Where do you put recycling?

kelliaFebruary 4, 2011

Where in your kitchen do you put recycling? We have the big bins that go to the curb in the garage, but our current method of rinsing and setting on the kitchen counter until the kids take it out there is driving me nuts! Once we get our kitchen done, I don't want that anymore. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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I have a 2-bin trash pullout. They both take 13-gallon bags. The front holds trash, the back recyclables.

A couple of years ago our county went to "mixed" recycling (cans, bottles, papers, foils, etc. mixed together in one bag) and expanded what we can recycle tremendously. The upshot is that our recycle bin fills up as quickly as our trash bin (every couple of days or so, depending on how much we're home).

In our old kitchen, we used to do exactly what you do now...having this 2-bin trash pullout in our new kitchen has been great! As an added bonus, our dogs can no longer get into the trash. (Our female Std Poodle, Ruby, figured out how to open the stand-alone foot pedal type we had in our old kitchen.)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 10:46PM
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One piece of advice...if you get a trash pullout, put it in the Prep Zone and near the Cooking Zone. I made the mistake of putting mine in the Cleanup Zone. However, I have since discovered that I generate far more trash & recyclables while prepping & cooking than I do while cleaning up. Plus, prepping and cooking take longer and occur more often than cleaning up, at least in our house!

I have to cross a 6' aisle to get to my trash pullout from the Prep & Cooking Zones, often dripping all the way. I do it, and it's much better than the old kitchen, but it's my biggest "regret" in my kitchen and I wish I could get a "do over" just for that!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 10:51PM
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We have 2 big cans garbage cans with huge liners right out by the back door in the garage. One for plastics/aluminum. The other for mixed paper. I don't even have to walk out. Open door, 2 point shot. Done. Shut door.

We live in out in the country so I have to take our recycling (cans, plastics, paper, cardboard, etc.) to the big bins in town once/week but it sure has cut down on our trash. One day we will join the 21st century and have curbside recycling. Maybe. Probably not in my lifetime.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 11:57PM
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We have 2 double bin trash pullouts. The one between the sink and range has trash in the front, returnables(bottles and cans with deposit) in the back. The one on the other side of the range has glass/metal/plastic in the front and paper/cardboard in the back.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 7:23AM
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We're planning on a two bin trash pull out for trash/recyclables where Buehl suggests. Also, a compost container under the sink (maybe one of those little foot pedal cans?). However, we also occasionally have returnable recylables (soda cans, 2liter bottles, beer bottles, etc.), most often after a party, and I always run them out to the garage individually, which is a bit inconvenient, but not a daily occurance. Thinking it's not worth taking up lower cabinet space somewhere in our smallish kitchen for returnable recylables. Perhaps setting out a separate receptacle during a get together for that purpose would be good enough. What do others do with returnable recycleables vs. the ones the garbage collectors take?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 9:50AM
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I have a 2 bin pull out trash. One is for recycling and the
other trash. It gets sorted in the garage into more bins for
glass, plastic, cans, newspaper...
A great chore for a teenage boy.

I wish I had done this instead.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 11:11AM
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My kitchen is pretty small and I didn't have the space for pullout recycling. I bought this little recycling bin from IKEA and it fits perfectly under the sink and in front of the plumbing. It holds more than I thought it would, easily a few days worth of cans / bottles.

Here is a link that might be useful: RATIONELL recycling bin

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 11:24AM
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HI Boxer, that's an interesting idea for a corner. Does anybody have that? Wondering if it is sturdy, & how you move the bins - like a child's merry-go-round? Push one to get to the next? Of course the regular trash would be in front most of the time.
Katsmah, I was just at IKEA yesterday - missed that one. Thinking there are too many things I want to put under my sink...

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 11:36AM
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Paper and Paperboard: in one can of double trash pull out in kitchen. Trash goes in the other.

Newspapers: on a shelf in the mudroom cabinet.

Recyclable Glass and Returnable Glass: in separate bins in the mudroom cabinet.

Cardboard, Plastics, Metal, Foil, Plastic Bags, Returnable Cans, Burnables, Juice Cartons: get dropped in a chute in the mudroom to the basement (the chute is accessed by the lift up top on a bench.) DH sorts the items in the large basement bin before going to the town transfer station (formerly called the dump.)

Compost goes in a pivot-out waste can on the door under the sink.

Our small sink is close to the mudroom and is convenient for rinsing recyclables and returnables. Often items will accumulate in this deep sink during the day and will get rinsed out together and put into the appropriate bin for glass or the chute.

The chute in our mudroom helps a lot. Our town has had a great recycling program for decades and accumulating recyclables was always a problem until we put in the chute. It's easy to get things from our basement into the car. Some people have chutes that go into the bins in their garage. If we didn't have a mudroom I would have put a chute to the basement in a kitchen cabinet.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 11:54AM
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I have a large cabinet (30" x 33") in my island, accessible from two sides (the prep/cooking side and the clean-up side.) I am posting a photo, but the inside isn't properly organized yet! :) I had the room to spare in the kitchen, and I love the flexibility of the space.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 12:22PM
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I have three pullouts, two under the sink and the third to the left of the sink. The under sink pullouts contain trash and mixed recycles (minus glass). LOVE my trash pullout . The pull out to the left has a very small compost container. It is not really big enough; I mainly just use it for coffee grounds. I may add a container for glass instead. Our pop can/bottle recycle is still in the garage as we get a deposit on the returns and it does not go in curbside recycle. I wish I had a fourth pull out.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 1:55PM
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We have an 18" two-bin pullout under our sink, and it's wonderful. :) Lots of people told me it wouldn't fit (including the cabinetmaker!) but it fits perfectly, with an inch to spare. We don't have a garbage disposal which helps a lot, but we do have a deep undermount sink and that worked out fine; didn't have enough space to commit an entire cabinet to a trash pullout. Front bin is for trash and back is for recyclables. We have single-stream recycling and don't separate the returnables except for milk bottles, which go back to the dairy and have hefty deposits, and some beer bottles, which DH uses for brewing and is supposed to put in the basement once they're washed. For milk bottles, I keep a bottle bag (cloth bag with 9 compartments for bottles) under the sink.

