How can I reuse or recycle an old plastic dustbin?

BinsWe’ve had another meta suggestion – this time from Kate:

How can I recycle a black plastic dustbin?

It’s true you shouldn’t bin a bin!

It is true! We’ve actually got two old bins in our garden – one pre-dating my move here that’s filled with soil and has herbs and ivy growing out of it (the latter pretty much hides the fact it’s a bin) while the other one (our pre-wheelie bin bin) is used for compost. It’s not as good as our proper compost bin – because there is no easy way to get the soil out again – but I consider it a long term overflow thing, to stop the other compost bin being filled up with things that take ages to rot. Before that, when we actually did DIY stuff on the house, it was used to hold bags of sand and cement because it was reasonably water tight.

Any more suggestions?

(Photo by dean)

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13 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle an old plastic dustbin?”

  1. Delusion says:

    The basic would be a water butt.

    Grow potatoes or carrots in it

    Storage for plant pots

    Storage for compost

  2. Matt Scholey says:

    1. Drill holes in the bottom for drainage and use for growing potatoes.
    2. Sink into the ground as a small wildlife pond.
    3. Donate to your local allotment.
    4. Post it on Freecycle

  3. Rosie says:

    if you bore holes in the bottom for drainage, you can grow salad potatoes.. just plant and when the shoots are 5 inches long, put in more earth and shore up..and so on!

  4. Lupa says:

    If it’s watertight, use it as a rain barrel.

  5. Alice says:

    When it breaks a bit more and is no longer remotely watertight, put some extra holes in it and use it to make leaf mould.

    Just add fallen leaves in autumn, stir them up maybe every 6 months (tip them out, mix them up and throw them back in), and in 2 years you’ll have really nice crumbly goodness, especially useful for heavy clay soils and for growing onions.

    Oak and pine leaves take longer to break down, and really enthusiastic gardeners add urine occasionally to help it break down better/faster…

  6. Rosalind says:

    I use mine as a feed bin for chicken food. It needs to be watertight and have a lid that doesn’t blow off easily.

  7. Bobbie says:

    I live in the country and we don’t have curbside recycling so I have to carry my recyclables to the center myself. I’d clean it and use it for a recycle bin. Some of these black containers are recyclable, did you check the bottom for the number?

  8. Nicole says:

    What if you don’t have the lid anymore?

  9. rachel jopson says:

    I am looking for about 10 plastic bins with lids for horse feed.If anyone has any spare in the west yorkshire i will find them usefull!

  10. nick upton says:

    Fill it with soil, make holes in the side, plant all the available spaces up and wait for it to flourish.

  11. Joe says:

    Fill it with nettles and or comfrey then top it up with water, leave it for two weeks and you have a wonderful (if not a bit smelly) fertilizer

  12. Kathy says:

    I had two spare bins and painted them to look good in the garden, then I used one to store small bags of specialist compost and the other houses my plastic plant pots and trays. Keeps everything tidy.

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