Out in the garage, I have an organized system of bins where I store sorted recyclables between trips to the recycling center. (I don't live within the city limits, so there is no curbside recycling service, but the county does offer several permanent recycling locations.)
First, I purchased several plastic storage bins in several sizes from Home Depot. I got them on sale after Christmas last year. I use small bins for aluminum cans, tin cans, and glass, a medium bin for cardboard, and a large bin for plastic. My guys go through a lot of milk, Coke Zero and Diet Sunkist, so our plastics bin always fills up first even though it's the largest!
I labeled each bin on the front so that everybody knows what gets sorted where.
Once the plastics bin is overflowing, it's time to load all the bins up in my car and take them to the recycling center. Since I need the trunk, back seat and passenger seat to fit everything, I didn't want the bottoms of the bins to be all dirty from the garage floor. Instead, I purchased a length of shelving and installed it along the wall just outside the door from the garage into the house, then I lined up all the bins on the shelving, with the plastics bin closest to the door.
Since the milk and 2 L soft drink bottles take up the most space, we toss those straight into the plastics bin on the garage rather than putting them in the smaller bin in our kitchen. Larger cardboard boxes go straight to the garage bin, but smaller paperboard from food packaging, as well as glass bottles, aluminum cans, and tin cans go into the can in the kitchen until it's time for sorting.
We also have a bin for paper that we keep in our hall closet. All paper in our house gets recycled. Even when our document shredder gets full, I empty it into a bag for recycling.
We've been using this system since last January, and it's been working great for us. Ironically the bins were empty when I took the photos because I had just made a trip to the recycling center. It wasn't until I returned from the trip and was putting the bins back on the shelf that I thought others might benefit from our system, and decided to blog about it.
If you recycle, what's your system?
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