Monday, 30 November 2009

Simplehuman Deluxe Rectangular Recycler

The kitchen bin in our house is always causing arguments. Firstly, because I'm an avid recycler so I refuse to throw all the recyclable plastic/glass/paper/tins in the normal bin, but I can't be bothered to wander down to the recycling wheelie bin in the garage every single time I have something to recycle, so I hang a bin liner on the kitchen door and fill that up. But plastic bottles and cardboard boxes are quite bulky so it ends up taking up so much space, you can hardly get through the kitchen door once it's quite full - not to mention the number of times Mike kneecaps himself on a sharp box corner when he tries to sidle past into the kitchen ! Then there's me moaning at Mike when he puts something recyclable in the normal bin. And thirdly - and most annoyingly - the dogs have worked out how to open the cupboard under the sink and knock over the kitchen bin to go foraging for scraps. To avoid this problem, we now put the kitchen bin up on the worktop whenever we go out or to bed (which is not at all hygienic) because if we forget, you come back to a kitchen floor covered in the contents of the bin to clear up (not to mention two dogs full of whatever they've managed to steal from the bin). Bad news all around !

Well, I've found the answer to my prayers ! The Simplehuman deluxe recycling bin is dogproof and even can't-be-bothered-to-recycle-husband-proof ! The two sections - recyclable and non-recyclable - are side by side in the same unit so it takes absolutely no effort to recycle. Even Juliette, aged 4, has worked out what goes where and runs off to look at the fridge magnet that shows you what is and what isn't recyclable !

On top of the sheer functionality, it's a very good-looking bin ! Made of stainless steel with black plastic trim, it looks very sleek - and best of all, the manufacturers have though about busy mums and used fingerprint-proof stainless steel. My dad laughed at this and said that's good for Burglar Bill ! - but I think it's great, no more constantly wiping off little hand prints.

It's certainly a very well-made bin. The outside stainless steel part is solid but the unit isn't too heavy to move about. The lid opens with a very large foot pedal, and it has a special mechanism that makes it close slowly, therefore cleverly avoiding trapped kiddie-fingers and clanging bin lids ! It also has a handy little switch that you can use to block the lid open which is very useful at times.

Inside the bin there are two sturdy, colour-coded plastic containers, a blue 16 litre one for recyclables and a black 30 litre one for non-recyclable rubbish. They are easy to slot in and out and, although they can be used with standard bin bags or simplehuman liners (they enclose a free sample pack of three liners to try them out), they are solid and totally leakproof so it's easy enough to take them straight down to the bin without a liner, particularly on the recycling side.

They've put a great deal of thought into the bag changing part too. "Integrated handles make it easy to remove the inner bucket. The Bucket Park™ allows you to rest the inner bucket in position for easy bag removal. The Bag tuck™ hides away excess bag in a perforated opening." It really is user-friendly, as well as being a very good-looking bin !

It's not cheap, retailing at £124.99 , but it comes with a ten-year warranty, which is further proof of its durability and quality design. As always, you get what you pay for. If you look on their website, there are 75 customer reviews on this particular product. I find it quite amazing that 75 people have got excited enough about a bin to log on and leave a comment, so it just goes to show that this is no ordinary kitchen bin ! The few complaints are about the recycling bucket being too small in relation to the black one but if that is a problem in your house, you could easily just switch them over and use the black bucket for recycling and the smaller blue one for other kitchen waste.

In any case, in our house, it is the perfect solution. I've also noticed that the girls are so excited about using it that they are constantly tidying up after themselves so they can throw things away - I'm sure the novelty will soon wear off but it's definitely an added bonus until it does !!

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £124.99

for more information and to buy online :


  1. You've got them the wrong way around. The 16L if for household waste, and the 30L for recycling. Sheesh.

  2. The top picture is the official product shot from the website, which clearly shows the smaller blue bucket being used for recyclables, but there's nothing to stop you doing the opposite if that's what works for you.