Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Recycling Made Easier: Recycling Bags

two recycle bags

I'm having a bit of a garbage can/recycling bin dilemma that I'm hoping you might be able to help with. I keep my main recycling bin on the main level of my house because that's where it fits best (for space and cleanliness reasons). But I have bathrooms and bedrooms upstairs (and I do most all of my paperwork upstairs in my bedroom) where lots of recyclable waste is generated.

Though it's good exercise, it's a pain in the butt to run downstairs every time I want to put something in the recycle bin. I don't like keeping a little pile in a designated spot to be brought to the bin on my next trip downstairs because I'm anal and it bothers me to see those things "not in their proper home". So what I'm looking for is a sort of dual-garbage-can that has two compartments -- one to be used for garbage and the other for recyclables.

I've directed this reader to the trash mug - but the question also reminded me of the various recycling bags that are available, which could be helpful in gathering recyclables to be taken to another part of the house. The recycle bags above come from KangaRoom, and are made from recycled materials.

3 recycling bags

Other recycling bags are divided by type of recyclable. Esschert Design makes a set of bags: orange for paper, gray for cans, blue for bottles, green for organic matter. You can buy the orange, grey and blue bags individually on Amazon.com - or you can buy a set of three from Gaiam, or a set of four from Design Within Reach.

jute recycling bags for paper, plastic, glass

Cost Plus World Market sells jute recycling bags. [via the kitchn] Update on Dec. 12, 2011: Cost Plus World Market doesn't have these any more - but it does have other recycling bags.

recycling bins for glass, paper, plastic

And finally, I want to mention these collapsible recycling bins from Seletti - a bit more than a bag, but still a portable alternative. You can buy them here and here.


Rachel said...

Thanks so much for this post and for the trash mug recommendation -- I somehow overlooked it in my initial search on your website, and it looks perfect for my needs. Thanks again!

Jeri Dansky said...

I'm so glad I could help, Rachel!

Joan said...

Hi Jeri: I think a recycling bag is a great alternative (easy to run down to her main bin when full) but she might be looking for something like the butterfly recycle/garbage can by simple human. http://www.simplehuman.com/products/recycling-solutions/butterfly-recycler.html

Rachel said...

Thank you, Joan, for your thoughtful suggestion. I did come across that SimpleHuman dual bin in my search. For my use, though, it's a little too big, since I'll be using them in my bedrooms and tiny bathrooms. It's definitely perfect for a kitchen, though!

AnnasMom07 said...

I have the Gaiam bags (silver, orange, blue), and I have been pretty disappointed with them. I originally got them because I thought they would work well under a sink or two, but they just didn't work for me. So, I am kicking one now as it sits underneath my desk, catching paper.

Also, our recycling people thought these bags were part of the trash - I set a full one at the curb for pickup, and it was not returned to me. Apparently if the container at the curbside is not a standard green recycling bin issued by the city, the sanitation workers trash them. Very disappointing.

Jeri Dansky said...

AnnasMom07, I'm sorry the bags worked out poorly for you - but I thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

Sadly, sometimes what seems like a good idea winds up not working for our particular situation. It happens to all of us. (And when it happens to me, I'm happy to have Freecycle; what doesn't work for me may work very well for someone else.)