DIY Wooden Recycling Bins You'll Want in Your House

Thank you Recycling Simplified by Republic Services for sponsoring this post. Learn more about recycling by visiting the Recycling Simplified website today!

These DIY wooden recycling bins are a stylish way to store and sort your recyclables. Keep reading to see how to make them!

What's in your recycling bin?

The fact is that 3 out of every 10 things in your recycling bin probably shouldn't be there. And just one non-recyclable item can ruin an entire truckload of recyclables.

I was totally guilty of one of the big recycling no-no's - I always bagged my recycling before putting it into the big bin outside. Now that I know better, I am so much more confident that my recycling is actually being recycled!

So how do you know what to recycle, how to do it properly, and how to store your recyclables until the truck comes?

It's easier than you think, and I have found an awesome resource to show you (and your kids!) how to recycle the right way. I'll also show you how to make easy DIY wooden recycling bins to help you organize your recyclables in style.

Easy DIY Wooden Recycling Bins

The first step to recycling right is to have a place to sort and store your recyclables in between pickups. Having something stylish that you actually want to keep in your home will make it much easier for your entire family to remember to put recyclables where they belong.

I didn't want to have plastic bins in my kitchen, so I decided to make these wooden recycling bins instead. It was a super simple project and I love how functional they are, while also looking like they fit in with the rest of my home decor.

To make your own DIY recycling bins for your home, you'll need:
  • 3 Wooden crates. You can choose unfinished crates and paint them your desired color, or find already painted ones. 
  • Hammer
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • 4 Sticky backed felt pads
  • Vinyl labels or paint marker
  • 3 Tea towels (optional)

First, you'll want to use a hammer and needle-nose pliers to carefully remove some of the slats from the side of your wooden crates. Remove the top two slats from 2 of the crates, then the top slat of the remaining crate.

If needed, paint the crates to your desired color.

Add 4 felt pads to the bottom of one of the crates that have only 2 slats remaining. This will be your base crate and the felt will protect your flooring.

Now you can label your crates. I typed out "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" into my design space and cut the words out onto vinyl. If you don't have a cutting machine, you can use a paint marker to write the words directly onto the wooden slats.

PS - if your recycling program requires you to sort your recyclables, replace these words with categories such as Paper & Cardboard, Cans, and Plastic.

Once your labels are done, stack the crates into a tower, putting the crate with 3 remaining slats on top. Then you can place a tea towel inside each one if you'd like to add a washable liner.

That's it! Your new DIY wooden recycling bins are ready to use, and they will look great in your kitchen, mudroom, or anywhere you'd like to store your recyclables.

Recycling Made Easy

Setting up your new recycling bins is just the first step. Now you have to make sure that your entire family knows what to put inside! Fortunately, Recycling Simplified has FREE resources for everyone, including teachers, to do just that.

While each community has its own specifics when it comes to recycling, there are a few rules that we all need to remember.

Know what goes into the recycling and what goes in the trash. 
Generally, paper and cardboard, metal and aluminum cans, and plastic bottles and jugs are OK to put in the recycling bin. Glass may be OK but you need to check with your local program (ours accepts glass).

Recyclables should be empty, clean, and dry.
Pull bags out of cereal boxes and rinse cans and bottles, to make sure there is no food or liquid to contaminate your recyclables.

Don't bag your recyclables. Check with your program requirements but a general rule of thumb is that recycling should not be bagged. That's why I love our new bins - no bags needed!

Make sure everyone in the family is on the same page.
With two young children in our house, I wanted something to clearly mark what should and shouldn't go into our new recycling bins. I found exactly what I needed on is an awesome resource to help your family understand the basics of recycling. It has tons of tips, videos, and printables to give you everything you need to recycle right.

There is also a great resource for teachers or homeschoolers in the Recycling Simplified Education Program. That's where I found the sign for our recycling center and because everything is targeted by grade level, I knew I was using a resource my boys would understand. I'll definitely be sharing this with their teachers and administrators as I know that recycling is an important part of our school's curriculum this year too, and this program has everything they need with step-by-step lesson plans, supporting materials, and more.

See all the resources available at - you can even print out labels for your new DIY recycling bins! Click here to check it out.

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LOVE these easy DIY wooden recycling bins! Upcycle wood crates into an awesome recycling center to blend in with your farmhouse decor. Learn how to recycle correctly with this handy DIY project for your home! #ad #recyclingsimplified #DIY #farmhouse #recycle

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