Can waste recycling be stylish?

in Sustainable Design

We all know how important it is to recycle the trash we produce at home.
What is sure though, is that sorting waste at home to then recycle it takes up more space than just dumping everything into one container. And it can be frustrating to have to give up precious space for trash or, even worse, to have unattractive bags and bins all around.

The good news is that home waste management can become stylish! With some organization and a little planning, you can create a waste recycling station that will make waste disposal a much more functional experience, hide your trash and even become a beautiful feature in the space!

Here are some creative ideas to get you inspired! All multifunctional, they pair waste recycling with…

kitchen counter space

If there is one thing that holds true for every kitchen is that space is never enough!
In order to get some more counter space, it is often a good idea to add an island or a cart. And the storage space underneath is perfect to organize a stylish waste disposal station!

Filling the shelves with all equal baskets is a great way to organize your recycling station; one bin for paper, one for plastic, one for glass… Plus, the baskets will hide the messy trash and create a nice clean look in the space!

Kitchen island. The open shelving underneath can be successfully used as a waste management station.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: IKEA (opened in a new window/tab)


Trunks are a beautiful décor piece for everywhere around the house; they add character and give that special vintage touch to the space. Trunks are a great storage option why can’t they become a waste management station? To make trash sorting easier, DIY some internal dividers using thick cardboard or wood and there you have it, an unexpected waste disposal container!

Vintage trunk, a functional and unexpected waste recycling container.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Maisons du Monde (opened in a new window/tab)


This modern sculpture is actually made of 4 bins stacked on top of each other.
A funny option to sort your waste while adding an interesting detail to the room!

A modern sculpture, made of 4 bins stacked on top of each other.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Studio Collareda (opened in a new window/tab)

additional seating

It’s always great to get more functions from one single object…
Seating + waste management is the perfect mix! And the deep opening would be perfect to store bulky items.
Imagine this bench covered with comfortable cushions…nobody will ever guess it contains trash!

A bench with storage can hide the clutter and organize waste sorting efficiently.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Decoclico (opened in a new window/tab)

open space integration

A buffet cabinet or an armoire adds a lot of storage, that can be used for waste management as well. Perfect if your kitchen is open to the living area, it will be the ideal furniture piece to connect the two areas, and will hide your trash in the most stylish way!

Dresser with wide drawers, perfect to hide waste before recycling it.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Anthropologie (opened in a new window/tab)

To keep it all neat, organize the internal space with baskets; one for each waste category.

Metallic blue armoire, the perfect waste management station.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Tolix (opened in a new window/tab)

Considering the development of kitchen design for the upcoming future, this would also be the ideal option in an invisible kitchen!

Mirror-door cabinet, a super stylish solution to hide a waste recycling station!<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Opinion Ciatti (opened in a new window/tab)

DIY hack

For sure, DIY alternatives are always an option! And IKEA Kallax is a great candidate!
Its square openings are perfect to sort plastic, paper, glass and other trash items and can fit a lot of stuff!
For this hack, all you’ll need are two doors and two (optional) legs, and you’ll get a personalized cabinet that will be the perfect waste management system!
Here is my proposal, with light wood doors and trending golden accents.

DIY IKEA hack with a Kallax shelving becoming a trendy closed cabinet.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credits: IKEA (opened in a new window/tab), Prettypegs (legs) (opened in a new window/tab), Prettypegs (knobs) (opened in a new window/tab)

Otherwise, IKEA sells single-opening structures with doors as well as several kinds of baskets that fit the opening perfectly.

Some of the accessories available to organize a Kallax shelving. A single-opening structure with a door and two baskets.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credits: IKEA (door) (opened in a new window/tab), IKEA (basket left) (opened in a new window/tab), IKEA (basket right) (opened in a new window/tab)

Sorting and recycling waste is a very valuable habit, that can considerably help our planet. But it does not have to be unpractical or mess up with our space! So go ahead, share these ideas with your friends and then let’s all choose our favourite strategy and build the waste management system that best works for us and our space!
I’m tempted by the Kallax hack!

Because sustainable is beautiful!

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