Recycling Bin Aesthetics - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-17-2010, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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We currently have both our recycling bins side by side in the mudroom. It is functional, but not very pretty. What do you do about your recycling bins??

We need to keep them highly accessible or else the kids and DH won't use them, so keeping them in the garage or outdoors is not an option.

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#2 of 11 Old 09-17-2010, 07:55 PM
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I have no idea what a mudroom is, I have to admit.

We have our 3 floors in our house. So at the top floor, we keep 2 containers on the landing for dividing paper and bottles/plastic. At the bottom floor (but inside the house still), we have another 2 large boxes, one for paper, and a plastic crate for bottles/plastic. This way we have 2 points within the house for tossing things so that people have no excuse for putting recycling in with regular rubbish.

Outside the house we have 2 large bins on wheels for paper and for bottles.

On recycling day, we collect all the stuff from inside the house, take it out to the big wheelie bin outside and put it out on the street for collection.

Editing as I just realised your title said 'aesthetics' and I haven't touched on that! To be honest our bins inside the house are not exactly attractive, I would rather not have big bins sitting on the landing, but I haven't come across an attractive recycling bin yet that has enough space for the amount we throw out, or that doesn't cost a small fortune.

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#3 of 11 Old 09-17-2010, 10:10 PM
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I have been searching for "pretty" recycling bin options myself!!!

We do not need to sort our recycling. We can recycle paper, #1-#7 plastic, aluminum/steel, cardboard, and I may be missing something.

We recycle more than we toss out in the trash because we compost most of our produce waste (if it doesn't get used in bone broth first).

Our kitchen trash can is a small white rectangular plastic bathroom trash can from years ago and we reuse plastic bags in it (not picky...bread bags work just as well as any other plastic bag from whatever...we use canvas bags 90% of the time when shopping). We keep it under the kitchen sink in the cabinet and it barely fits because of our garbage disposal and Reverse Osmosis tank and other parts. It gets emptied once a week simply due to smells; it isn't always full.

Our recycling is a paper bag that sits in a cardboard box top. This sits in our kitchen sort of behind our table (not really visible from the doorway). We toss the paper bag and contents into the recycling bin outside from the kitchen. We get the paper bags whenever we forget our canvas bags at Trader Joe's or a local discount store (instead of plastic bags). The cardboard box underneath is to protect our floor from any spillage that leaks through (only happened once, though) and to provide more support when we move it around and to keep the Roomba from knocking it over or the cat... We replace it once in awhile from Costco purchases.

I am thinking of using a laundry hamper for the paper bag situation. Or a basket of some sort. I just haven't found the right size for paper bags, yet.

Upstairs, we have oval-shaped basket-material waste baskets in the family office. One is designated as recycling only and we stand at the recycling bin outside and toss each handful at a time from the basket into the dumpster. Thank goodness this doesn't fill up nearly as often and is mostly paper and cardboard. My desk waste basket has the main part as recycling and then I retrofit a tiny plastic bag on part of it to hold actual trash. These random small plastic bags just come into the house in weird ways. I don't hunt them down or buy them. Our upstairs situation is perfect for us aesthetically and functionally.

If I didn't care about how long it takes to empty the items a handful at a time or the fact that kitchen recycling is messier than office/bedroom/bathroom recycling, I'd just go buy another waste basket at Ikea like our upstairs ones. They were inexpensive and very appealing and made of natural materials.

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#4 of 11 Old 09-19-2010, 12:39 AM
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Our mixed recycle is in the garage - I just open the kitchen door and toss it in there. I have DH and the girls leave the recyclables on the counter and throw them out all the time.

Paper recycle is a huge trash can. I have a small grocery bag we fill with paper and boxes that I empty outside.

We don't have any real pretty choices so I chose to spend more time pushing the stuff outside. It's simple for me to do.
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#5 of 11 Old 09-19-2010, 01:17 PM
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My sister has a nice looking recycing set-up. They use bags instead of bins, they have two large water-resistant laundry type drawstring bags that are in a pretty pattern. The bags get hung on a hook on the back of the pantry door and they just pop the mixed recyclables in. When one bag is full they take it out and put up the other bag. And the bags are machine washable so that's a plus as well.

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#6 of 11 Old 09-24-2010, 11:12 PM
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We do something sort of similar. Our bins are actually kept in the basement storage room (blue box for plastics and cans, grey box for papers). In the kitchen we have a bag hanging off a doorknob. Everything gets thrown in there, and when it's full we take it downstairs and sort into the bins.

We're just using a cloth grocery bag, nothing pretty, just a regular one that you get from the stores. I like the idea of using a pretty bag, though. We still need a better place to put it, it's a little bit in the way. We have a pantry door that might work. Hmm... contemplating...

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#7 of 11 Old 09-24-2010, 11:29 PM
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#8 of 11 Old 09-25-2010, 12:16 AM
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We decided when we were planning our kitchen reno that we are lazy. If the bins aren't in the house we end up with recycles sitting around the kitchen. So we built a garbage center into our kitchen. In one large base cabinet we installed two sliding garbage can holders from Lee Valley that each hold two garbage cans. One can is garbage, one is paper & the other two are mixed recycles. It works great. About once a week we have to empty all the cans into the larger bins in the garage & it's completely hidden in the kitchen.

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#9 of 11 Old 09-25-2010, 09:57 AM
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I bought a bunch of small, rectangular trash containers that are about the size of a paper grocery bag. Two fit side-by-size in a lower cabinet in our kitchen. One is for paper and the other is for glass/cans/plastic. When they get full, they get stored in the garage and replaced with an empty one. I was doing this with paper bags until we started using cloth grocery bags, and the plastic trash/recycling containers work really well as a reusable substitute. I love that they are hidden in the kitchen (aesthetics) and accessible (useful.)

We also have one in the boys' room, one in the office, and one in the art-supplies area, but aesthetics are less of an issue in those areas, and they are small so they don't take up space. Those are just for paper.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#10 of 11 Old 09-26-2010, 06:20 AM
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Can you get a recycling bin center? Its like two recycling bins that are in a container that can be pulled out to put things in. They sale them all over the place over here (Japan so recycling is mandatory, we actually have to seperate our trash by certain categories). Kind of like this but Im sure you can get it for a lot cheaper. I can get them for like 2000 yen over here so around 23-24 dollars.

How bout a little "skirt" to go around the recycling bin? Or paint it and stencil things onto it (ok, that might be a reach but you could make it really pretty that way). Maybe put them under the kitchen sink? Thats what we did when we lived in California and we had no place for a trash can (literally, our kitchen couldn't fit two people in it at the same time).

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#11 of 11 Old 09-26-2010, 08:43 AM
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I have a system that has been working for a few years. NOt perfectly, but working.
I keep one bin for every thing in the kitchen (hidden in the bottom of a jelly cabinet) and then I sort it into different bins that I have in the basement when it gets full. I need to sort into 7 catagories- plastics 1 &2, all other plastics, white paper and cardboard, newspaper, metal, glass, and then a misc bin for batteries, lightbulbs, etc. I also keep a bin for returnable bottles and cans.

Ihave these for the basement but keep the front panel off and just leave them open.

My plan was to teach the kids how to sort and let that be a job for them, but being in the basement alone is far too scary and it doesn't seem to be working.

Me.  With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.

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