you create, but recycling also gets you thinking about ways to reduce food waste. Everyone who cooks leaves food scraps behind, but recyclers have a great chance to learn not to buy more food than they need — which also saves money.

The best way to streamline your kitchen recycling efforts? Multi-compartment trash cans!

We love three-compartment kitchen trash cans because they allow you to create separate waste streams for all-purpose (landfill) trash, recyclable waste, and compostable waste. Whether your city has a compost program or you’re a keen gardener, compost gradually turns trash into a fertile treasure.

The kitchen trash cans on this list have at least two compartments, but we prioritized three-compartment solutions. Two-compartment kitchen trash cans can be used as dual recycling and composting solutions if you already have a reliable all-purpose trash can. In contrast, kitchen trash cans with three compartments take your green journey to the next level. They make it easy to do the right thing every time and keep all your kitchen trash under one beautifully-organized roof.

1. Organize It All 3 Compartment Step-On Recycling Trash Can: Best Overall Pick

Organize It All 3 Compartment Step-On 45 Liter Stainless Steel Recycling Trash CanRecycling in the kitchen should be effortless, practical, and clean — and your setup shouldn’t have to be expensive to be fantastically functional. We love the Organize It All 3 Compartment Step-On Recycling Trash Can because it ticks all the right boxes.

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Constructed from durable stainless steel with removable hard plastic inner containers, it won’t look out of place in any kitchen. Unlike some models we’ve seen on the market, the Organize It All recycling trash can has three separate lids, minimizing odors. We also appreciate the thoughtfulness of using distinct colors for each pedal. You won’t have to remember how to sort your trash or order stickers for your trash can, because the Organize It All recycling trash can will remind you every time!

Other key benefits of this handy three-compartment trash can include:

  • The ability to choose the size you need. This trash can is available with 8, 12, or 16 gallon compartments.
  • A classic step-on design that keeps your hands clean as you deposit kitchen waste into the trash can.
  • The inner containers have handles that allow users to remove them without touching the trash.
  • Stainless steel is supremely easy to wipe down. The inside of your trash can may be filled with things you’d rather not look at, but its exterior can stay sparkly clean!
  • A friendly price!

The Organize It All three-compartment recycling trash can for the kitchen is our overall top pick because of its versatility. Most people will appreciate the relatively low cost, durability, and practical features.

2. SONGMICS 4.8 Gallon Three-Component Trash Can: Best Compact Option

SONGMICS 3 x 4.8 Gallon Garbage Can with Soft-Close LidsThis small SONGMICS 4.8 Gallon Three-Component Trash Can is perfect for smaller kitchens. It effortlessly allows you to sort your kitchen trash into landfill waste, recyclable trash, and kitchen scraps.

Each of the three compartments stores 4.8 gallons, which doesn’t just make the trash can compact — but also gives you other options. Have you ever wished you could sort your recyclables from the start, placing like with like? Getting two would allow you to have the ultimate six-component setup consisting of aluminum, glass, plastic, paper, food scraps (compost), and landfill trash!

This beautiful recycling trash can, made from stainless steel, is available with a black or white finish. It features removable plastic containers, independent lids for each compartment, and step-on pedals that keep your trash disposal efforts hands-free.

Other things we like about this small SONGMICS kitchen trash can with a separate recycling compartment include:

  • A finger-print-resistant finish that keeps it looking sleek.
  • Its built-in limitations. Most people are quick to fill the available space, no matter how large. A smaller trash can makes you more aware of the amount of waste you produce, giving you an added incentive to reduce your footprint.
  • A sturdy design.

While this SONGMICS recycling trash can is a little pricier, its durability makes it a good investment.

3. Joseph Joseph Intelligent Waste Separation Tower: Best Budget Recycling Trash Can

Joseph Joseph Intelligent Totem Compact 40-Litre Waste Separation and Recycling UnitThe Joseph Joseph Intelligent Waste Separation Tower only has two compartments — one for all-purpose trash and one for recyclables. This recycling trash can has a lot going for it, though!

Constructed with stainless steel, hard (and beautifully orange) plastic, and aluminum, it has a solid capacity. Consumers can pick from 40 or 60 liter options (translating to roughly 10 and 16 gallons). The magic lies in the space-saving towering design — because one compartment sits snugly under the other, this trash can won’t take up much space in your kitchen.

The Joseph Joseph trash can also has a sleek, contemporary design that will appeal to many modern consumers. Best of all? This trash can features an odor-reducing filter that keeps your kitchen smelling fresh.

We wish Joseph Joseph made a taller version with three compartments, but if we overlook that point, this trash can is nothing short of amazing.

Here’s some additional info:

  • Carbon filters last a couple of months, and replacements are available from Amazon.
  • Joseph Joseph also sells colored liners to make sorting your trash easier.
  • The bottom compartment slides out. You’ll have to open the top compartment manually, which some people may dislike.

4. SIMPLI-MAGIC Hands-Free Dual Compartment Recycling Kitchen Trash Can: Best Large Capacity Recycling Trash Can

SIMPLI-MAGIC 60 Liter Dual Compartment Recycling Trash CanConsumers looking for a large-capacity trash can with a separate recycling compartment should consider the SIMPLI-MAGIC Hands-Free Dual Compartment Recycling Kitchen Trash Can. This beauty holds 60 liters (16 gallons), has independent lids, and features a reliable step-on design. With highly durable pedals and a heavy-duty stainless steel design, this kitchen trash can is a pleasure to maintain.

What else should you know? Let’s take a look — because this SIMPLI-MAGIC trash can gets more exciting!

  • With a soft-close lid design, nobody in your household will have any noise complaints.
  • Each lid has a slot for replaceable carbon filters that eliminate odors effectively.
  • The plastic inner containers are color-coded (black for all-purpose trash and green for recycling or food scraps), ensuring you’ll always place them back into the correct spot.

We absolutely love how user-friendly this trash can is — but we do wish SIMPLI-MAGIC would make one with three compartments.

5. Sawdust City Wood Dual Tilt Out Trash Bin: Best Tilt-Out Recycling Trash Can

Wood Dual Tilt Out Trash Bin in whiteSome people prefer to keep their trash out of sight. The Sawdust City Wood Dual Tilt Out Rash Bin has an innovative design that effectively conceals your trash in a rustic cabinet. When you open one of the two separate doors, the trash can tilts out at an angle.

This recycling trash can is unlike any other options we’ve looked at, so let’s go through a quick list of pros and cons.

The Sawdust City recycling trash can has a few distinct advantages:

  • It’s stunning — something we never thought we would say about a trash can.
  • This dual-compartment solution offers a capacity of nine gallons per trash can.
  • It’s handmade from solid wood.

On the other hand, this trash can isn’t for everyone:

  • This design doesn’t have any lids, making it best for people who empty their kitchen trash every day.
  • You have to be pretty committed to beautifying your trash to buy the Sawdust City recycling trash can.

We wanted to give you options, and this tilt-out trash can is a great choice for people who love recycling but hate the look of trash cans.

In Conclusion

Let’s get real — the best kitchen trash can with a separate recycling compartment is the one that consistently helps you sort your trash for a greener future. Each of these trash cans is great for someone. Find yours on the list and embrace a more eco-friendly kitchen.