Whether you’re planning an outdoor recycling program for your office, campus, schoolyard, park, or another type of facility, there are important factors to consider to ensure the success of your program. The right recycling containers can make a big impact—while the wrong ones can lead to challenge after challenge to overcome. Here are six factors and features to look for when it comes time to choose outdoor recycling bins.
1. Climate Control
Since the recycling containers will be placed outdoors, they should be able to withstand any and all harsh weather conditions. To stand strong against sun, rain, snow, or even tornados, your bins should be durable, insect-proof, waterproof, and UV stable. Recycling containers come in a variety of materials, such as plastic, steel, and wood laminate. Mold-injected plastic bins are green, long-lasting, and durable, making them ideal for outdoor placement.
In addition, purchasing the right bin accessories can make a big difference. Anchor kits, for example, can help your bins stay grounded and safe in inclement weather.
2. Easy-to-Spot Bins
Of course, you want your recycling program to be a success. A big part of this will be ensuring your containers are easy to spot. Place them in crowded areas with a lot of foot traffic and in easy-to-find locations. For crowded areas, two-sided bins are excellent, since they can be accessed from both sides. You’ll also want larger openings, so people can easily throw away their recyclables as they walk by without any challenges.
If you’re purchasing recycling bins for a stadium, zoo, or outdoor event, consider adding their locations on maps to make them easy to find.
3. Size and Shape Matter
When it comes to high-traffic outdoor areas, it’s generally best practice to purchase square-shaped recycling containers with weighted bases. This prevents people from tipping them over easily, whether on purpose or by accident. Size also matters—if you know the volume of waste will be high, consider investing in larger bins to ensure they don’t overflow quickly during the day before you have a chance to empty them.
4. One-Stop Collection
Multi-stream recycling containers add convenience to your program, enabling people on the go to throw away their waste quickly and easily. This helps ensure a greater number of people use your bins. Having your recycling bin outdoors but your garbage bin indoors, for example, will make it more likely that people will throw out their trash in your recycling bin because they won’t want to walk further, or go inside, to find the garbage can. This can lead to contamination. People tend to throw away items in whatever bin is closest, whether it’s trash, recyclables, or organic materials.
To ensure the integrity of your recycling program, invest in a multi-stream container that has a recycling, compost, and trash bin alongside one another. One-stop collection is proven to improve the separation of landfill and recycling garbage.
5. Know the Regulations
Depending on your city or region, it may be best to choose one recycling container over another. For example, your city might not allow you to collect your recyclables together in a single stream. You may be required to separate out your paper from your bottles from your cans before they are collected. This will impact your decision.
6. Know Your Numbers
Besides choosing the right recycling bins, you also need to consider how many bins you’ll need to purchase. For your program to be a success, you need to place containers in strategic areas, where people are most likely to use them. This may mean you need five, 10, or 50 bins placed around the park, office building, or facility to see a real impact.