Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Recycling Debate

No, I have no desire to get into a debate about recycling... there's actually a current battle going on in the new house and I need some assistance. We had recycling containers in our last house, but for some reason, we didn't seem to struggle with it there. So... here it is, and I'm seeking any advice anyone is willing to offer that could potentially help.

First, a tour of the kitchen, so any helpers can understand the set up. The kitchen is small by most people's standards. I think it's fine (as far as it is functional), but a spot for a recycling container is the one thing I just can't seem to figure out. The only lower cupboard space is either under the sink, or the single cupboard next to those (which is currently full of all our pots/pans). I should also say that neither myself nor Sam are giants... the tallest between us stands about 5'3.5" which makes utilizing upper cupboard space a bit of a challenge. Forewarning: please forgive the mess in the kitchen, but I took the photos last night after dinner before cleaning up.

So, here we go.  This is the view walking into the kitchen...
That's the trash back there under the window, and to the right is a small set of stairs leading outside.
Followed here by a sort of panoramic 3-set of photos of the rest of the kitchen...

Here's the issue. The recycling can is "all the way" to the back of the yard, and is a bit of a hike every time we have something to recycle. I don't object to it necessarily, but in cold months, I don't think it will be as enjoyable as it is right now. Sam has opted to just throw everything in the trash, and then I end up having to go through every bag of trash, fishing out cardboard, cans, glass, and so on to put in the recycling bin outside. I truly believe that the only realistic solution for me to get him to actually put recycling in its proper place is to simply have a small recycling container in the house.  The problem is, where do I put it?

I would consider installing a sliding drawer for such use in the lower area between the stove and the bottom cupboards under the sink. Unfortunately, it's a solid wall there and part of the house structure, so that isn't a possibility. I have also considered under the sink, but the reality is that it is already quite full with dog food bowls, cleaning materials, trash bags, dish soap, etc., and as already mentioned, the other cupboard contains all our pots and pans.

The only solution I seem to be able to come up with is to put a smaller recycling can next to the trash. The problem I see with this is that the area is a major traffic flow area, and I was already pushing things putting a trash can here. I'm wondering if another receptacle here is only going to cause problems? Is anyone else in a similar situation and found a viable solution, or does anyone out there have any ideas for us?


  1. Your kitchen is palatial compared to mine!

    I was going to suggest these recycling bags from Ikea: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40180136 - they're what I use, and theoretically they can fold up when they're not in use (although I've never folded mine). I store mine under the sink; is it possible you can find somewhere else to put the dog food/bowls?

  2. Those bags look great. I'll have to see if I can find something similar to those. I was thinking about the dog dishes as well, and perhaps I can find a spot for a few of the things in that cupboard to have at least a small container. Thanks for the link!

  3. Also... I truly wasn't complaining about the size of the kitchen. I think it is perfectly functional and I realize that many others have much smaller areas to work with. I think the lack of lower cupboard space is what has thrown me all off. It's just becoming a small adjustment with getting used to getting out a step stool to get to the higher areas.


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