Six ideas for when your recycle bin is always full

excess recycling

Got too much recycling for your bin to handle? Good on you! What a legend. Before you go stuffing that excess into the bin for your regular rubbish, here are six ideas that will help you divert even more from landfill.

As you are clearly a recycling legend, feel free to share any other tips you have in the comments below.

  1. Squish it. If your recycle bin is always full, you might want to think about squashing it flat before you pop it in the bin. Step on your bottles and cans, unfold boxes and flatten out papers.
  2. Reuse it. Perhaps there are some things in your recycling bin that could be reused instead. Newspapers make fantastic weed mats under mulch, shredded paper is helpful for managing compost, wine bottles are perfect for iced water or tea, plastic pots can be used for seedlings. If you’re not a gardener, surely you know one?
  3. Get your craft on. Have you got your own Useful Box, a la Playschool? We do, even though I am 100% not crafty. It doesn’t matter, I sometimes get the box down and the kids have fun pulling everything out and playing with the contents as is. Who needs toys, huh? For genius ideas on loo-roll craft, see here, here and here.
  4. Donate it. Day-care centres and schools need your recyclables! Collect long cardboard tubes (but no loo rolls), plastic pots, cardboard, plastic bottles, newspapers, scrap paper – they’ll take it all.
  5. Get more space. If you still have way too much recycling for one bin, contact your council and ask for another (while you’re at it, suggest more frequent pick-ups). You may have to pay a little extra (it costs us $12 a quarter in our rates to have an extra bin), but I say it’s worth it.
  6. Reduce your recycling. If your recycle bin is always full of one thing, eg beer bottles or pizza boxes, you might want to think about alternate ways to enjoy these favourites. You could make your own pizza, for example, or re-use those beer bottles with some DIY brewing.

What do you do with your excess recycling? Do share :)

photo credit: suloottobinfan via photopin cc


  1. Susan says

    I creep around in the night like a reverse thief popping things in other people’s recycling bins when ours is full, I can’t stand leaving anything behind! My normal rubbish is now always really low though (even though I use disposable nappies) which I’m pretty chuffed about. Now if I can just get the hubby to stop drinking so much wine…
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  2. Bek @ Just For Daisy says

    So many great tips! We usually have it just full each fortnight… however, I’m also an avid collector and reuser.
    Currently our egg cartons go to neighbours (and we usually get eggs back!!)
    Our jars are going to a friend who will be canning/preserving her Summer crops and asked me to save them.
    Lots of other bits and pieces end up in our useful box so we’re cruising pretty well with recycling! THanks for the tips x
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  3. Abbie says

    Sad truth is, that if you’re recycling a lot means you are just buying a lot of stuff in recyclable packaging. WE have fortnightly collections, and sometimes it’s full, but I’ve never had to squash anything to fit etc, I just chuck boxes in as is. Removing the paper aspect to the garden/compost is a good one, jars for summer preserving is another, but analyse what you are buying – generally things that are processed are in the most packaging – are there ways to reduce that? More fresh fruit and veg? Buying meat from the butcher instead of the supermarket trays? Do an informal bin audit of what is going into your recycling bin, see what the big numbers are, and then work out how to cut back on them. Recycling is better than it going to landfill, but not using the resources in the first place is the aim.

  4. Felix Nagel says

    Great tips right here indeed.

    And, I kind of agree on what Abbie said “Recycling is better than it going to landfill, but not using the resources in the first place is the aim.”

    This really is the aim.

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