Seeking a Garbage Can that Doesn’t Suck

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*

A good garbage can is one of the most important things in a kitchen.

I know, I know. “This barely merits discussion,” you’re thinking. “I have a garbage can and it does its job: It holds the garbage. Are you nuts?”

Yeah, I know.

But do you have a GOOD garbage can? One that is hands-free so you don’t have to touch it every time you toss? One that’s big enough that it doesn’t need to be changed incessantly? One that’s easy enough to change that it doesn’t rip your bags? One that doesn’t absorb odors? One that looks nice in your kitchen?

Admittedly, for a lot of folks, a garbage can is just a garbage can. I get that. But since mine sits out in plain view because of the way my kitchen is designed, I’m fussy about form as well as function.

Right now, I have one of these jobs, and I can’t say enough about it:

I couldn’t find a picture of my exact model, but this is very, very close. The can pictured above is an 8.7-gallon Wink Trash Can by Polder. I didn’t pay $159 for my can. I think I got mine at Home Goods for maybe $85. (Still kind of a horrifying amount.)

Now, I LOVE my garbage can. I’ve had it for years. It holds a lot. It contains odors. It’s easy to clean. It’s super convenient when I cook. It reminds me of the cans they used to have in movie theaters when I was a kid. It’s shiny and pretty, and even matches my stainless steel work table.

But it one near-fatal flaw. (Queue dramatic music.)

If the bag is the tiniest bit full, there’s massive suction and the bag is frustratingly near-impossible to get out. (That’s right, my perfect garbage can sucks.) This bothers me and the Angry Chef to the point where I’ve considered forsaking it for one that’s easier to empty.

But now, I might not have to.

This morning, I came across these, which look like they might solve my problem for under $10.

This little contraption is an “AS&S garbage-can desuctionizer valve,” and it’s sold by the good folks at American Science & Surplus. They have a lot of nifty gadgety and old timey type things and have been around since 1937. A package of 3 release valves costs $5.95.

According to American Science & Surplus, you drill a hole in the bottom of your garbage can, plunk in one of these suckers, and…voila! No more suction.

Does it work?

I’m going to put in my order today, so I’ll let you know. Until then, I’ll look forward to the day that my trash can is as easy to use as it is on the eyes.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. I am curious to hear how these work. Please update when they arrive. Also, I think the best kitchen trash can I ever had was a big ol' Oscar the Grouch type can. It was big and metal and ugly, but it got the job done.
  2. PS: I also own a Super Human trash can for the kitchen purchased with a 20% off Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon. 10 free trash bags were included. Once I registered the product at the Super Human website a generous one time use coupon arrived in my email which I used to purchase additional trash bags at a huge savings.