Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Adapting Recycling Containers So They Work

As previous posts (below) have shown, good looks often defeats the goal of recycling. There are attractive recycling containers that are completely dysfunctional, ugly ones that serve the purpose, and all manner inbetween.

These three photos show modifications of existing containers. The first one is in an informal cafe, showing off once again the limitless versatility of cardboard in its service to humanity. Have a wide-mouthed trash can that you want to convert so people will only throw bottles and cans in it? Cardboard and felt pen to the rescue!

The second photo shows another, more weather resistant way to convert a trash can into a recycling container. Simply cut a hole in a plastic lid and add a small laminated sign. Note that it's paired with a container for trash. Otherwise, people would be tempted to throw trash in it, despite the small size of the opening.

The third photo is a clever, minimalist modification of a regular trash can at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve in Pennsylvania. One makes pie-shaped slits in the lid, through which people push the can or bottle.

As far as I know, there is no manufacturer of this simple kind of recycling retrofit for trash cans. Makers of trash cans do not sell lids separately, much to the disgruntlement of hardware store owners, who find that lids tend to disappear from their shelves, leaving them with lidless trash cans they can't sell.

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