DIY IdeasHome & Garden

How to Build an Under-Counter Recycling System

Photo of author

By Jeffrey

What does it take to build a new habit into your life?

The easier it is to integrate, the more likely the desired change will stick.

When it comes to recycling one of the biggest challenges to overcome is what system to set up and where do you store all of those empty containers, bottles, and boxes.

LifeHacker to the rescue! They’ve got the skinny on a wonderful DIY in-counter recycling system that may just be perfect for those with smaller homes or apartments.


If you live in the suburbs then your garage probably gives you ample room for storing your recycling in between recycling center runs.

If you live in an urban area somewhere then you’re either taking your recycling out every other day or you’re looking for a space-saving way to sort it.

If one of these 5 affordable and great recycling systems doesn’t work for you space, would you consider tackling this DIY project?

This project originally appeared on Ikea Hacker, and here’s the gist of how it is assembled:

“We took an Akurum cupboard with Applad doors and handles to match our Ikea kitchen. Put the worktop on which is also used in the kitchen and cut two round holes in it. We sealed and glued the inside cut with edging strip which came with the work top. As lids we used some wooden food plates which Ikea sold in the summer and added Ikea door knobs. In order for the lids not to fall through we cut the holes in the Akurum top about 2 cm smaller than the one in the worktop.”

I love that this project provides easy access to under counter recycling bins but the handy lids mean that you don’t have to sacrifice coveted counter space.

If, however, you’d rather not go cutting holes in your counter tops, check out this pull-out 2 bin under counter recycling system. It’s a little less DIY and will set you back $96.

The next biggest challenge to a new recycling system is knowing what you can recycle. As I always suggest, is your one-stop-shop for all recycling questions.


Here are 5 items you can recycle that you didn’t think you could.


Do you live in a small space but still manage to have a recycling system that works for you (or want to have one)? Share it in the comments.