5 Organizing Tips for Easy Recycling

Here are some simple ideas and resources to rein in your recyclables and to communicate to your family or co-workers what goes in which bin!


#1: Make It As Easy As Throwing It In the Garbage

At Emmet County Recycling we’re always striving to make recycling more convenient for you. You can make it convenient at home by aiming for recycling to be as simple as throwing things in the garbage anywhere in your home.  “Wastebaskets” are standard equipment in most rooms; why not “recycling  baskets”?  These photos are examples, in action in real homes and offices in northern Michigan…


Then, in the garage/basement/utility room/laundry room, keep your larger recycling totes handy to empty your “recycling baskets” into.

#2 Recycling Tote/Bin LabelsPaper Bin Label

Print out color coded labels for your Recycling Totes and Bins! With these colorful labels everyone will know at a glance what goes in the bin. They’re sized to fit neatly on Emmet County’s curbside totes and stackable recycling bins.

?????????????Set the page orientation to “landscape” for this size. If you’d like them smaller for use on wastebaskets, set the page orientation to “portrait.” To keep them looking neat longer, you may want to have them laminated after you cut them out. Copy shops provide this service for a couple dollars per page.

Print the Paper, Boxes & Bags Label      Print the Containers Label



#3 Stackable Bins Go Five Highstackables

Our stackable bins let you keep all of your recyclables and reusables neatly sorted using less than 2.5 square feet of floor space. Of course you can devote two to Mixed Containers and Paper/Boxes/Bags, but you can stack them up to five high, so in addition consider them for:

  • returnables
  • Drop-off Center only recyclables (small scrap metal, CFL light bulbs, batteries, etc.)
  • items bound for your favorite charity resale shop
  • a quick spot to stage items for a garage sale until you can put them away properly

They are available for purchase at the Drop-off Center and our administrative offices in the Emmet County Building (200 Division Street, downtown Petoskey) for $9.00 each.


#4 Martha Stewart Recycling Ideas

Thinking outside the bin… Here are some clever recycling storage ideas from Martha Stewart Living magazine. The images are from back in 2003, when you had to keep glass, plastic, and cans separate, but the ideas could easily be adapted to the new two-bin “Recycle More, Sort Less” system.

Martha idea 1

Marth idea 2



#5 Rubbermaid 2-in-1 Recycler to the Rescue!rubbermaid recycler

This nifty freestanding two-bin recycling station gives your recycling storage a streamlined appearance and the bins lift out with handles for easy emptying. Great for:

  • staging recyclables in the kitchen
  • apartments
  • small households
  • small offices
  • the break room at work