Put a lid on it
My main trash receptacle is under my kitchen sink and is a standard Rubbermaid model. Next to it, there’s a smaller stainless steel garbage can that I toss my cans, glass, and plastic bottles in. In my bathroom, I have a small plastic wastebasket — an IKEA find. The trash in my bedroom gets a slightly fancier treatment with a “Translations Wastebasket” made from repurposed Japanese magazines and newspapers. On trash days, everything goes into a biodegradable kitchen bag and is taken out for pick-up. Recyclables go into old plastic shopping bags and are placed in the appropriate containers provided by my landlord. Nothing mind-blowing, I'm sad to report.
However, for those looking to add eco-aesthetic appeal to garbage-land (especially those with bins and baskets that aren't hidden away) there are alternatives that make the mundane act of chucking something a bit, well, less trashy. Check 'em out.
Meet Ben, a stackable recycling bin with handles that encourages easy, breezy, and according to the manufacturer, “glamorous,” waste separation. Made from 100 percent recycled plastic, this charming lad is available in pink, blue and green.
Mode Premium Home Recycling Center @ Williams-Sonoma ($279 - $299)
Although it’s not made from eco-materials as far as I can tell, this impressive home recycling center is a godsend for homes with multiple, active trash sources (children). Essentially, it’s a device that includes a non-electric compactor and large bins for sorting and organizing. Other features include a carbon filter to absorb odors and a “Recycle Day Reminder.”
These rough n’ tumble, colorful bags with handles are a stylish alternative to standard recycling bins. Paper goes in the orange bag, cans go in the gray one, and glass goes into the blue bag. Simple.