How to quickly DIY a wood cover for your recycle bins to hide them. Because the only boxes that should be blue come from Tiffany.
About a decade ago I started to put my recycle bins right outside my kitchen window. I did this because a) I am smart and b) I am lazy.
All winter long I can just open up my kitchen window and throw my recyclables into their appropriate bin without having to trudge through the backyard in the middle of an ice storm. This was fine in the winter because I was never hanging out in the backyard to see the ugly blue bins.
Come summertime I’d have to drag the recycle bins away from the window to a less visible, less convenient part of the yard because I didn’t want big ugly blue recycle bins right out there in the open looking like their ugly selves.
So I created a bin cozy. An easy wood cover that just slips around my blue bins.
DIY Recycle Bin Cover
I’m not giving you measurements or anything for this project because chances are your recycle bins are a different size. For instance I have the super-tall, generally massive recycle bins. Standard ones are smaller.
I built this bin cover one morning while I was waiting for a friend to come over. I didn’t even plan on building it. I was walking around the backyard and realized I probably had everything I needed to build the bin cover using the leftover materials from my chicken coop.
Again, you don’t need to use the same materials I’ve used. Use whatever you have or whatever you can steal. From a neighbour. That you don’t like. Under cover of darkness and drink.
4 lengths of 2x4s
several lengths of 1×6’s or any other flat, fencing type wood.
- Measure the width and height of your recycle bin. If you have 2, measure them side by side.
- FOR THE FRONT OF THE COVER: Cut the length of your fence boards so they are at least 6″ wider than the width of your bins. (If your recycle bin(s) measure 30″ wide, cut your fence boards to 36″ wide. FOR THE SIDES OF THE COVER: Cut the length of your fence boards so they are at least 4″ longer than the depth of your bins. (If your recycle bin measures 15″ deep, cut your boards to 18″ long. ) ** always measure the widest part of the bin (the top) **
3. Lay the fencing for the sides of the cover on the ground. Measure from the bottom board to the middle of the top board. Cut 4, 2×4’s to this length.
4. Lay your cut 2x4s on top of your fencing and screw into place. Always pre-drill your screw holes.
Drill into every board.
5. Repeat these steps for the other side of the cover. Once you have assembled and screwed together your two side pieces you need to attach them to the front fencing pieces.
6. Like with the side pieces, just lay your front fencing pieces on the ground. Place one of your completed sides on the front fencing pieces and screw them together by drilling through the 2×4 on the side, into each of the front boards. Do the same on the other side. Pre-drill through the 2x4s at an angle into the front boards like you see in the photo below.
7. Stand everything up because you’re done. You now have a slightly wobbly box. If you really want to you can brace the corners and run a 2×4 along the bottom and top of the open end. I didn’t want to, so I didn’t.
I knew that once the bin cover was in place I wouldn’t be moving it so I didn’t need to worry about it wiggling apart over the years. If the unstained wood suits your backyard then by all means, leave it as is. If not, then now’s the time to stain.
Now that your bin cover is stained you just need to slip it into place. (I realize it looks like I splashed paint all over my recycle bin, but I didn’t. Well, I did, but that was during a long ago project, not this one)
The bin cover blends in well with the planter boxes I built and is the exact same look as the chicken coop.
The dark colour is also a really good backdrop for the greenery all around it.
I am on year 8 with these DIY bin covers and so far there’s been a bit of rot on the bottom (because mine are laying on dirt). If I had been even SMARTER I would have thought to put some stone or wood underneath the cover to help slow down the chance of rot.
Still. It’s a pretty smart solution.
I can now chuck things out the kitchen window to my heart’s content all spring, summer, fall and winter long. My name’s Karen and I am smart and lazy. Otherwise known as slazy.
Here’s to all of you who are the same.
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