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Trash Course: A Recycling Station

Recycling may save the planet -- but it ruins the corner of your kitchen until collection day. An easy-to-make sorting station will help you get in order.

Source: Blueprint, March/April 2007


Resources: 6 1/2-gallon tins, and Elfa medium 2-runner drawer,


  • One 4-by-4-foot pegboard

  • Semigloss latex paint

  • Nine pegboard hooks

  • Nine 1/2-inch-thick plastic washers

  • Nine 2-inch screws

  • Nine molly bolts

  • Three large handled bins

  • Two large wire baskets


  1. Purchase a 4-by-4-foot pegboard at a home-improvement store (or have one cut to that size). If you like, paint it with a semigloss latex paint and let it dry.

  2. Mount the pegboard on the wall. See the following instructions: To mount the recycling station on your wall, first hold the pegboard where you would like it to hang and mark the nine points where screws will be inserted -- one in each corner, one near the middle of each edge, and one in the center. Then install a molly bolt in the wall at each of those marks: Pre-drill a hole in the wall that has the same diameter as the molly's shank, then tap the molly into the hole with a hammer until it is flush with the wall. Next, at each screw position, place a washer on the front of the pegboard before inserting the screw into the board, and then add a plastic spacer to that same screw on the back side of the board. (The plastic spacers will create an open area behind the board for the ends of the hooks to come through.) With all of these layers in place, drive the screws through into the molly bolts to secure the board to the wall.

  3. Decide where on the board you'd like your three containers to hang. Insert two of the hooks into the pegboard where each handle will be.

  4. Hang the canisters on the hooks and add additional hooks for can liners, twine, and scissors. Place large wire baskets underneath for old newspapers and cardboard refuse.

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