How to Make Recycling Bins


Designer recycling bins with special electronic features such as weight trackers and recycling day reminders may cost as much or more than $300 retail. You can make your own recycling bins by upcycling unused containers throughout the home or purchasing and decorating inexpensive trash cans and plastic storage totes. Create matching recycling bins for your kitchen or use unmatching bins in your garage, pantry or utility room.

Things You'll Need

  • Storage totes, 4
  • Trash cans, 4
  • Spray paint
  • Trash bags
  • Letter stencil
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Cloth laundry hampers, 4
  • Clean the interior of old, plastic storage totes or purchase new totes for under $20 each. Choose storage totes with larger gallon sizes to hold more recyclables, or choose compact totes for easier storage inside the home. You may also upcycle old trash cans or purchase four matching cans at your local home improvement store. Choose totes or cans that match one another and complement a home's décor, when making indoor recycling bins.

  • Place trash bags in the trash cans or storage totes, as possible, to reduce how often you need to clean the interior of the new recycling bins. Secure the storage bin or trash can lids to prevent rainwater from getting into recycling bins placed outdoors and to hide the mess inside bins stored within the home or garage.

  • Label the front side and lids of each recycling bin so you don't have to open all bins to find the one you need when throwing away an item. Use letter stencils, acrylic paint and paintbrushes to paint the words "glass" "plastic" "paper" and "aluminum" onto each recycling bin. If you have young children, or just want to add more flare to your recycling bins, paint images of paper, glass, plastic bottles and aluminum cans in addition to or instead of stenciling the words.

  • Reuse mesh and cloth laundry bags and hampers as recycling containers. Simply hang the containers on hooks in your kitchen or garage. Paint labels onto the front, or attach a label tag to the handles or drawstrings of the bags. These easy to make recycling bins are also very easy to launder when dirty.

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