Toss in style

A home recycling center doesn’t have to be unattractive.

A built-in recycling drawer by Alno. A built-in recycling drawer by Alno.
By Jaci Conry
December 6, 2009

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1. Locate recycling under the sink, says Heather Kahler of Dalia Kitchen Design in the Boston Design Center, so you can easily rinse items that need it.

2. If you live in a municipality that requires recyclables to be separated, sort as you toss.

3. Cover it up. The built-in by Alno (pictured above) has three compartments, two of which have covers. Use the third for odorless items, Kahler says.

4. A hatch system, like one designed by Mike Collins of D. Michael Collins Architects in Natick, makes recycling fun. “The kids in this family love this system,” says Collins. “They are really encouraged to recycle.”

5. Just like a laundry chute, the system uses gravity, sending recyclables to a platform in the garage below. This removes odors from the house and makes it easy to take out the bins.

6. Build to suit the bin, especially if you don’t have to separate plastics and glass, says Donna Venegas of Venegas and Company kitchen design studio in the Boston Design Center. The under-the-sink pullout model at left is sized to accommodate one of the blue recycling bins that many towns use. “You can just take the bin straight out to the curb,” she says.

7. The cabinet floor, made of stainless steel, is easy to clean. That’s key with recycling.

8. Keep dedicated cleaning supplies in the bin. This one has compartments for sponges and soaps.

9. This particular cabinet also has room for a paper bag to hold newspapers. But in kitchens where there’s space, Venegas recommends designating a shelf where papers can be stacked: “Shelves can accommodate more newspapers.”

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