How can I reuse or recycle a wheelie bin?

Hi. Long time no blog! Sorry about that.

This has annoyed me so much though that I feel compelled to post!

Bradford Council has started charging for their previously free garden waste collection service. Only about a third of eligible household have signed up so the Council estimates there are around 55,000 “brown bins” no longer in use around the district.

The Council estimates around half of those 55,000 will want to keep their wheelie bin as a spare or for other usage, and are starting to collect the other half.

However, a local councillor doesn’t think that many people will want to keep them. Cllr Rebecca Poulsen, the local Tory spokesperson for waste, said:

“I can’t see most people wanting to keep them for other storage purposes, really.

“I can’t think there’s an awful lot to do with them.”

Then you don’t have much imagination, do you Rebecca!

On our allotments, old wheelie bins are prized possessions – a couple of holes drilled in the right places and they easily become sturdy water butts or compost bins.

They’re also cheap, dry storage for plant pots, canes, plastic sheeting & netting, and woodchips.

At home, I use old bins for storing my chicken feed and my in-laws use them, with an access hatch cut in the bottom, for storing firewood and multifuel.

And they’re not just for grow-your-own hippies like me: I know other people who use them for storing kids garden toys, sports equipment and patio cushions out of season.

And they’re just some of the easiest, most boring reuses!

I’ve seen them cut in half to be used planters or wheelbarrows, and my old neighbours in Leeds even once transformed an old wheelie bin into a go-cart!

  • What other ideas are there for reusing wheelie bins? What would you do with one?

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12 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a wheelie bin?”

  1. huh says:

    why would you even recycle a wheelie bin No offence

    • Pam Thompson says:

      why would you *not* recycle it? Seems a bit stupid to give it away and then *pay* for a bin to store the chicken feed or use it as a water butt.
      I found this page as I was looking for ideas as to how I can use my now unwanted garden waste bin.
      I may use it to grow potatoes in, or find a way to turn it into a self service chicken food dispenser, or lay it on its back to become a chicken nest box. Why on earth would someone throw away a useful thing?

  2. Pete says:

    They make excellent worm-farms too :-)

  3. Greenhandle says:

    Nice article about reusing the bin for different purposes.

  4. Dave crossley says:

    Haha yes I’m from Leeds and I did same thing when I was younger me and my mates cut up a wheelie bin added some wood to front and put some front wheels on it it was awesome ten lol prob would be fun to try again only try put little engine on it some how lol…. anyways I was gunna suggest u could use a wheelie bin for storing rain water to feed your gArden plants and lawns wi or maybe even turn one into a water feature….possibilities could be endless 🤷🏼‍♂️ ☝️

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  7. Jason says:

    At Eastleigh Borough Council we recycle old bins when we need to.. but if they are fit to do so, we worked with Southern Water to provide taps and give them to people on the allotments and they are turned into Waterbutts.

  8. kfh says:

    so many councils seem to change their refuse separation/collection schemes on such a frequent basis, i would (vainly) hope all they might be able to be reused…

  9. mzkit says:

    I have seen one recently that was cut away to make a garden trolley. We have two to repurpose due to collections being charged for now. I’m planning to use them for slow composting cupressus clippings and I have a metal style bin coming for the quicker stuff.

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