Organization is all the rage. From the boardroom to the bathroom, it’s obvious that being organized makes for more productivity. How about taking that same philosophy and applying it to your household recycling?
That doesn’t mean you’ll need to find one of those segregated garbage containers you find in every fast food joint now. (Which piece of packaging from your hamburger combo goes in which section again?) It means that with a well thought out design and easy access you can make this essential task much simpler.
Start with location. Where is the best place to set up a recycling station? Close to the kitchen is obvious, since that’s where a bulk of the recyclables come from. It’s also important to have it near the driveway or garage to make carting it to the curb easier. Whether in your mud room, garage or back porch, finding a good location is key.
Next build a sturdy shelf (or two if you have a lot of recycling). Plywood or laminate works fine, something that can take abuse and be wiped off quickly. Make the dimensions large enough to hold two plastic recycle bins (blue boxes or whatever color they are in your neck of the woods) side by side.
Get some strong brackets and be sure to tie into the studs – this shelf will have to hold a decent amount of weight. You might want to slightly angle the shelf and attach a lip to the edge, much like an over-sized shoe shelf.
Mark the wall behind with labels to direct the flow of recyclables. In our house, we find it works to separate the paper and box board from plastics and cans. Decide what works for your house and fits into the recycling guidelines in your home town. Color code the boxes or labels for quick and painless sorting.
Some people even build this shelving system on wheels, rolling it right out to the curb on garbage day. Keep it sturdy and simple to clean – recycling can get messy at times. Others include green waste or composting on a lower shelf (attached to the wall). This can work, but may attract bugs and leave your room a little smelly.
Personalize the design to your lifestyle. The goal is to have a dedicated, organized spot to sort and store recyclables, maintaining a good flow from your home to the curb. Do your part and make recycling easier with a station built just for you.
photo courtesy of sxc/septober