Two Portable Bins That Make Outdoor Recycling Easy

Are you planning a backyard BBQ or family reunion? Outdoor celebrations are fun, especially in summer time when we can enjoy some time together in nature. The only problem with picnics and other fresh air meals is that preparation and clean-up can be difficult, especially when there’s more than a few guests. Unfortunately, people opt for paper or plastic servingware because they’re “disposable,” but just because something’s easy to throw away doesn’t mean we should.

Many elements of an outdoor party, like soda cans, beer bottles, and plastic cups can be recycled, as long as you’ve got a way to keep them separate from non-recyclables and organic waste. Without a dozen extra trash cans (and the truck to haul them in) recycling can be too much of a chore. Unless you’ve got an awesome portable recycling bin like these.


Image via Akarchitectes

First is the “the waste-folder” (pictured above). At first glance, this bin might look like a broken down cardboard box or a paper bag that’s waiting for a selection of groceries. Made from  paper and cardboard so that it can be easily recycled itself, the waste-folder easily unfolds into a six-compartment device for garbage and recycling. Each compartment has a printed image of what kind of waste goes inside, so newbie recyclers won’t be confused. It’s perfect for picnics, barbecues or unexpected meetings, and the best part is that each compartment can be removed and emptied individually. Downside? We can’t find it for sale anywhere!

Next up we have the new line of Flings pop-up recycling bins (below). Unlike the waste-folder concept, these bins can’t be recycled, but they can be reused and are a bit larger. Available in a variety of decorative designs, these bins can be store flat and then popped out when it’s time to party.


Image via Flings

The original line of Flings bins were a 13 gallon size, similar to the size of a common kitchen trash can, but the new home recycling bin style is a smaller 6.5 gallon size when open. This allows the bin to be stored under the counter or discretely in a corner, and makes it easier to manage during outdoor festivities. Our only critique of this bag would be that it’s designed to be used in conjunction with a plastic garbage bag that can be lifted out when the bin is full. Also, there’s no mention on the website of what the actual bin is made of, which means it’s a good bet it’s not a recycled or recyclable material. Still, the fact that it can be reused many times is an advantage. Available in a three-pack for approximately $5.99.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

1 Comment

  • Reply June 27, 2012

    Debra Kozik

    Better than these options is the Clearstream Recycling Containers.   They have a sturdy wire frame which folds easily for moving from location to location, and the bags attach easily.  For more information check out the website at:

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