In Wall Trash Chute for the Kitchen
Kitchen waste can build up quickly. The small trash cans that fit inside a cabinet, or the pull-out variety can fill up fast. Larger receptacles on the floor can take up valuable space and look unsightly. An alternative to traditional trash and recycling bins are in-wall trash chutes. These place a stainless steel panel on the wall, through which you can push your waste. The opportunity to keep trash and recycling out of the kitchen frees up valuable space for other storage. Additionally, it helps to reduce odors and improve kitchen sanitation.
While the idea has been in use for a long time, such as in multi-story apartment buildings, the product has become more accessible for the consumer market with products like "Clean Chute". A large standard trash receptacle is at the other end of the chute on the other side of the wall. The placement in the photo below shows a self-closing door in the back splash of the countertop. Behind the door is a galvanized or stainless steel chute that leads to your trash or recycling bins. Ideally, the other side of the wall is in a utility room, garage or outdoors where placement of bins is convenient and accessible. Check with your local building department for regulations relating to pass through devices, especially openings to the outdoors or garage.
|Image Courtesy of Enviro-Trash Concepts ©|
In practice, placement of the waste door in the back splash may not be suitable for everyone. Most counters are 24 inches deep and reaching the door may be a stretch for some people, such as children. However, the unit can be placed in any wall if a more accessible location is available. Another consideration is that waste which may carry bacteria, such as chicken skins, can contaminate surfaces, so a point should be made to keep such materials from coming in contact with door. Regular cleaning will also help to reduce the spread of bacteria. But this concern exists with standard trash cans as well.
A waste chute may be a practical choice for your kitchen. Models are available for various measurements and wall configurations, they can also be manufactured to your specifications. A single door unit is priced around $750. [Oct 2007]
Have you used a kitchen garbage chute? How satisfied were you with it overall?