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Certainly Not a Rubbish Wedding Present!
Member Name: jo1976
Date: 16/03/11, updated on 10/10/13 (72 review reads)
Advantages: Durable, well built, seals in odours well, soft touch lid
Disadvantages: Very expensive, shows marks easily
When my husband and I finally got married almost five years ago, we had been living together for several years beforehand so our fairly modest wedding list was a mixture of luxury items as well as an opportunity to replace some essential household items. A Brabantia bin was one of the less glamorous, but unarguably practical and expensive, items on our list and was given to us by my Grandma.
I'd heard of Brabantia before as their reputation for quality is well-established but I would be reluctant to pay the kind of prices that their range usually sells for. Our bin is the 30 litre stainless steel model, complete with easy-touch lid, currently selling for an eye-watering £100 at Debenhams. At that kind of price, I would probably never consider buying another, although I would be surprised if we would ever need to replace ours, as the bin is of such good quality and has proven to be incredibly robust and durable. For extra peace of mind, the bin does come with a ten year guarantee although, realistically, there is very little that could or should go wrong with the bin, even with use several times per day.
The bin is a very simple, classic and stylish design that would be in keeping with most kitchens. Because of its large capacity and height, standing at just over 72cm tall, this isn't the kind of bin that could realistically be hidden away but it still manages to be fairly unobtrusive with its clean lines and a slim upright design. The lid is a simple black design which just needs to be pushed gently in order to open or close the lid, doing away with the need for any form of foot pedal. The soft touch closure is so gentle that none of my children have ever managed to trap their fingers in it, even as toddlers, making it a safe design for a household with young children, particularly as the bin itself is far too stable and sturdy (not to mention too heavy) to be accidentally toppled over by an unsteady infant.
In light of the high price tag, the stainless steel exterior is suitably high quality and, after almost five years of daily use shows no signs of any dents or other damage, despite being in a fairly chaotic household with three boisterous boys. Our bin is made from a shiny type of stainless steel, although there is a brushed matte version also available at a slightly higher price. As you would expect with this type of shiny material, it does tend to show up any fingerprints and any spills from anything that hasn't quite made it's way into the bin will leave behind marks and smears. This can be a bit irritating in a household with young children as it is inevitable that the bin will look grubby from time to time. I have found that anti-bacterial wipes aren't really suitable for this type of bin as they tend to leave behind smears rather than making the bin look any cleaner. A damp cloth usually cleans away most marks but it is a little like painting the Forth Bridge in my household!
This style of bin seems to be particularly good at sealing in any unpleasant odours from the rubbish it contains. I think this is partially due to the lid being extremely well fitting but also due to the dual bin system where the bag actually sits inside a bucket within the bin itself. This inner bucket is made of sturdy black plastic and can be removed entirely making it very straightforward to attach the correct sized bin bag. If a bin bag did happen to tear or leak (which would be highly unlikely given the quality of the official Brabantia bags) any contents would only get as far as the base of the inner bucket which can be very easily cleaned.
The liners used are fairly thin but durable and fit neatly inside the bucket, tucking around the lip of the bin. I particularly like that the bin bag is not visible at all once the lid is closed, making the bin look tidier than some other styles. Removing them is easy, thanks to a small metal handle at one edge of the bucket. Lifting this handle up dislodges the full bag of rubbish slightly, meaning that you don't need to rummage around a full bag of rubbish in order to get a good grip on it! The draw string handles ensure that the used bags can then be secured hygienically with minimal hassle or mess.
Replacement Brabantia Smartfix bin liners are fairly readily available and cost around the £3 mark for a pack of 20 from supermarkets and places such as Wilkinson. I like how the different sizes are clearly marked and also colour coded, making it easy to identify the correct size (the green 'G' bags.) As the 30 litre size is a fairly standard size, it is also possible to buy and use cheaper brands. Bags from the Simple Human range also fit perfectly, as do several cheaper own brand or economy ranges such as the Smartt brand which I managed to pick up from Morrisons for just £1 for a pack of 20 recently. I don't generally find the cheaper brands to be any lower in quality or reliability than the originals and I do test them to the limits as I shove as much as I can into each bag. The only noticeable difference is that the area underneath the draw string handles has been known to tear slightly on cheaper brands, if the bag is particularly stuffed.
The bin itself is a really simple, stylish and functional design which helps us to keep our rubbish under control. I find a bin of this size perfectly adequate for our family of five and only need to empty the bin every two or three days, without worrying about any unpleasant odours escaping. I can't offer any real criticism of the bin itself, certainly in terms of build quality and ease of use, but I still do think the range is very overpriced. If you are willing to spend around £100 on a kitchen bin, this one certainly won't disappoint.
Summary: A quality household purchase with an expensive price tag