post off: how do you organize your recycling?


We spotted this spiffy new Ecopod Recycling System in the latest Williams-Sonoma catalog and it has us looking at the bags full of plastic bottles in our kitchens with disgust. This thing doesn’t just hold your recyclables, it also crushes them… making room for up to 50 plastic bottles or aluminum cans. There’s also a place for for holding newspapers (and magazines, which in our homes always pile up faster than anything else), glass bottles, plastic bags and more. The hitch of course is the price, $328 which seems like a lot to spend on any kind of trash can. For now, our assorted bins and bags will have to do… unless one of you have some clever suggestions? Let us know how you organize your recycing!

From our partners
erica p.

I luckily have a pretty decent size cabinet below my sink- big enough to hold my trash can and right behind it, the same size bucket for my bottles and cans. I hate to admit it but I don’t have a paper bin of my own. Lucky for me, my building has a big paper-only bin right by the mailboxes (smart location for all that junk mail people throw out) so I try my hardest to use that. I’m a magazine junkie- I get 4 subscriptions and then probably buy at least 4 more each month off the newstands so they pile up quick. Every few week I give a stack to my boyfriend who leaves them for his patients at the dental clinic- he says the food ones are always a big hit!


While not totally inexpensive, simplehuman has a nice size (and uniquely shaped) recycling bin:

I got this for my parents when their local area went to a pay-to-throw-away charge and recycling efforts were stepped up. The two bins hold a fair amount and can be removed and washed easily which is always nice with messy bottles, etc.

The only down side is that you are limited to essentially two products. For some that is fine, but I currently have four different bins going (which maybe why the Ecopod is so expensive!)


I installed IKEA’s pullout bins, under my kitchen sink, one set on each side (2 bins each side nestled in a pullout container), and it cost roughly $25 for all. Four bins total: garbage, paper, bottles/glass, and cleaning supplies (which lets me carry cleaning supplies from room to room easily). They’re found in IKEA’s kitchen department.


I use a plastic drawer system (four drawers) that I bought at Organized Living a few years ago. Works well for my one person household.


We don’t have much under the sink storage so we have been using the trofast system from the ikea kids department. The unit is $50 and the bins (we use 2 large, one for paper, one for glass and plastic) are $5 each so its easy to replace when necessary. We’ve had it about 5 years and have switched out the bins maybe twice.

We use IKEA’s Sortera bins, two big ones for plastic and paper, and a small one for glass and metal. They stak nicely and look clean!

We should really get one of these. Right now we have the plastic bin under the sink and the paper collects on the bottom of a shelf (where our cat likes to kick her litter). My boyfriend manages the whole process, but I bet he’d be delighted if we got one of these.


I have an attached garage so place my recyclables just outside the door in the garage. I have 2 – 5 gal. buckets I got from the city 17 yrs. ago into which I deposit glass and cans. I also recycle milk carton/water jugs into a large trash bag after they have been stomped to reduce volume. Newspapers also go into a handled paper grocery bag which lies on its side on top of the dryer until full. AND finally plastic water bottles – I do refill for a reasonable number of days before tossing – these also go into a paper grocery bag. I am a big fan of paper grocery bags – yes I know…I could do better with canvas but am satisfied with reusing the paper. Also my trash is stored under the sink in a paper grocery bag before making its way to the $2.50 per bag mandatory trash bag.

That looks incredibly useful. It could also double as a baby changing table when you’re trying to recycle and the baby has a dirty diaper. It’s good when things multitask!

We’re very lucky in that all our recycling goes into one bin. We just keep two trashcans side by side at the end of the kitchen counter. One holds the regular garbage, the other holds paper, plastic, glass, etc. We use 13 gallon plastic cans that are easy to hose off on the way inside after dumping them in the large, outdoor bins.

that reminds me i want an ecopod!
i saw them debut at dwell on design last september in sf.
right now i put everything but paper/cardboard in one big orange garbino that matches our orange garbage can.

I have two simplehuman trash cans in our kitchen – since they have removable interior ‘bins’ all I have to do is dump it in the large recycle can outside (in Denver, we don’t separate…it all just goes into one gigantic purple trash can provided by the city). simplehuman is NOT cheap, but I’m kind of obsessed with their trash cans.
What I am looking for, however, is a “recycle” sticker to put on the bin so guests know which is which…any ideas where I can find one? It seems stupid to order a sticker online, but I haven’t found one yet anywhere in Denver.

I try to keep everything separated; glass, plastics, and cardboard/paper all in their individual receptacles.