Large bins make it easy to dispose of a variety of recyclable materials safely and legally. Recycling bins come in many shapes and sizes, which makes choosing one a difficult task. As you research different options, check out what kinds of materials they can hold and how they organize them. Multi-stream containers, for example, can handle different types of recyclables as long as they are separated. Multiple well-labeled lids built into the bin are convenient to keep recyclables sorted into the right section as well. An alternative to multi-stream bins is individual stackable bins you can keep organized in a small garage or outdoor space.


Rubbermaid Commercial Products BRUTE Rollout Heavy-Duty Wheeled Trash/Garbage Can – 50 Gallon – Blue Recycling




.MegaDeal. Stackable garbage trash recycle bin with flap door, 2-Pack



Forte Products 8001952 Enclosed Top Plastic Recycle Bin – Pull Out Drawer with Aluminum Graphic, 20″ L x 26″ W x 40″ H, Blue




Genuine Joe 23 Gallon Recycling Bin – 1 Pack




simplehuman 58 Liter / 15.3 Gallon Rectangular Hands-Free Dual Compartment Recycling Kitchen Step Trash Can with Soft-Close Lid, Brushed Stainless Steel



What to Look for When Buying Recycling Bins


The best way to encourage recycling is to choose a bin that is intuitive and easy to use for everyone in the house. Look for features that will make using your recycling bin pleasurable, such as soft-close compartments, no-touch opening, or built-in liner bag storage. Be sure the bins are easy to open and maneuver, so that recycling will feel like the simple, virtuous habit that it is and not a chore. 


Recycling bins come in all shapes and sizes, from small models for apartment dwellers who take the trash out frequently, to larger homes that recycle for weekly pick-up. Choose recycling bins that are adapted to how much waste your household produces, the space you have to house them, and your neighborhood recycling schedule. Make sure that the bins fit comfortably under the sink, or stacked in the corner of the garage, or wherever you plan to keep them so they are accessible and easy to use. 


In the spirit of producing less waste, look for high quality bins that are durable and won’t have to be replaced for years to come. It might seem ironic that the majority of recycling bins are made of plastic, but you can mitigate your guilt about that by looking for bins made of recycled plastic. Be sure that bins are lightweight for ease of use, but sturdy enough so that you won’t wear them out too quickly.

  • Can you put clothes in a recycle bin?

    Clothes have no place in a traditional recycling bin. Instead, you can donate clothes that are laundered and in good, wearable condition to organizations like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Clothes that are torn, damaged, irrevocably soiled, or contaminated with chemicals belong in the trash. 

  • How do you find out what can go in a recycle bin?

    Recycling rules and regulations can differ depending on your location, so always check local guidelines. You should also check labels on products if you are unsure whether or not packaging can be recycled. While there are increasing options for recycling everything from batteries to furniture, in general, recycling bins for the home are devoted to paper, plastics, metal cans, and glass, and should be clearly marked as such.  

  • How do you clean a recycling bin?

    Plastic bins can be wiped down with a cloth or cleaned with dish soap and water. Choose recycling bins that are easy to clean, to keep them free from dust or spills. The best way to keep your recycling bin clean is to place clean, dry items in it. Take care to rinse food residue before you recycle, while remaining mindful of not wasting too much water in the process, and allow items to dry before placing them in bins. 

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