Can I recycle and have an uncluttered kitchen?
December 6, 2005 6:12 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know any good recycling storage options?

My boyfriend is a recycling fanatic. Before he moved in I only recycled cans and glass. Now we also have piles of newspaper, cardboard containers and plastic in the kitchen awaiting a trip to the recycling center. The basement is a bit too inconvenient for recycling storage, so we would prefer to keep everything in our small kitchen. However, brightly colored plastic bins are not our style.

Does anyone know of any stylish storage containers big enough to hold newspaper? Bonus points for something simple made of wood or white in color. We are considering making our own, but that time could be better spent on something else.

Also, if you have a great recycling system or any other ideas I would love to hear them.
posted by Alison to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
There are a lot of wooden crates here, but I didn't look through enough to see if there is one big enough for newspapers.
posted by leapingsheep at 6:38 AM on December 6, 2005

One word of warning: Cockroaches (and other pests) like the stacked cardboard and paper bags. You need a good turnover rate on getting rid of your recycling to avoid a bigger problem down the road.
posted by thanotopsis at 6:49 AM on December 6, 2005

I've got a wicker-basket clothes hamper (with lid) in my dining room that holds all mine. It's about 3 ft. tall x 1.5 ft. wide x 1.5 ft. deep (ca. 90 x 45 x 45 cm). Plenty of these to be found at bed/bath/home stores, and they look a damn sight better than the big plastic bin I was using previously.
posted by hangashore at 6:56 AM on December 6, 2005

Well, not exactly stylish or wood, but at least these are white:
Recycling Bins

They seem to be large enough to hold newspapers. There are a few more options on that site, but I thought this one was the most feasible.
posted by tuxster at 7:16 AM on December 6, 2005

If you have the cabinet space, this could work for you.
posted by grateful at 8:38 AM on December 6, 2005

Another solution, although not as pretty or space-efficient.
posted by grateful at 8:40 AM on December 6, 2005

Another chronic recycler here... I know it's trendy to hate on IKEA these days, but I've had five of these -- one each for plastic, glass, metal, newspaper, mixed paper -- in a stack alongside my kitchen counter for nearly 8 years now, and I love 'em. Cheap, fashionably neutral (translucent), and extremely sturdy! They've survived countless rides to the recycling center. IMO these are comparable to the much more expensive bins at The Container Store and elsewhere.

Some minor issues: (1) Check the size, as I think IKEA has changed it over the years; mine are reasonably large, but not huge -- you might want to designate two for very-bulky items, esp. plastic bottles; (2) The lid hinges can crack a bit if you abuse them enough, (3) They need to be de-gunked of wine spills and other effluvia every so often, but that would be true of any recycling container.
posted by skyboy at 10:18 AM on December 6, 2005

I find that containers labeled specifically for recycling are more expensive. I keep newspapers in paper grocery bags, and plastic and glass in a laundry basket that has seen better days. Ideally, I'd have shelving that used laundry baskets as drawers. Wicker landry baskets might meet your needs.
posted by theora55 at 10:58 AM on December 6, 2005

I use the IKEA "Reno" bins - white plastic stackable for about $8.
posted by selfmedicating at 11:41 AM on December 6, 2005

Thanks for the replies! I'll talk to my boyfriend about this and see what he thinks. I like the fact that he recycles, but I just don't want to have to look at it. I'm thinking about using bins like the ones skyboy and tuxster mentioned for cans and plastic. I'm thinking about cramming something like this in the breakfast nook for newspaper and cardboard.

Still, I would love to hear more suggestions and advice.
posted by Alison at 2:06 PM on December 6, 2005

For your newsapapers (and maybe the rest), a milk crate is simple and arguably stylish (depending on your decor). They can be painted, or not-really milk crate crates can be purchased in a variety of colors. They are actually just a little too small to comfortably fit a standard newspaper, but they cram in ok. You might also be able to find wooden wine bottle crates in a large enough size to do your newspapers.
posted by attercoppe at 7:18 PM on December 6, 2005

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