6 neat ideas for home recycling bins & stations

#1 Compact wall recycling center

We live in a small apartment in Copenhagen, so finding space for the variety of recycling can be very difficult.

Previously, we had it all stashed away in several cupboards, in a variety of boxes and containers. This meant when it was time to empty it, we had to first transfer it to another bag, then carry it down three flights of stairs to dispose of it in the proper dumpster.

This solution consolidates it all in a convenient area, in bags which we can simply pluck off the wall, carry down, then slip back in their place. The bags are durable, easy to wash, and a comfortable size which allows you to carry multiple down.

The best part is that it’s all in one area, hidden away in a small part of the apartment near the back stairwell, an area that is rarely trafficked. We’ve freed up space in cupboards we use most often, and utilized a space that previously felt like a bit of a sad, unusable area.

IKEA item used:
Step by step instructions: 

1. Cut the long handles off the IKEA bags — leave the short ones.

2. Follow the instructions on the eyelets, and put two in each bag, right next to the handles.

3. Attach the three boards to the wall with 3 screws each (preferably on two planes to make it more stable).

4. Measure out the distance between the holes in the bags, and put L-hooks in the boards at the right distance. 

5. Write the type of trash you intend the bags for in Sharpie, directly on the bag.

6. Put the bags on the hooks and ya done!

7. This can be done in so many ways to fit the space you have, there are no rules!

How much did it cost?

The biggest cost of the project was the eyelets we used to mount the bags (approx. $20). The seven bags were $1 a piece, and the L hooks were $10.

The boards used to mount the bags were scrap wood we already had. The cost might seem a bit inflated, but these things cost a bit more in Denmark and you can probably find similar items for cheaper if you live in North America.

This was an exceptionally cost effective, space saving solution for a small apartment.

Happy Hacking!

~ by Megan & Nadia 

#2 Vertical wall mounted recycle bins

Another wall mounted solution with the TRONES shoe storage boxes. Install them vertically for a compact recycling center.

Credit: 2 Engler

#3 Give a KNODD to sustainability

The IKEA KNODD is a large, sturdy galvanized steel, powder coated bin that can be used for waste or storing all kinds of things. Look out for them at the As-Is department, like how she did and scored 4 for cheap.

Label with vinyl stickers and you’re set.

#4 Recycling bin solution for renters

In Germany it is required to recycle. You basically need a bin for everything: glass, paper, batteries, plastic and metal packaging, organic waste and the rest of household waste.

As you can imagine, for all those bins alone you need to come up with an idea if you don’t want them to dominate your kitchen.

We only rent an apartment we don’t have much choice of where to put all that stuff. So we’ve come up with the idea of having a recycling cabinet dedicated to the biggest bins.

We took an IKEA kitchen cabinet (SEKTION or METOD) with hinged doors and handles to match our IKEA kitchen.

Put the worktop on, which is also used in the kitchen, and cut two round holes in it.

We sealed and glued the inside cut with edging strip which came with the work top. As lids we used some wooden food plates which IKEA sold in the summer and added IKEA door knobs.

In order for the lids not to fall through we cut the holes in the SEKTION top about 2 cm smaller than the one in the worktop.

And voilà! Our recycling station was done.

~ by Glyn

#5 Hide them in plain sight

The BISSA shoe rack, comes in either 2 or 3 compartments. So depending on your recycling requirements, get as few or as many as needed. Then add two slightly bent metal brackets into the inside of the door.

Then, slip in one of IKEA’s recycling bins into each compartment. The bracket will hold the lip (or handles) of the bin in place.

Featured below is the old VARIERA recycling bin which is discontinued. Try this hack out with the HÅLLBAR bin instead.

(Update: A reader, Charles, tried it with the HÅLLBAR bin and says, “The HÅLLBAR bins aren’t a direct swap for the VARIERA, they don’t have the same lip at the top – it’s a smooth ridge, so there’s nothing for the brackets to hold. I solved this by using a drill to create a slot for the brackets (using a jigsaw didn’t go so well). But I then ran into another problem – on the 3 compartment BISSA – the horizontal brace at the back is positioned in such a way that the compartment can’t close with the bin in it – either the bin must be wider than the VARIERA bins or have a different profile. I would advise anyone attempting this now to fit the horizontal brace about 3 inches higher (this will entail drilling holes for the dowels).

#6 Dog-proof trash and recycle bin

Our dog was always getting into the trash. We have a small kitchen with no space in the cabinets to put the trash can in. Since we use BESTÅ in every room, I’ve decided to convert it into a recycle and trash cabinet.

We placed a drawer on slides at the bottom and added another drawer front above it. We used straight metal brackets to attach the faux drawer front to get a deep drawer. Placed our Rubbermaid waste bins and they fit perfectly.

Lastly, added my dog’s water bottle and bowl to the side of this unit also. 

See the full instructions here.

~ by Lis