How to Build an Outdoor Recycling Center

Add shelter and organization for recycling and waste bins with a recycling center made from basic building materials.

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Materials Needed:

  • plastic recycling bin
  • paper recycling bin
  • glass recycling bin
  • compost bin
  • trash bin
  • vinyl peel-and-stick letters
  • shingles
  • measuring tape
  • 4x8' pressure-treated sheets of beadboard
  • 8'-long strips of 2x2" pressure-treated pine
  • wood glue
  • chop saw
  • 2" exterior screws
  • drill
  • 4x8' sheets of pressure-treated, paint-grade plywood
  • table saw
  • 8' long 2x4" pressure-treated boards
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • 1" thick by 10'-long plank of pressure-treated pine
  • pencil
  • yardstick
  • circular saw
  • staple gun
  • heavy-duty staples
  • roll of tar paper
  • drip edge flashing
  • 1" thick by 10' long plank of pressure-treated pine
  • nail gun
  • nails or brads
  • HVLP paint sprayer
  • exterior paint

Determine Proper Location

Decide on the best outdoor area for housing the recycling center. It's best to choose a spot alongside an exterior wall of the home that's not visible from the street and is a good distance from any trees.

Measure Bins and Lids

The most important factor in creating an outdoor recycling center is having the proper dimensions to store and access bins efficiently. Use measuring tape to determine the height, width and depth for each bin, as well as all coordinating lids (images 1 and 2). Note: When using trash bins with attached casters or rolling platforms, be sure to include the height of the casters and platform in the overall measurements.

Assemble Base

Create a base according to your measurements and account for reaching arms in and out to access each bin. Mark 8-foot strips of 2x2-inch pressure-treated pine with a pencil to cut four sides of a rectangular frame and four support joists (image 1). Next, cut with a chop saw (image 2). Assemble a rectangular frame on a flat, level surface, and add support joists in the center ensuring even spacing (image 3). Once all 2x2-inch pieces are placed in their proper positions, add wood glue along each of their edges (image 4). Next, secure the frame together with 2-inch exterior screws using a drill (image 5).

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