Q&A: Convenient Kitchen Recycling Center

Question: Any suggestions for a way to keep recycling containers in a convenient place (so my family will actually use them) without having huge containers in my kitchen? It’s like having piles of garbage around until recycling day when everything goes away and then it starts all over again!

4908_web.jpgAnswer: I feel your pain! When I started recycling it was hard enough to get the kids (and the husband) to actually DO it. Once that habit was finally established, the constant trips to the garage where the larger recycling bins were kept were a pain – although it was great exercise! The recycling HAD to become more convenient.

Nowdays, there are many different options for recycling containers: There are dedicated recycling bins that are attractive and have from 1 to 3 inner compartments to separate and hold whatever it is you are recycling.There are larger plastic bins that stack on top of each other.  Although these are open, allowing you to see the recyclables, they are my favorite for a compact garage-based solution. They are not as desireable in a kitchen since you can still see everything.There are roll-out trash cans that can be mounted inside a base cabinet.

You can get a unit with one trash can or two. The advantage to this is it keeps everything HIDDEN. When it is recycling day, pull out the bags as you would for trash and replace with a fresh one.

The solution I found is similar to the roll-out trash cans, though not as fancy, and much easier on the budget. I mounted cabinet trash bag holders to the inside doors of cabinets (you could also mount them to the door of your pantry). A regular trash bag goes in it. It’s convenient and concealed. I have one for aluminum and one for plastic.

The milk jugs and glass still have to be toted down to the garage, but that is infrequent enough that it doesn’t bother me. The recyclable paper box is kept by my desk and I didn’t need another one in the kitchen at the time. I did have to shuffle around some cabinet storage so the recyclables would be attached to the cabinet doors under the sink instead of the cabinet with my pots and pans. I hope you’ve gotton some ideas you can use!Happy Organizing!

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