Introduction: Trash Bin Lid Repair

About: I tinker and make geeky things.

The clips on our kitchen trash bin broke within the first couple of months after it was purchased.

This made opening the trash bin with the foot pedal impossible, as there was nothing to counter the force and hold the lid in place. Since the bin was intended to be opened by the foot pedal, there is no handle on the lid to open it by hand. Not wanting to spend the money to replace a product with a faulty design, I elected to attempt a repair the lid while maintaining the use of the can as intended.

The plastic clips that formerly held the lid in place were a formed part of the plastic lid. Through a very poor design, the ones on the back side of the lid break off fairly easily while the bag is being replaced. This is especially true when it is being attempted by any person who doesn't know how to properly remove and reattach the lid. If the lid is not attached by following a fairly complicated set of instructions, then any pressure on the top will break those plastic clips. Gluing the broken parts back on is not an option as they are tiny and would likely just break off again.

Through a bit of trial and error, I managed to find this solution which works fairly well. If someone else has the same type of trash can and encounters the same problem, perhaps this Instructable will help them find a quick solution and save some money in the process.

You will need a small hand drill with a few different sizes of drill bits and two S-hooks from your hardware store. Try to find a drill bit that is just larger than the size of the S-hooks that you purchase.

Step 1: Trial and Error: Clamps

The solution is fairly simple. I needed to replace the functionality of the plastic clips with an alternative that would hold the lid in place while the foot pedal was being pressed.
After a bit of trial and error, I discovered that pinching the lid against the rim with a clamp would hold the lid in place. At first, I slid two S-hooks over both the lid and the rim of the can and slid them towards the outer edges until they held the lid in place. This temporary solution worked for a little while, but they would slip off far too often, fall to the floor, and bounce under the refrigerator or some other tough to reach (of find) location. It also took a considerable amount of pressure and lining everything up just right in order to get them installed so that they would stay. All of that was nearly as annoying enough to replace the can anyway.

After several months of using the clipped on S-hook system, I had to admit that it wasn't actually a solution. So it was back to the drawing board.

Step 2: Solution: Drilling Holes & Installing S-Hooks

I carefully lined up an S-hook and marked a spot on each side to drill the holes that would allow enough space for an S-hook to slide in from the backside of the rim and come out the hole on the lid itself. The holes were located as close to the sides of the lid as possible, near to where the original clip was on the lid.
I used a drill bit that was just slightly larger than the size of the S-hook. I wanted enough plastic material that it would hold the S-hook in place without cracking while the lid was being raised by the foot pedal.

I held the lid in place with a heavy object (my toolbox) and clamped the lid and rim together while I drilled each hole through both the lid and the rim at the same time. You can see in the photos and video that the S-hooks are in place, replacing the faulty original plastic clips. It is fairly easy to figure out how to remove & replace them in order to change the bag without instructions. My girlfriend was thrilled with the outcome, scoring me some good points in the handyman department. However, she informed me that emptying the trash can is still primarily my job, not hers. ;)

If I had to do it over again, I would have removed the bag from the bin before drilling the holes. The left side hole was partially covered by a part of the bag and I drilled through it, causing some of the bag to start wrapping around my drill bit. It wasn't a disaster, but it could have been easily avoided.
Since I already had the S-hooks, my total cost for the project was $0. However, the cost for two S-hooks is less than a couple of dollars and well worth the fix.

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