What to Consider When Buying Recycling Bins

What to Consider When Buying Recycling Bins

Recycling bins are, in essence, containers that hold certain kinds of waste before someone removes it. That said, it’s anything but simple when you buy the wrong ones and end up with overflowing receptacles or improperly dispose of certain recyclables.

As you shop, it’s easy to get distracted by all your options. To focus your efforts, here’s what to consider when buying recycling bins.


First, you want to look long-term. If you’re serious about recycling, you need bins that will last for years. In a warehouse or similarly rough environment, bins made from resin—a heavy-duty polymer material—stand up to a fair bit of punishment without failing. Meanwhile, steel cans are an attractive and sturdy option for sophisticated office spaces.

In general, investigate how your venue will induce wear over time and whether a bin’s material can stand up to it. If it can, your investment would be worthwhile.


Next, consider how large these bins need to be. It would be a shame to have overly large receptacles that take up precious floor space, as would filling small bins up quickly and relegating the overflow to the trash.

To secure a good middle ground, take stock of your foot traffic patterns. If you have a small office, a couple of 20-gallon bins may suffice. Buying recycling bins for a popular zoo will, when crowds are high, necessitate around 60 gallons. If you do go with a high-capacity option, be sure you have the capability to transport these heavy loads.

Multi-Stream Functionality

Another aspect to consider when buying recycling bins is whether they allow for multiple recycling streams. Depending on your hauler’s practices, you may be able to further separate beyond just trash and recycling into paper, plastics, and even organics. This refines your efforts and helps you to devote more space to streams you often dispose of, such as paper in an office setting.

With multi-stream functionality must come clarity. You need bins with simple and straightforward graphics for each stream that leave nothing to guesswork when someone approaches them.


One too-often ignored factor is how the receptacle looks in its environment. While a recycling bin is not a decorative feature by nature, it contributes to the look and feel of a place. In more upscale offices, make sure your indoor recycling containers don’t stick out unnecessarily by choosing a tastefully marked option.

Our Trash Cans Depot team specializes in providing aesthetically appropriate bins and can assist anyone looking for help in this area.