How to Neatly Store Your Recyclables Indoors

95% of the trash leaving my home is fully recyclable, and is stored in separate containers before making the weekly trip to the alley for recycling pickup. It doesn’t take much however for the recycling to take over my laundry room, leaving me with ever decreasing amounts of floor space.

Finding a solution for neatly storing our recyclables indoors is a challenge, but quite doable with the right storage systems. For myself, I store my “clean” recyclables such as newspaper and mixed paper in my pantry, using paper bags which can be carried out to the recycle bins on Trash Day. Cans, plastics, and bottles are stored in a stackable nesting storage system in the laundry room, where they are easy to access and easy to tote to the curbside.

Developing your own system for storing those recyclables starts with having the right type of storage containers. Some of these storage systems are pricey, while some are budget priced, but all of them will work for keeping down the clutter caused by recycling.

Under the sink tote

If you have lots of cupboard space beneath the kitchen sink, this is a convenient place to store recycling. Some of my friends use a small trash can for their recycling, though plastic party totes or small laundry baskets will also work. Linen’s-n-Things and Target carry plastic totes in the $5-10 range, your local dollar store will carry those half sized small laundry baskets.

Whatever tote you select, be sure it is sturdy enough to carry the weight of your recycling, and has handles so it can be easily carried to the curbside for sorting.

Stackable or nesting totes

Stackable totes are ones that can also be stacked to minimize floor space. Canada based Stacks and Stacks makes the best stackable bins I’ve seen; these units are attractive, convenient, and take up very little space. The product is called the IRIS Covered Recycle Bin and can be viewed at or through this link. The Iris bins come in two sizes and are made of opaque plastic. The price starts at $13.99 -$15.99 for a single bin.

For something a little more colorful, Global carries corrugated plastic totes with lids, similar to the totes the US Post Office carries for mail storage. Unlike the post office version that comes in white, the Global company has colorful totes in bright yellow, blue, and red. These totes can be stacked on top of each other to minimize floor space, and can be nestled inside the other when not in use. The tote with lids are $10.25 each, with a minimum order of ten. You can view these lightweight corrugated totes here at the site or by searching for this product at

Specialized recycling containers

For those of us with lots of recycling, I discovered that the Busch Systems makes a great assortment of recycling containers for every occasion. There’s upright bins that can be stored in the garage, stackable bins that can be attached to a wall, compost totes, and even specialized totes for apartment use. Here’s the link to so you can check out what they have for yourself.

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