7 DIY Recycling Centers for Small Spaces

By Chris Gardner | Updated May 18, 2020 4:11 PM

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Whether you’re lucky enough to have once-weekly curbside service, or you have to transport your paper, glass, metal and plastic to a local drop-off center, there’s that necessary first step: storing and organizing your recyclables.

No problem if you have extra space in the garage or on the patio for recycling containers, but for those of us with kitchens barely large enough to hold appliances, the challenge is to be creative. Here are seven small-space recycling solutions you can easily create at home.


Photo: popularmechanics.com

Be Inventive. This Elf Medium Mesh Laundry sorter from The Container Store offers an immediate and attractive solution. Simply add a few labels and tuck it under a countertop, below a desk, or in a pantry or closet. For a less expensive option, consider IKEA’s Antonius Series.


Photo: readymade.com

Behind the Door. For those with no floor space to spare, consider this inexpensive over-the-door solution made from plastic bins and shelving tracks. You can find the how-to at ReadyMade.

IKEAHackers Recycling Bin Solution

Photo: ikeahackers.com

In the countertop. If you have wall space in the kitchen and could use more prep surface area, check out this brilliant through-the-countertop solution from Ikea Hackers.


Photo: marthastewart.com

Leave it out. If you don’t have a place to hide your recycling—leave it out! The team at Martha Stewart turned store-bought stacking bins into a rolling, decor-friendly solution.


Photo: ana-white.com

From scratch. If you’re itching to break out the power tools, check out Ana White’s plans for an attractive recycling cabinet made from MDF.


Photo: womensday.com

On the wall. This hanging basket from Women’s Day isn’t intended for recycling, but I can imagine it working perfectly as an attractive solution for paper and junk mail, recyclable plastics and aluminum.


Photo: manmadediy.com

Customized. Sometimes you have the storage space, but can’t find the bins to fit it. In those situations, you can always whip up your own.

For more on recycling, reuse and energy efficiency, consider the following articles and slideshows:

Learning to Love Recycling
20 Ways to Go Green Today