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I live on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in Canada. So, you may consider me to be a tree-hugging, weed smoking hippie. And, I’m okay with that 🙂 Although I’m not really a weed smoker, despite the fact that it’s legal here:) I do consider myself to be an environmentalist. I worked most of my adult career in Provincial government, and I worked for the Ministry of Environment. Although I worked in Finance and facilities, everything we worked on was related to the environment. So, I am definitely someone who feels that you have to do your part. There’s no planet B. We need to take better care of this one. I get mad when Greg tosses stuff in the garbage that should go in the recycling, which means that we make a LOT of recycling.
When we moved into our new house I was really excited about setting up my recycling station. I don’t know about you, but we generate a LOT of recyclables, which is a good thing! Better to have all that waste recycled than heading to a landfill.
I would love to have had recycling centre in my kitchen, but I just don’t have the room. Luckily, my garage is right off of the kitchen and super accessible. Our recycling only gets picked up every 2 weeks, which is a long time, so I needed fairly sizable containers to store it in. For my base, I went with this resin 5 tiered shelf.
Setting up the shelf was really easy. Just put the pieces together and hammer them in to make sure they are all the way in. I used a piece of board and hammered on that, to ensure I didn’t dent the edges up. Once it’s all put together put a level on it to make sure it’s nice and level. And don’t forget to secure it to the wall – safety first 🙂
Time to Organize
I opted to go with Rubbermaid Totes, which are quite a bit more robust than some of the other brands that are a bit cheaper. Also I like that they have sturdy snap-on lids, because I always put them out the night before. So they don’t fill with water if it’s raining , but more importantly all of the recyclables don’t blow around the cul-de-sac when it’s windy. The shelf fits 2 x 53L bins across perfectly. (that’s 14 gallon for those of you not on the metric system ) I also wanted them to have a bit of an opening once they were on the shelf so that I could just drop in the recycling, rather than having to pull them out all the time.
Originally I was thinking about using multi coloured ones so that different types of recycling would have individual colours so I could say “Put this in the red bin” 🙂 But it just doesn’t look as neat and tidy as it does when everything is consistent. So all grey it is!
For recycling I have the following bins:
If you want a copy of my labels click below
We don’t keep an organic bin in the garage, as we have a garburator, and outdoor composting options.
I went with these labels that are water resistant and can be used outdoors, So they won’t be a faded mess in a couple of months. But once they are, I can just print off new ones. I think these are fabulous!! They are super durable. They are removable but stay put until you take them off. I’m using these everywhere 🙂 Update: i have had these same labels on my recycling bins for 8 months, and they are not even faded!! Although someone did steal one of them!!! Obviously I make exceptional labels!
I have space for 10 bins, this allows me some additional storage, and really who doesn’t need more storage? Some of the other things I want to have their own bins include:
- Painting supplies (This may actually be more than one bin)
- Tiling supplies
- Car wash supplies (we have an almost embarrassing amount of car washing products)
- My tools (yep, I have my own tools)
I’m content to have a few empty bins hanging around, because you just know there are going to be more things that need to be stored.
I’m loving my recycling station, keeps my world a little bit tidier and helps the planet a little bit too! It’s not too fancy but it does what it’s supposed to do. WIN-WIN!!
I do not use any of the standard “blue boxes” at all, and I have never had an issue. I actually think the recycling company likes my bins, because my recycling is dry and not blowing around the cul-de-sac.