Let's Talk Trash - Trash Can Review, Simplehuman

Reveiw of Simplehuman 40 Liter Slim trash can: price, foot pedal, locking lid, RV friendly, and more!



4 min read

Today we are talking trash, more precisely, about kitchen trash cans. Living in our house, I never sat thinking about trash cans. Moving into the RV for full-time living rapidly changed my view on trash cans. 

Tash Can History

In 1997 I purchased a blue Rubbermaid trash can which is still with me. The trash can has been with me for 2-years longer than my husband, Don. Together, we have traveled over 3,000 miles over multiple states.

No task is too big or too small for our blue trash can that lost its ill-fitting lid a decade ago. We have built many 'trash towers' to determine who will take the garbage outside before it falls on the floor. After 26 years, the trash can still hold mop water without issue. This iconic trash can serves as a cleaning supply holder on moving days. 

So why would we trade our faithful family trash can for something else? The RV kitchen island was the only place to house the tall trash can. Unfortunately, this meant I could no longer build my tower of trash. As disappointing as this was, so was trying to pull out the trash can to toss garbage into it.

The main issue is pulling the trash can out of the RV kitchen island. We began looking into solutions to keep our trash can and solve the problem. One possibility is installing a sliding tray into the rolling kitchen island. However, there is not enough height to install a shelf. If there was, I still had to open the cabinet door with garbage in my hands. 

The Smell … The Smell ...

Then one warm day, the RV started to smell a little ‘off.’ The kitchen island has two doors with a small partition between the trash and cooking pans. The stench hit us upon opening the kitchen island door for a pan. For weeks, we unsuccessfully tried using different air fresheners against the odor. Now we needed to find a lid for the old trash can. unsuccessfully 

The smell may not be so apparent in a house, but our combo: living room, kitchen, and dining are a modest 200 square feet.  Then toss in a hot Summer day, the sun beating through the single-pane windows, and you have yourself a nice brewing mess of smells.  

Perfect Trash Can Criteria

Our search began for the ‘perfect’ trash can. Ideally, the garbage receptacle would have a lid and fit into the RV kitchen island. After performing extensive research, trash cans with these criteria did not exist. For our needs, ninety percent of the trash cans in the market were either too small or tall. 

Then, the trash can lid evolved into a unicorn hunt. Most companies are using a swinging lid. Which still lets the smell creep out and can collect food/yuck debris. 

The new quest was for a wrap-around trash can lid. Oddly, only a handful of companies make this style.

Travel Day Trash

Next was to tackle my dilemma of having the trash can on the RV kitchen floor. My fear is the full trash can falling over when we leave our RV site. Typically you would dispose of the garbage before driving off. However, I do not want to walk into a garbage landfill disaster. Now, I needed to think through an alternative location or a way to lock the lid.  

Simplehuman, Has A Good Feature 

After more looking online, I found a brand called Simplehuman that claimed to have a locking lid. The ad was hyping the locking lid to help pet owners. As long as I remember to lock the lid on travel day, this trash can seems perfect!   

The other feature of the Simplehuman trash is a foot pedal. I did not have to lift the trash can lid with dirty hands. A foot pedal is a feature you do not think about until you have too much trash in your hands.   

Trash Can Concerns

Simplehuman was not simple in price!  I wasn't sure if $50 for a 40 Liter Slim trash can (in gray) would be worth the price. Is my desire for the wrap-around lid, locking lid, and foot pedal worth $50?  

My next concern is Simplehuman uses its own trash bags. Some people mentioned the Costco brand would fit the trash can. 

Despite my concerns, I purchased the Simplehuman 40 Liter Slim trash can at a local store. Immediately, I tested a Costco (white) trash bag. If Costco ever shrinks the trash liner, we may have to buy the Simplehuman brand.

Next, I went to work on tipping the trash can over with the lid locked. Amazingly the trash can lid stayed closed, and none of the parts broke.

All the struggles led us to the smell test. During the last 9-months, the smell was noticeable on a few days. The stinky occurrences happened when the inside RV temperature climbed to 80*F. 

We are pleasantly happy with the Simplehuman, and at this point, it has been worth the cost.

Simplehuman Issue

The Simplehuman (40 Liter Slim) scoots around the floor when pressing the foot pedal down.  I positioned two small pieces of rubber-grip shelf liner under the trash can. The grip liner helped to keep Simplehuman from moving. 

The other issue is getting the correct foot pedal pressure to open the trash can. If you press too hard, the lid flies open, and the garbage smell is released. I found a gentle pressing of the petal is needed to open the top far enough to accomplish the task. 

Would We Recommend Simplehuman

So, what happened to our old faithful blue trash can? Currently, it holds our recyclable items and mop bucket. I felt the old trash can needed a purpose, to continue to serve us for 20 more years.  

I thought spending $50 on a trash can was absurd, but I encountered some as high as $200. If I pay that much, I want a person to take the trash out for me too!

My expectations were high for the ‘perfect’ trash can to meet our needs for traveling in a 5th wheel full time. For me, Simplehuman:

*Has a lid that 95% of the time keeps the odor in

*The Costco trash bags fit (a little tight)

*The locking lid does what it is supposed to do

*Held up to being knocked over (testing)

After having the Simplehuman (40 Liter Slim) through 80*F inside the RV and next to a heat register, I am happy with my choice. Now we will see if it will survive the next 20 years with us like our old faithful blue trash can.

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