Two years ago, my husband and I started recycling intentionally. We began being deliberate about our purchases and purposefully setting aside materials that could be recycled. While we were intentional, we were not exactly organized. We live in a rural area and do not have any sort of trash or recyclable pick-up. Rather, we have to take our trash and recyclables to a nearby facility. Our stack of recyclables sat in a large pile until we took it to the facility. There, we had to rummage through it and sort it into the appropriate container. Recycling was a complete chore! We knew that we had to get organized in order to make the most of our recycling and our time.
We have now created this home recycling station. With labeled containers, even the kids can easily get in on the recycling action!
How to Create a Home Recycling Station
If you are looking to create your own home recycling station, here are the steps to consider.
1– Space. First, determine the space where the recycling station will be. Will it be inside? Or outside? If it is outside, make sure that it is in a covered location from the elements, such as a garage or a covered porch. We had two areas that we were considering- a covered deck and our garage near the trash can.
2– Measure. Measure the chosen space. Measure horizontally and vertically. Write down the measurements to take when shopping for recycling containers.
3– Research your local recycling facility. Find out how your local recycling facility takes the materials. For instance, our local facility wants corrugated cardboard separate from paper or light card board material. Write down the different categories that your local recycling facility accepts.
4– From those categories, determine which recycling categories that your family actually uses. Does your family use aluminum cans? If not, then no recycling bin is needed for this category. Our family needed three bins- paper, corrugated cardboard, and plastic.
5– Shop for recycling bins for the determined categories. This is the fun and perhaps overwhelming part. You’ll need all the information from above to purchase the perfect bins for your home recycling center. If you have more vertical space than horizontal space, then you may opt for bins that stack on top of one another. We found these skinny yet tall bins that fit well in our measured space. Do not feel as if you have to look for bins that are designated recycling bins. Any container that fits in your space works!
6– Label bins. Keep track of what recyclable goes into what bin by labeling them. This also helps kids to place items into the correct bin so that recycling can be a family affair. I used my die-cutting machine to create vinyl labels for the bins, but feel free to use stickers or markers if that is what you have available. I’m using a tan colored vinyl to show dirt less than a white color.
Creating a home recycling station is not complicated, but it does take some forethought and research to combine the right bins to the space for your household.