I think it’s a great idea: sometimes the Trash icon is simply buried under screen clutter, especially with the new spatial paradigm that Nautilus uses. The panel, on the other hand, is always on top.
Since Michiel’s code is something short of a proof of concept, I fleshed it out, adding state recognition, and some menu shortcuts which will open a Nautilus window showing the trash contents, or empty the trash bin. It works pretty well, for a two hours hack. ;-)
This actually is the first time I touch some C code, besides a project for a class final exam, in a very long time – I had almost forgot how much fun is hacking just for fun.