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April 19, 2014  |  Login
Creating Your Own Recycling System: Compost Piles and Recycling Stations
By Yvonne Jeffery, Liz Barclay, Michael Grosvenor
 
Turning your organic kitchen and yard waste - paper, vegetable peelings, eggshells, grass clippings, and leaves, for example - into new, nutrient-rich dirt is the best possible example of recycling success in action. If you have a yard, you can build or install a composter in a sunny spot; if you don't have the space and your local recycling options don't include organic waste, consider setting up a worm farm indoors to handle the compostable materials. Click here to read the ecomii guide to composting.

For those items you can't compost, you can create a recycling station in your home no matter how little room you have to devote to it. Essentially, you set aside a space where you can collect and store your recyclables until it's time for pick up or drop off.

A garage is the perfect place for a recycling station. To save space, install shelves on the wall, one above the other, that will each hold one recycling bin. You can buy brackets and wood or ready-made shelves from local building centers or organizing stores; you also can purchase bins to hold your recyclables. If your recyclables need to be separated, label the bins and allow enough space between them to throw in the recyclable items.

For smaller spaces, especially apartments, check under your kitchen sink. You may already have a trash can there, so it's the ideal spot to add another trash can (or even two or three) for your recyclables. You can buy commercial products, such as pull-out trays, to make the bins easily accessible, or you can rig up your own tray that slides out. If you don't have enough room for trash cans under your kitchen sink, use paper bags to collect recyclables instead.

TIP:If you're really tight on space, buy a can compactor to crush metal cans, significantly reducing the space they occupy. You mount the compactor on a wall or sturdy, vertical surface, such as a wood shelf frame. You can crush milk and juice cartons without the aid of a compactor.

 
 

 

 
 
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