Home Recycling Bin And Containers Hall Of Fame: How Readers Recycle In Their Homes
Adding a home recycling bin or containers to your kitchen or other area of your home is essential if you and your family want to start recycling items, instead of just trashing them.
As part of week number six of the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge I asked readers to create a home recycling center, and many people wrote in to share their system and what worked for them.
I really enjoyed looking at everyone's pictures and ideas (scroll down to see them all), because it really gave some great inspiration for how you can increase the recycling efforts in your own home, without too much extra work or effort. Plus, I like seeing what has worked for REAL families, don't you?
The first step in the process is, of course, to decide where you'll place your recycling center, and set up the containers where you'll sort and organize the recyclables.
That's why today's Declutter 365 mission is to declutter this area.
To get ideas of where to put your recycling center, and what kinds of containers may work well for you, scroll on down.
In addition, if you get inspired by these pictures and tips, please take pictures of how you recycle in your home, and submit them to the Home Organization Hall of Fame, and I'll feature the best of these photos here on the site!
Put Your Recycling In Your Lazy Susan Corner Cabinet
The photo above is from a reader, Shirley, who said, ""Had shelves in two corner cabinets for over 20 years. Referred to those cabinets as "the black holes". HATED THEM!!! 2-1/2 years ago, did a total makeover in my kitchen. One is a two shelf lazy Susan that I use for all my baking pans and such. The other one is quite possibly my favorite feature in my new kitchen - a three can recycling center!"
If you don't like your rotating lazy susan corner cabinets this may be an idea you want to consider. It allows for use of this space, and also for you to hide both trash and recycling bins from view in your kitchen.
You can get the hardware and materials necessary to transform your rotating lazy susan cabinet into a hidden recycling center here:
This is my 'recycling center'. I'm not sure what all is included in the challenge, but this is what I've got. I have big garbage cans in the garage I empty these into. It's all commingled now, so I could get by with one container. Old habits die hard!
The plastic bag that's hanging is for box tops for education, etc., so when I take them off the container, It's right by where I throw the container.
Thanks for sharing your home recycling center Carrie.
I think it is definitely easier for those people who don't have to separate their recycling, but what I am seeing from everyone is that even if you don't have room for separate home recycle bins or containers for each type of item having one container can still work.
In that instance you just need to create a routine to actually empty the single container on a regular and frequent basis into larger separate containers in a separate area, such as your garage or an outdoor shed. In that case big garbage cans, as long as their labeled for what you should throw in them, will work just as well as more traditional recycling types of containers and bins!
I also completely love the tip for organizing and keeping soup labels and Box Tops for Education. My kids' school collects these too, and when we use an item with these types of codes I like to save them for donation. (Every extra little bit of money helps!) Having a space right near where you throw the rest of the container is a simple but very effective way to save these in a place convenient for you, and that will help you remember to save the codes. I am totally going to do this in my home now!
Here's another photo from a reader, Paula, below, who also keeps her recycling bin, and trash can, under her sink.
Paula said, "Undersink cupboard. Garbage on left. Returnables on right (5c ME deposit) soda, beer, wine, plastic water and juice bottles and jugs."
She too has a good system in place, which works well with the recycling rules where she lives, and for how often they pick up recycling, and what she needs to take herself.
I really like how she's used some labeled garbage cans for home recycling bins and containers in her garage. It think it is very important to label all your containers and bins with what type of items should be in there, especially if your recycling center requires you to presort so you make it as easy on yourself (and your redemption center) as possible.
Here are some examples of garbage cans, in various sizes and shapes, which are labeled as for recyclables. Of course, you could easily use a regular garbage can too, as long as you labeled it for recycling.
Another thing I really liked about Jan's system for recycling is that she also had some small containers for holding the odd recyclable items you gather around your house, like certain types of light bulbs, electronics, etc., but that don't fit into the common recycling system such as paper, plastic, metal or glass. Just having a small basket or container for such items, which you deal with periodically, is a really good idea.
Here's another photo below, sent in by another reader, Sarah.
Sarah said, "We are new to recycling and our town requires us to sort and drop it off ourselves. So, I got these cheap trash cans from Walmart. I had to make signs to stick on the front because we are learning what goes where and what can't be recycled. The grey one is one we already had and is just for regular non-recyclable outside trash. Fun project. I've been working on it for about a week."
Ice cream bucket to collect recycling in bathrooms
Ceramic jar for compost scraps
Large home recycling bin behind house
Bag for home office for paper recycling
Dawn shared her system for recycling in her home.
I already had a system in place and it works well for us so I didn't make any changes. One easy, cheap trick I have for collecting recycling is using an ice cream bucket under sinks in bathrooms or where ever you might need a small one.
I also keep a ceramic jar outside by kitchen door for compost scraps. I found it at Goodwill for cheap.
I've posted on my blog my recycling and trash system. ***Update - Dawn has taken down her blog, so I've removed the link.***
After completing all six challenges so far, I'm feeling much lighter from clutter and junk overload!
Thanks so much for sharing these ideas for how to recycle. I especially like how you've recycled items to use as your home recycling bins, which is the real essence of recycling.
I'm also impressed with your large storage shed from your main recycling that you keep behind your house, and that you explain in more detail on your blog (everyone should read Dawn's blog post for more details, since it is really helpful and informative.)
Anne shared her system for recycling throughout her condo
We set up this recycling system when we moved into this condo three years ago and it is working well for us.
Picture 1: We put plastic, glass, cans & lightweight cardboard in this bin under the kitchen sink.
Picture 2: When this container is full I take it to the garage to empty.
Picture 3: We put paper in these bins at the end of the kitchen cabinets.
Picture 4: We sort the plastic, glass & metal into the green bin which goes out weekly for the city to pick up. The lightweight cardboard goes in the blue bins and heavy cardboard lies on top. About once a month I take the cardboard & paper (from the kitchen) to the county recycling center.
Thanks for sharing these pictures Anne, and the explanation of each.
I can tell you've really thought about where you need to collect recycling, and have placed your containers and bins strategically to collect the items where they are generated.
Are You Inspired To Get Organized Now?
I hope these pictures have given you some ideas for how you can arrange the recycling centers in your own homes.
During the course of a year we organize each room and type of item in our homes, so that by the end we've organized the whole thing! As you can see from these pictures, it's really making an impact in people's homes, and it can in yours too.
Be sure to take some pictures of the system you create for your home, and send them into the Home Organization Hall of Fame here. Then, I'll feature the best ones here on the site!
Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase a product through them I receive a small commission which helps me provide this information to you for free, plus support my family. My integrity and your satisfaction are very important to me so I only recommend products I would purchase myself, and that I believe would benefit you. To learn more please see my disclosure statement.