How can I reuse or recycle plastic recycling boxes?

Recycling boxesWe’ve had another suggestion from the wonderful Am (Delusion), and it’s a bit of a meta one:

As our council have changed our curbside collection from collection boxes for paper & bottles etc to now using our old black wheelie bins, I thought of what could be done with the old recycle boxes.

The council will recycle them and so they can be taken to the Household Waste Centre, however I am sure they can have some more uses!

I have managed to acquire 6 so far, as I am going to use one for storage of plant pots, another three are going to be used as large trough plant pots for my new Wildflower seed mix and another two are going to have their bases sliced off and buried in my borders to contain my very invasive poppies.

Any other suggestions?

I’m going on a mint growing extravaganza this year to sate John’s new obsession with mint teas and they (well, the rest of the garden really) would benefit from growing in troughs like that. We’re also constantly on the look out for lidded boxes as part of our ongoing quest to cat proof the cellar (aka the pee war ground between our cats & the neighbour stray: yes, it’s pleasant). But anything a bit different?

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8 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle plastic recycling boxes?”

  1. Alice says:

    Re: mint – people will tell you to cut the bottom off the container and bury the sides like for those poppies. Don’t do it! Mint roots will happily go under in all directions and will then proceed to take over the world. Keep the bottoms on the containers and just grow them above ground. Mulch to keep the soil damp in summer.

    BTW poppies on the other hand spread by dropping their seed everywhere, so cutting off the seed heads will stop them spreading. Containing their roots will make no difference.

  2. Andrea says:

    Those bins could make great worm composting bins for indoor or outdoor use! Just drill some small holes in the bottom, top, and some in the sides, put in some bedding (shredded paper/cardboard, dead leaves, etc), and add some composting worms and you’ll be ready to go.

    If you already have an adequate composting system, make the bin and give it to someone else who needs it.

  3. fuchsoid says:

    I’m currently using the lid of my old one as a tray for newly-planted seeds in small pots. It was also useful for containing compost spills while I was planting them.

  4. Lupa says:

    I have a friend who swears they’re perfect for container gardening potatoes.

  5. Nigello says:

    Why not bury it up to its rim and make a small pond out of it? You could place a few together, higgledy-piggledy, and help populate your garden with frogs, toads and the like.

  6. debbie says:

    Check with a local charity-run thrift shop. I keep thinking those places should obtain these kinds of bins, stencil their name on the side, and let people use them at home to fill up unused item, making drop-off easy and convenient. Bring in a filled one, go home with an empty.

  7. John says:

    I second the use as a worm compost bin:
    1) Take your first container and drill small holes in the bottom and top.
    2) Fill it with moist, shredded paper for bedding. See the numerous web sites for more on this.
    3) Nest the first bin in the second bin so that the second bin catches the runoff liquid.
    4) Insert worms and food scraps. Done!

  8. Cadan says:

    We use them in our house to organise toys etc. in a childs bedroom, and also stuff like clothing and bed linen.

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