Professional organizers are fans of wastebaskets—they help ensure trash actually leaves the space—so I'm always interested in new design twists on this basic product.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, where I work, many cities are banning plastic grocery bags—but before the bans, I saw many clients with huge stashes of those bags. But the bags don't need to go to waste; they can be used in wastebaskets, if those baskets are designed to make use of them. The Urbano Eco trash can, designed by Kevin McElroy, uses one bag for collecting trash and stores other below. The only drawback with this design is it's just a bit awkward to add new bags to the collection while one is in use. And sometimes any bit of awkwardness keeps people from putting things away.
The BagSavr+ from Products That Work does things a bit differently; extra bags (up to 10) are stored in a pocket, so it's easy to add bags at any time. The BagSavr+ has also been designed to allow it to live on the floor or mounted to walls, cabinet doors, etc. It has a flat back and keyholes to allow it to be wall-mounted with a couple screws; it also comes with a mounting bracket.
Other wastebaskets, such as this one from Polder, look more like conventional wastebaskets, but are still designed to hold plastic grocery bags. Some users of a slightly different version complained about it being hard to remove the bag without making a mess—a good reminder that ease of use needs to be paramount with products like this.
The MESSKit from Better Houseware also makes use of plastic grocery bags—but the more interesting feature is the way the dustpan and brush hook onto the wastebasket. This could be a nice space-saving device for rooms where all three are often used together. Dustpans are usually awkward to store upright, and this design eliminates that problem.
Another useful design innovation is including a separate small bin to keep wet items separate from dry items. BasketBin, designed by Ding3000 for Konstantin Slawinski, holds papers in the main basket, and other garbage in the smaller bin. My only concern is that the slatted design means small items (staples, paper clips, etc.) could fall out of the main bin.
The Ba Ba Bin from Koziol addresses the same issues as the BasketBin, without the drawback of the slat design. Another difference is that the small bin for wet items doesn't have a lid. That makes it easier to use, with no lid to remove. It also means the wet items are out in plain sight—which may bother some end users, and not others. Depending on how tightly the lid on the BasketBin fits, it might also help keep wet items away from curious pets.
And there are other notable designs, too. The angled design of the In Attessa wastepaper basket from Danese Milano, designed by Enzo Mari, makes it easier to catch waste (liked crumbled paper) thrown in its direction.
Droog's Paperbag from Goods, designed by Jos van der Meulen, is cool because it's made from unused billboard posters. The Paperbag is shipped flat, with instructions on how to fold it—hopefully, that's pretty easy. Size is always a design consideration, and the Paperbag comes in various sizes, to meet different end users' needs.
The drawback, of course, is that the end users never know what their particular Paperbags will look like. Also, this design is potentially less stable than other wastebaskets (although it's hard to tell for sure from a photo); I might not want to use it if cats or dogs were running around.
The Bin from Materia, designed by Front, changes shape as it gets filled. The outer shell is made from strips of powder coated sheet metal; the inner bin is black polypropylene. The Bin provides a unique visual reminder that it's getting full, while still maintaining a clean look.
Jeri Dansky has been a professional organizer since 2004, helping people whose clutter is driving them crazy—and helping the mostly organized do even better. She works with her clients to de-clutter and organize the stuff and the papers in their homes and offices.