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.
Outdoor Recycling Center and Lime Green Adirondack Chair

Organized Outdoor Recycling Center

Recycling and waste bins are neatly stacked and sheltered in this streamlined 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).

Assemble Floor Surface

Create a solid floor surface for bins to sit on from 4x8-foot sheet of paint-grade, pressure-treated plywood. First, mark the plywood to size with the same dimensions as the base. Next, place plywood on the table saw, starting the blade along the marked edge (image 1). Slowly and steadily guide plywood across blade until fully cut (image 2). Place newly cut plywood on top of the frame (image 3), and secure with 2-inch exterior screws using a drill.

Assemble Panels

Cut 8-foot long pressure-treated 2x4-inch boards the same depth as the base, and attach along the bottom with 2-inch exterior screws. This will elevate the base two inches above the ground, which will provide protection. Next, place level on top of floor surface ensuring an even, level fit (image 1). Measure and cut frames for side and rear panels by marking 2x2-inch pressure-treated pine to size, cutting with a chop saw and assembling with glue and 2-inch exterior screws (image 2). Position them on top of the base, and use a 1/4-inch drill bit to create pilot holes along the top, center and bottom of side-panel frames and into rear-panel frames. Once pilot holes are drilled, firmly attach the side-panel frames and rear-panel frames with 2-inch exterior screws (image 3).

Assemble Roof Structure

Use a yardstick to mark two pieces on a 1-inch by 10-foot long plank of pressure-treated pine at a 45-degree angle at the same measurement as the depth of the recycling center (image 1). Mark a third piece 1 inch shorter in width than the first two. Following the angled mark, cut three pieces from pressure-treated pine plank using a circular saw (image 2). Place the angled pieces side by side to ensure they're even. Mark and cut the remaining length of the pressure-treated pine plank with the same dimension as the overall width of the recycling center. Place two angled pieces perpendicular to each end, and use a drill bit to create pilot holes to attach the long piece to the two angled pieces. Add wood glue along the edges of all three pieces (image 3). Place two angled pieces perpendicular to the long piece, and attach to one another with 2-inch exterior screws into the pilot holes (image 4). Attach the third angled piece (one inch shorter in depth than the other two) with 2-inch exterior wood screws to the back of the long piece (image 5).

Attach Roof Structure

Place roof structure on top of side and rear panels (image 1). Using a drill and 1/4-inch drill bit, drill pilot holes up through each of the 2x2-foot side and rear panels (image 2). Next, fasten the roof structure securely to the side and rear panels with 2-inch exterior screws (image 3).

Finish Roof Structure

Mark, measure and cut two pieces of 2x2-inch pressure-treated pine to the depth of the recycling center using a chop saw. Attach along top edge of angled pieces using 2-inch exterior screws. Mark, cut and attach a third piece running the length of the recycling center plus the width of each perpendicular 2x2-inch board.


Assemble and Attach Rooftop

Use a table saw to cut a 4x8-foot sheet of pressure-treated, paint-grade plywood the width and depth of the three 2x2-inch pieces of trim (image 1). Attach plywood to the 2x2-inch pieces with 2-inch exterior screws using a drill (image 2). Unfurl roll of tar paper, cut to the width of rooftop and attach with a staple gun (image 3). Cut drip edge flashing to size, and attach around all three sides using a drill and 2-inch exterior screws (image 4). Lastly, attach shingles along the entire roof top using heavy-duty staples and a staple gun (image 5).

Attach Beadboard

Mark and cut, according to measurements, 4x8-foot sheets of pressure-treated beadboard into two side panels and one rear panel (image 1). Add wood glue along exterior of side- and rear-panel frames (image 2), and attach beadboard using a nail gun (image 3).

Attach Shelves

Use a chop saw to cut 2x2-inch pressure-treated pine to the proper depth needed to accommodate each recycling bin. Attach 2x2-inch pieces to side-panel framing with 2-inch exterior wood screws using a drill. Keeping these measurements in mind, cut a shelf surface from a 4x8-foot sheet of pressure-treated, paint-grade plywood using a table saw.


Attach Fascia

Measure the overall width and height of the recycling center with measuring tape. Mark and cut fascia from pre-primed pressure-treated 1x3-inch trim according to the measurements. Attach along the front with a nail gun.


Paint Structure

Load exterior paint into an HVLP paint sprayer, and cover interior and exterior of the recycling center with two solid coats.

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