Creating a recycling station in your house or office does not have to be difficult, and a designated area with well-defined bins can help you in your efforts for a more environmentally-friendly home or workspace. There are just a few items you’ll need, and with a bit of time and effort, you can create a simple DIY recycling station to temporarily store your recycled items.
Step 1 - Determine Local Regulations
Before creating your recycling station, research your area’s recycling policies. Find out which items can be recycled, and which will have to be disposed of in another way. You’ll also want to know if curbside recycling is available, or if you’ll have to haul the items to a recycling center yourself, which could affect the type of container you use. For instance, bins with wheels might be best for curbside pickup, while lightweight containers with sturdy handles would be more appropriate if you need to haul your own recycling.
Step 2 - Choose an Area
Designate an area in your home or office for your recycling station. Consider accessibility and whether or not you want a station that is hidden or out in the open. Think about the types of items you’ll be recycling, and where these will originate from. For many people, this is the kitchen as cans, bottles, and food packaging are frequently recycled. Choose an area that is nearby and conveniently reached, and then measure the space so you can ensure that the containers you purchase will fit.
Step 3 - Purchase the Bins
Use the information you considered previously about what types of recycling you’ll have and how large your space is to help you determine the size and quantity of bins to purchase. For instance, if you’re a soda drinker, you may want to buy an extra bin for soda cans, since you’ll likely have a larger quantity of these. With this in mind, you can start looking at different styles of recycling containers. If you’re looking for something that’s purely functional or you plan on storing the bins out of sight, then a basic, no-frills container will work. However, if the bins will be visible, or if you just want to add a little style to your recycling station, there are lots of colors, patterns, and other options to jazz it up.
Step 4 - Label the Bins
Once you have the bins, label them so everyone will know exactly what goes in which container. You can keep it simple by simply using stick-on labels and a permanent marker, or you can print and laminate labels that will be more durable. If you have small children in the house, add pictures to your labels to make them easier to understand.
Step 5 - Set Up a Recycling Schedule
If you have curbside recycling available, you won’t need to set up a schedule because the disposal company will pick up your items according to their schedule. Your only job will be to get the recycling to the curb. If curbside recycling is not an option, however, creating a schedule to regularly drop off your recycling at a center will help you stay on top of it. Your schedule will depend on how much you recycle and how quickly you fill the bins. If you’ve got several people recycling, then you should plan on at least once or twice per week to haul off the recycling. If your containers are slower to fill, then once every two weeks may be adequate.