Still have not figured what we're going to do about composting, though---we do separate city v. backyard compost, so we need two separate bins for that. They may end up just being counter bins like before; I like the door-mounted solutions but we don't really have room for that.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 2:18PM
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Thanks for all of the great ideas! I will have to see if we can fit 2 garbage cans under our sink. We are planning on one, but due to our odd plumbing, not sure if we can fit two. Not sure why I never thought of moving the cleaning stuff under there and trying that before. We also have a lazy Susan that I think is useless, wonder if that can be modified to be used like the picture above. Great ideas! :)

Silly question, do you put your recyle things out in the plastic trash bags? That seems a lot less messy, but for some reason I didn't think that was allowed. I am thankful our stuff gets picked up at the curb for free, but it's only every other week and our 4 bins are always over flowing. I'm not sure if we are overly "trashy" or because my 7 year old's who share the recycling job aren't the best "packers"!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 6:05PM
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lolauren I LOVE your cabinet that is accessible from both sides! It may have just solved one of the major issues w/ my kitchen- I'm emailing it to my cabinet maker now :) Hope you don't mind if I steal your idea!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 1:38AM
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beaglesdoitbetter --- lol..... of course I don't mind. Are you thinking about using it for trash or something else? :) I love that the space worked out so we could have all that extra space for trash, recycle, compost and the associated bags. It works for us. :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 1:44AM
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We also have the 2 bin trash pullout. The cans and bottles get pulled out in the plastic bags and stored in the garage till DH takes a load to the reclamation center. We have the recycle trash bin for the city, but he likes collecting the few bucks (he figures since he's already paid the fee)! Newspaper gets set on the counter by the back door for take out to the trash.

Oh, and I echo buehl's feelings about trash bin being in the prep area. I'm glad we did that.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 3:24AM
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Two sinks here.
Echoing the advice from Buehl about locating recycling bin nearer to prep zone. Our cabs man had put it next to cleanup sink in his plan but I moved it. He was puzzled. But I knew that empty milk, wine, and beer bottles were generated at the eating table (not at the cleanup area) and that after observation of my own cooking behaviors, I had already decided that a canopener was going to live in the prep sink area, but none in the cleanup area, because that's where I open cans. I can rinse out empty yogurt, etc containers at prep sink before tossing into bin.

I still haven't solved the problem of old newspapers, flattened cartons, etc. within the recycle bin--I shove them down alongside the paper bag that holds the rest of recycling stuff within the plastic bin. When this loose big wad begins to overwhelm, I move it to a bin in garage.

By the way, there's a rolling boot to hold the Ikea bin mentioned above--two bins actually.

I planned to put a small wastebasket under the cleanup sink, but 6 months after the install of cabs, I haven't done it yet and the walk 6.5 feet to the double pullout bin with both waste and odd recycle items isn't that daunting. Compost, on the other hand, is generated and stored at both sinks.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 11:54AM
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@kellia, we did plan our plumbing with our pullouts in mind---luckily it was basically all in the right place, but I did rule out some sinks because the drains were in a place that might have been problematic. We concentrated all of the plumbing on one side of the sink cabinet and put the trash on the other.

I imagine the recycling bags thing varies locally, but where we live it's single stream recycling (glass/plastic/paper all together) so a lot of people use paper grocery bags for collecting. We don't even bother with that---everything gets rinsed or cleaned before it goes out anyway, so we just put it directly in the plastic can, and rinse the plastic can out once a month or so (or more if it gets icky, but as long as the bottles are clean before going in, it generally doesn't). When the kitchen can is full, it gets dumped into a big plastic city bin in the garage.

Also, our city offers the option of having different sizes or numbers of bins depending on how much garbage/recycling/compost you produce---it might be worth looking to see if yours does too if one particular can is always the one overflowing.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 3:52PM
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B/c of my kitchen configuration, I really had no place to put trash or recycling that was convenient. My main sink has dishwashers and is an apron front, so no place under or next to it for trash. My prep sink has a dishwasher on one side so I could have put the trash on the other, but then it would have been far from the main sink. So, I put one trash can on the end of the island in the middle of both sinks... but to get to it from cleanup sink, you were going to have to step around the counter... Hopefully, I can use this plan and we won't have to do that any more! Recycling pull out is on other island end and I want to do the same thing there :)

(long answer for a short question).

I'm waiting to hear on my cab maker if we can do it b/c that trash is supposed to be a pull-out.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 1:13AM
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When we do our reno, I've planned for a 2-bin pullout in the corner where I do the food prep. Unfortunately, it's not real close to the sink, but most of the waste I generate by the sink goes down the garbage disposal so I don't think this is going to be a big problem. All our recycling will go into one of the bins since we have single-stream recycling. Newspapers we take out to one of the recycle bins in the garage simply because they take up so much room in our current recycle bin.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 2:17AM
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Right now we have 2 separate bin pullouts. One is for trash and it's next to the dishwasher and sink. The other is in our bar area and we use that one for recycling. I dump the contents of the inside pail, when full, into the "offical" one that we keep outside. I like having the recycling in the bar area when we have company, but find that it's too far away from the prep area when I am cooking. In my new kitchen I'm going to have a double pail pullout in the between my sink and prep area.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 10:21AM
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