Most would agree that trash is smelly, no fun to look at, and tastes funny. This is why garbage cans with lids were invented.
Lidded cans solved the problem of not having to look at or smell trash, but the risk of brushing one's hand up against dirty trash-can flaps still existed for some time. This led to the discovery of foot-pedal-operated trash cans.
And now, in this age of cell phones and 60-plus-inch HDTVs, comes the dawn of self-opening trash cans. Options abound, just as long as you're willing to drop a couple hundred dollars on something you put banana peels and moldy cheese into.
- Hammacher Schlemmer's Self-Opening Trash Can: This high-end garbage can opens and closes automatically after you place your foot under an infrared sensor at its base. The Self-Opening Trash Can is powered by six D batteries. After the batteries run out, you can throw them away in the trash can. This will immediately create a hole in the space-time continuum. And at just $199.99, this is a nice midrange option for garbage enthusiasts.
- Nastech Autobin: This is the best option for those who enjoy dustbins designed with a fashionable European flavo(u)r. The Autobin's infrared sensor is located on the top of the can, eliminating the need for feet. Prices range from about $155 for a 32-liter can and $175 for a 50-liter can. (Metric system conversion handbook sold separately.)
- Wastecan I.master Wesco: At $436.26, the I.master is the Cristal of self-opening trash cans. For the financial damage, you get a top-mounted infrared sensor, sexy slide-open flaps made of stainless steel, your choice of five colors (including "new silver," which was just invented by color scientists), and a liner bin made of "hot galvanized steel." It also looks the most like R2D2. (Update: While it's not self-opening, this foot-pedal trash can was recently called to my attention. It looks even more like R2D2.)