Monday, June 27, 2011

Homestead Experiment #22-Homemade Recycle Bins

I would love to have these stacking bins to hold my recycling in between drop-offs. However, what I have are these:

Pros-We've been using these 18 gallon Sterlite totes for 4 years now, and they work just fine. Plus the three of them fit perfectly across the back hatch of my suburban.

Cons-They take up quite a bit of floorspace in our garage. Since we have the threat of bears digging through our trash in the spring/summer, I have to keep these indoors.

As you can see, the stacking totes make much more sense for indoor storage. However the downside to these is that they run $12.99 each locally! I just cannot bring myself to spend $40 on garbage holders!  Then, the other day as I was staring at my pitiful totes, I had an idea. Could I make my own stacking bins?

I went to the storage shed and dug out the lids to the totes. Yes, these were made of a fairly firm plastic that is not too flexible.  I got a sharpie and the tin-snips and went to work.

1) I put the lid on the tote and drew out an opening that included a few inches of the lid and a large round hole on the tote itself.

2) Using the tin-snips and some good ol' elbow grease, I cut the hole out of the plastic. I tried to make smooth cuts to avoid a jagged edge. I figured if it was too rough, I could wrap duct-tape around the edge. 

But no duct tape was needed! The edge is actually fairly smooth.

3) Repeat with the other totes and stack. I used the first piece I cut as a template to get a fairly uniform shape with the others.  If you perform this highly technical task with great precision you should have something like this:

Actually, it was not hard at all. It took me about 15 minutes, and more importantly, IT WORKED!! I love them! Yes, they aren't as polished as the pretty ones above, but they stack, they hold old soda bottles, and doing this reduced the bin's floorspace usage by 2/3! Woo Hoo!

Blessings to you and your homestead,
Hillary At Home