Recycling storage ideas for your home

We all want to help the environment by recycling. This handy guide gives you simple tips on efficiently storing, cleaning and sorting your rubbish.

Updated 2 September 2019

plastic bottles in a box for recycling storage

Key steps

  1. One of the most effective ways of recycling with ease is treating milk bottles, used tin cans, jam jars and the like as washing up rather than rubbish. Check they’re dishwasher safe and put them in with the rest of the load. 
  2. Put vegetable matter to good use in a compost bin.
  3. Re-purpose packaging into storage containers, such as tin can pen holders. 

Everyone wants to do his or her bit for the environment – and one way we can make sure we’re doing everything we can is to make sure each step of the all-important recycling process is as easy as possible. But some of us just don’t have the space in our house to store mountainous piles of recycling. Let alone mountainous piles of recycling we’ve been instructed to neatly separate into a thousand different categories.

If you’re struggling with recycling storage, we’ve compiled a cheat sheet of things you can do to make life easier for yourself.

Look for cleaning products that allow you to reuse the bottle for life, like Cif Eco Refill. This will help make your recycling stoage look more tidy.

Sorting more efficiently

Most local authorities demand a separation between normal recyclables, food waste and general rubbish. It helps to have separate bins on hand for anything more specific, and to put the appropriate waste in them automatically.

The simplest of ideas for recycling with ease is getting yourself into the habit of treating milk bottles, used tin cans, jam jars and the like as washing up rather than rubbish. They need to be cleaned out before you put them in the correct bin anyway – so get yourself used to putting them in the dishwasher (checking beforehand that such items are dishwasher safe), and the process will quickly seem a lot less daunting. Clean recycling is also far more pleasant to store in your home before collection.

Recycling ideas for the home

  • Recycling storage space can be increased dramatically by simply crushing the items (like milk bottles or cereal boxes) that are possible to crush. ‘Crushables’ can be stored together, and since they’re usually easy to clean, you can keep them in a collapsible container, like a canvas bag. Although, depending on how stringent your local council is, you may need to separate things out even further.
  • Glass jars and other breakable containers are useful storage spaces in their own right – you may prefer to keep them around the house. Just swill them out with hot water and dish soap to clean out the inside, and soak them overnight in warm water to remove the labels. Once you’ve done that, you can reuse them for practically any purpose.
  • If you’ve been required to separate out food waste and you have a garden, you can put most vegetable matter to good use as compost. Simply create a cordoned-off area in your yard dedicated to the purpose. If you do this, remember to regularly toss your compost – especially in summer. Failing to do so can pose a fire hazard (and cause a terrible smell).
  • Ultimately, how you store your recycling will depend on what you recycle. Storage should always, however, be appropriate for what you’re throwing away.
  • The same goes for any food waste you’re unable to use as homemade compost. However, in the UK, local authorities will usually provide an appropriate bin for this.

The recycling storage ideas above are designed to make this eco-friendly task just a little bit easier; by incorporating these small habits in your everyday routine, you’ll soon find that it all comes very naturally. Have a look here for more tips and information on recycling.

Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.
Originally published 19 July 2018