Flash trash; tried & tested - Arts and Entertainment - The Independent

Flash trash; tried & tested

The trick with kitchen bins is to conceal your rubbish as smartly as possible before it leaves the house, while minimising care of the bin itself and paying due attention to issues of hygiene. Environmental concerns, too, are on the minds of many householders. Our panel of testers - Nick Allen, Gilly Sanderson, Graham Ainsworth and Diane Woo - all had their own ideas about what a kitchen bin should do

... BRABANTIA PEDAL BIN

pounds 54, Purves and Purves: 0171 580 8223 Mail order: 0181 960 0788

Medium-sized, blue-painted pedal bin with chrome lid: won points for its sturdiness, practical colour combination and inner bin with handle. However, the tall thin shape means the bag gets stuck, making it laborious to empty

Gilly: This is the bin I use anyway. It's fine, but the bag has an irritating habit of forming a seal with the inner bin when you try to empty it

Nick: Easy to keep clean, and a nice smooth pedal action. However, it is tempting to keep stuffing things down until you can't dislodge the bag

Graham: This is well-made, but I wish I knew how professional cleaners manage to hide the bin bag between the inner and outer bins

.... GIOSTYLE BELLA BIN

pounds 21, Purves and Purves (as above)

Knee-high pedal bin made of translucent green plastic: part of a range that includes matching buckets and washing-up bowls. Testers were critical of small bins in general, but in this case the lightness and cost made up for it

Diane: I liked this. It's easy to clean and you can use the inner bin as a bucket to wash the floor. Brilliant value

Graham: I find small bins too low, and you have to re-package smaller bags in large dustbin bags before they'll take them away

Gilly: Fun, attractive and cheap. It's so light that it's not an effort to empty once a day, and the rubbish never starts to smell

..... BRABANTIA SILVER BIN

pounds 89, Inventory: 0171 937 2626

Large, light, aluminium bin with a detachable inner ring of black plastic, which secures the bag as well as providing a prop to hold the manually operated lid upright while you clear away food waste. No inner bin, no pedal, no nonsense. Voted the best

Nick: The sort of bin I like: big, wide and light. The lid-holder is a great touch: perfect for a busy cook

Diane: Not the prettiest bin, but the most practical. After the novelty of the recycling bin and the Push-can had worn off, I would buy this

Gilly: Inner rim device holds the bag firmly in place at the top, so that it never gets mucky or dragged to the bottom

.. RECYCLING BIN

pounds 159, The Holding Company: 0171 352 1600 Mail order: 0171 610 9160

Large, rectangular aluminium bin with three brightly painted inner bins for rubbish separation prior to recycling. Concept applauded, but testers found bins hard to empty and the compartments too small to justify a trip to the recyling bins

Diane: A neat idea, but the inner bins are so deep and narrow that it was a real struggle to get the bags out when full

Graham: Quite badly made: the lid doesn't open far enough to pull the three inner compartments out, and the rubber edging strip fell off the lid

Gilly: Far too big for my kitchen, the lid crashes open, and I still had to transfer bottles to the garage before going to the rubbish dump

.. EXTRA-LARGE PUSH-CAN

pounds 475, Ocean mail order: 0870 848 4840

Enormous, solid chrome bin with foot pedal. The highly polished surface gets covered in fingerprints and users found lifting the whole outer bin off to empty it a pain - it weighs a ton. The push- flap is narrow and tends to get mucky

Graham: Won't fit under work surfaces, though at this price you'd want to put it on display

Nick: Smart, and definitely better than its cheaper imitations. The push-in flap is wildly impractical, though - you're better off using it as a pedal bin

Diane: Good that the bin liner is never on view, but I didn't like seeing my reflection in the chrome all the time. Too expensive, and too heavy to empty on a daily basis. A collector's item

.... ECOBIN

pounds 22.50, The Conran Shop: 0171 589 7401

Two metal hoops inserted into a square, spring base (which acts as a foot pedal). Simply hook your old carrier bags over the hoops. Design admired; flimsiness despised. Low-cost, but only stylish if you use stylish bags

Diane: The bin I use normally. I like it because you can recycle all your old carrier bags on it. It's simple and very clever

Gilly: Tag-hags who do a lot of designer shopping would like this. OK until you run out of the brown paper bags provided: old Tesco bags look a mess

Graham: Design student's dream: environmentally friendly, with a cunning foot-pedal feature. But step on it when it's empty and it's likely to topple

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