Tips to Consider When Purchasing Indoor Recycling Bins

Happy couple recycling plastic bottles and papers at home
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An indoor recycling bin is one of the many types of reusable packaging. Choosing the right recycling, organics or trash bins can make all of the difference. A poorly thought out container selection may result in unwanted outcomes such as decreased recycling rates, needless clutter and inefficiency, worker injury, poor hygiene, and ultimately one of unnecessary cost. Here are some basic things to think about for choosing the best recycling container for your workplace or home recycling needs.

The Goldilocks Principle: Find the Right Size

Take care to choose a recycling container that will not fill up prior to collection. Ideally, the bin should of a size that it will last until pickup day, but it will not be too large. An overly large container will needlessly take up space at your facility and may pose other problems in terms of handling or moving it.

Pay Attention to the Intended Application

What is the purpose of the bin? The nature of the application will help determine the best container to choose, including features such as hand holds, wheels, lids or drainage holes. The rate of accumulation and pickup frequency will also play a role. Other points to consider include design to fit automation of collection vehicles, as well as characteristics of various materials including trash, paper, bottles, cans, or plastic bags and film. For valuable recyclable materials such as aluminum cans, it might make sense to have a container which locks.

 For containers such as kitchen food waste bins, attractive features include effective latches and ease of sealing, as well as a wide enough opening so that plate scrapings will find the target.

Look for Durability

A high-quality recycling container will pay benefits in terms of positive economic and environmental outcomes.

High-quality containers will be very durable, and through years of service offer a much lower cost per use than a poor quality substitute, resulting in eliminating the environmental impact of the unnecessary manufacture and shipment of replacement containers.

Ask About Recycled Content and Recyclability

One way to support recycling is to specify recycling containers that have recycled content. In addition, look for containers that are 100 percent recyclable. Ask if your supplier takes back end of life containers for recycling, if they are not commonly recyclable materials such as HDPE.

Don't Forget Ergonomics

Look for containers designed for easy manual and automated handling at the home or workspace or by collection service providers. Ergonomic considerations include easy to open lids, handles, wheels and bottom grips.

Choose the Best Container for the Location

The container should offer ease of use, without consuming more space than necessary or causing unnecessary muscle power to move. Leading manufacturers offer several sizes and options to best fit your operation, including products such as wheeled carts, secured containers, and more.

Pick a Design that Minimizes Shipping Costs

The container should also be designed to minimize shipping related expense and carbon emissions through design considerations such as nesting of containers inside of each other, to increase the amount of containers on the delivery.

Offer Visual Prompts

Visual cues count. Appropriate color and graphic aids can assist people in putting the right material into the right bin. Signage can also be a very important feature. A clearly indicated label, for example, combined with a circular shaped deposit slot, indicates to the end user that the container is for recycling cans, glass or plastic bottles. In addition, look for a bin that will be attractive, and which will be cohesive with your indoor design. Recyclable containers are designed to be appropriate for office and workplace environments when kept in plain view, where they can be most effective.