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How to Upcycle a recycling bin into a storage wagon


I was delighted to receive my new recycling tote last week, which means I can say good-bye to my old recycling bin. Or maybe not!

I’ll admit, I did set the old bin out next to the tote in hopes that the recycling truck would take it, but they didn’t. I thought I could try again next week or take up the challenge of upcycling. Since we have a lot of outdoor play things that are kind of overflowing from our milk crates, I decided to plus out our garage storage items in a very functional way: a storage wagon. Now it’s easy for the kids to get their play things out and even take them to their neighborhood friends’ houses.

Here is how to convert your old recycling bin into a a storage wagon:

4 casters that attach using nuts and bolts
screw driver
Sharpie marker
Drawer handle
Rope (clothesline)

(To be honest, I did have all these supplies on hand. My casters are mismatched, but all the same size)

1. Use the Sharpie to mark the drill holes from the casters on the bottom of the recycling bin
2. Drill the holes
3. Bolt on the casters

4. Drill one hole in the side of the bin and screw in one side of the drawer handle
5. Press the other side of the drawer handle into the plastic to make a faint mark – darken it with a Sharpie. Drill there to make the second hole to fully attach the drawer handle

6. Tie your rope around the drawer handle and add a loop on the other end to serve as the wagon handle.

7. Fill with toys, books, equipment – whatever!

Meet Rita; our new recycling tote. I love her because she’s big and her lid keeps the flies away!
Another great thing: the town I live in shopped around for a better recycling service, which accepts more recyclables and costs the town less money…to the tune of millions. With their cost savings we were able to get our new totes (Rita, etc). I like those numbers!

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).


I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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2 Responses to How to Upcycle a recycling bin into a storage wagon

  1. Jenny Lynn September 19, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    It think this is a great idea. I could see make a few of these to use in my garage. One would hold golf balls. My hubby has a net in the garage and my son practices in there. This would contain the mess during the winter time when we want to park in there.


  1. How to Upcycle a Chair into a Scarf Rack - Eve of Reduction - October 3, 2013

    […] How to make a storage wagon out of your recycling bin […]

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