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You've Got Great Cans

kicking out the kitchen trash jams with simplehuman

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by LamontPaul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: May, 2006
For many years I lived in a Willesden Green squat with a hefty bag for a trashcan - oh how the mighty have risen!
by LamontPaul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: May, 2006
For many years I lived in a Willesden Green squat with a hefty bag for a trashcan - oh how the mighty have risen!

Of our favorite books, the Minimalists Cookbook and the Essential Kitchen are right up there.  We dance around our island and our burners with two proverbial left-handed spatulas. We're bad cooks, and bad tools and bad timing make things oh-so-much worse. We forewarn our friends, "We're making dinner on Friday, why don't you eat before you come over..."  Okay, our World of Cheese, borrowed liberally/happily from Le Parker Meridien Palm Springs, spiked with their national flags (Kirkland is a favorite) charms. Otherwise, we blow it. A lot. And aside from the garbage disposal the one thing we absolutely require of our kitchen is a trashcan... To die for.

Anyhow, look, after the recent move up from the 'Shore to our new digs on Sunset Blvd, we discovered we'd inadvertently lost our kitchen trashcan en route.

There's something about simplehuman we like. Ergonomics, sure, functionality, bliss, but we love their stuff even before we get our hands on it. We love it when we see it packaged up in the store, their cartons courageously subdued in their hues, and we want it, oh man, we want it so bad. Ever feel like that about anything else around the house? Well, I guess we feel that way about our Jonathan Adler stuff too. That stuff just makes us feel good. But as far as I can tell, Jonathan Adler doesn't do cans (yet?). On the other hand, simplehuman's just got great cans...

My current currency unit equivalent is to divide the price of an item in front of me, by the number of beers I could get instead, across the street at the Shortstop. It's a trade off. Seven beers at the Shortstop for our cat Monster's bag of Eukanubah at an independent pet shop, or I could get a two beer discount at the big box pet store. Well you get the gist. I've got a lot of time on my hands.

So, without being ostentatious you can get into an adequately scaled simplehuman kitchen can right now in Target for about 20 Shortstop beers. Or so. Dependent on your beer of choice, and whether you're a good tipper. (Disclaimer: I've never actually drank beer at the Shortstop, being more of a Jamieson's person, but  I've noted the prices anyhow).  You can get the gorgeous 30 Liter Butterfly Step Can.  Being on a 20 beer budget, you're going to get the moulded plastic lid... But its a delicious one anyway... And you halve the warranty from ten years to five... But that's still a preposterously long length of time to back a bin. I mean, Can.  I mean who are these guys? In their cans they trust.

Then, there's the action. Depress the pedal and the butterfly lid wings swing wide.... Debris duly deposited, let the pedal go and the lid eases, nee glides back into place, gently and most silently. The advantage of the butterfly lid style is the cans' ability to park itself under low flying countertop edges. It all works so perfectly that if you were to stretch, another 25 Shortstop beers-or-so, to the steel lid, you'd get a metal strike plate to protect the pedal from overzealous big foots. Well then you really are redefining putting the pedal to the metal. Gently.

For many years I lived in a Willesden Green squat with a hefty bag for a trashcan - oh how the mighty have risen! It's a tough sell for companies like simplehuman. How to make throwing things away a delight. I find myself recycling far less now - since that stuff goes into a humble trader joes bag. Not much fun depositing that. But still. I read a great interview with Ray Winstone recently and he was complaining about sorting out his recycling too. Maybe simplehuman could provide city ordinance color coded can lids. It might cheer up me and Ray Winstone, and then you'd really be onto something.

Now to get my hands on that simplehuman utensil holder with detachable spoon rest...

image: Courtesy of simplehuman

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