DIY Repurposing

Weekend Projects: 5 Ways to Set Up a Home Recycling Station

Recycling is the right thing to do, but it isn't always the easiest, with unsightly bins hogging precious space in your kitchen. Streamline the effort with one of these DIY sorting station projects, any of which you can make before Monday.


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If you live in one of the many municipalities encouraging—or even mandating—an effort to recycle, your day-to-day now includes a new task—collecting recyclable materials. As you dutifully sort glass, plastic, and paper, all that waste quickly accumulates until the night before pick-up, by which point the recycling seems to have taken over a sizable portion of your kitchen real estate. Reclaim floor space and organize the process more neatly with a homemade sorting station. It couldn’t be easier to set one up, although depending on your skill level and ambition, you may wish to build something on the more elaborate side. Check out these DIY recycling bins we culled from around the Web. Copy your favorite approach, or draw ideas on how to customize a design that perfectly meets your own needs.


This kid-friendly sorting station not only serves as a temporary storage place for recyclables, but it also encourages the use of scrap materials in future arts and crafts. By incorporating a pegboard and simple tools, Handmade Charlotte invites her children to imagine fun uses for things otherwise destined for the dump.


DIY Recyling Bins - Labeled Buckets

If you didn’t receive blue bins from your local government—or if you’re looking for a solution that would look equally at home on the curb and in the kitchen—take a look at how Sarah Hearts spruced up a trio of easily affordable, readily available buckets with no-cost printables that clearly mark the contents of each container.


DIY Recycling Bins - Filing Cabinet

As we rely less and less on printed paper, filing cabinets are becoming a thing of the past. So you’ve got to love the poetic justice of recycling one such cabinet into a sorting station for recyclables. Kristina at Grow and Make offers instructions on updating any file cabinet into a cheery-looking, effortlessly mobile home helper.


DIY Recyling Bins - Converted Cabinet

Green bottles, red plastic cups, and paper in every hue—left out in the open recyclables create visual clutter. For maximum camouflage, build a sorting station that matches the decor elsewhere in your home. The crafty homeowners at Projectophile did just that, converting an old cabinet into a new and stylish drop zone.


Cabinet Recycling Center

In kitchens with limited floorspace, consider housing your DIY recycling bins on top of, or even within, those elements of the room that are not going anywhere (e.g., cabinetry). Bruno at ManMade DIY custom-fit two corrugated plastic bins into the bottom half of his pantry. Stenciled symbols indicate what goes where.