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Recycling household products

QuestionIs there a good kitchen solution for handling recycling before weekly pickup? The kitchen waste solution I'm looking for would hold the bottles, cans, and plastics that we recycle into a big blue bin picked up weekly by the county.

Currently we set recyclables next to the kitchen trash until we go out the back door and can toss them into the bin on the porch. It's not a huge inconvenience, but I'm hoping for a solution that will keep the kitchen floor from being an interim collection point.

AnswerIf you are trying to keep the countertop and kitchen floor clear of clutter and the room free of odor, then consider incorporating an enclosed but independent porch off the kitchen where you could house the recyclables.

It's not clear from your question whether or not your county requires recycled waste to be separated. In our area it's OK to keep plastic, aluminum, and glass together, which we do in a brown paper grocery bag placed in the blue bin. That leaves the other side of the bin free for newspaper and other paper products. Cardboard is cut, bundled, and tied and left next to the blue bin.

If your county requires complete separation, then it would be a good idea to contact them for the proper requirements and container.

An easy and inexpensive fix would be to construct dividers out of 1/4" plywood and place them in the blue bin. They'd be easy to make. Cut your main divider (normally the longest way) the depth of the bin and then cut short cross members (as many as needed). Once you decide how many compartments you need, mark their positions on the main divider and cut slots one-half the way up and 1/4" wide.

On the cross members, cut dead center, one-half the way up and 1/4" wide. Now you can place the cross members over the main divider, open cut to open cut, and push them flush into place. Then pick up the whole unit and place it in the blue bin. Now it's up to you to figure out what system is most user-friendly for you!

You could also build the same dividers from heavy-duty cardboard to hold down the weight.

It's up to you to figure out what system works best for you!

Copyright © 2002 & 2007 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.
Question answered by Leon A. Frechette. This question originated from greenhomebuilding.com.

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