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10 best recycling bins that will help you do your bit for the environment

Lesley Jones
·6-min read
The average household in the UK produces more than a tonne of waste every year (The Independent/iStock)
The average household in the UK produces more than a tonne of waste every year (The Independent/iStock)

We all have a part to play when it comes to recycling, so make life easier for yourself with the right receptacle for the job.

Before you buy a new bin, enter your postcode on the government’s recycling connections website to see what your council recycles.

That way, you know how many different sections your ideal bin will have to have to keep things separate.

Have a quick check – especially on plastics – as to what is recyclable and what needs to go to landfill.

When you realise even crisp packets must go in the non-recycle trash, you might realise there’s a lot more to this than chucking tins in a separate bucket.

We’ve collated a great selection of kitchen recycling bins that will help keep things straight.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Now, whose turn is it to take them out?

Kitchen Master 40 litre recycle bin: £59.99, The Range

Some recyclers on our test looked like they would quickly get dented with the bumps and bashes of life in a family household, but we were impressed with this offering by Kitchen Master – this is a sturdy and well-made bin for the money. Two chunky steel pedals open the top flaps, which are also in easy-to-clean steel. The inner buckets hold 20 litres each and our tester liked the little carry handle at the back which was useful for shifting the bin when sweeping the kitchen.

Buy now

Addis 3 x 40 litre slim recycling bins: £29.97, Amazon

The great thing about this trio of basic bins is that they all clip together, so you can line them up in the utility room and they’ll stay neatly in a row. We used one for glass (ok, wine bottles), one for paper and card and a third for recyclable plastics. You could also add another to the row if you use a lot of cans. Sturdy and straightforward, they wash out easily if you want to ditch liners and go even greener.

Buy now

Simplehuman pull-out twin recycler bin: £69.99, Lakeland

With bins getting ever more stylish, there’s a real move by manufacturers to make them a talking point in kitchens. But don’t forget those of us who would rather hide trash out of sight. Cue this integral recycler, which can be easily fitted inside a kitchen cupboard. The 15 and 20 litre buckets roll out smoothly together on tracks. Just ensure you have space (it needs a depth and height both of 51cm and width of 26cm) and there aren’t, for example, pipes or plumbing in the way.

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Joseph Joseph Totem 60 in stainless steel: £183.20, Joseph Joseph

With compartments for food waste and mixed trash, and a deep pull-out drawer for recycling, this has everything under one tightly fitting lid. Five years on from launch, it’s still one of our favourites, even if you have to take out the trash more often than with some other larger-capacity bins. We love it for its design, its filter to stop compost whiffs and the range of colours and finishes. An updated model is launching in May, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.

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Plastic Box Shop pack of 3 stacking recycling boxes: £28.50, Plastic Box Shop

This straightforward set of stacking tubs is great for larger families or those who have the space to place recycling in the utility room or garage. Our tester has to take recycling to the centre herself, so it was great to have a place to stash used papers, bottles and metals and let them build up a bit before making the trip. Functional and fun, the whopping 50 litre capacity of each bin is the most generous here.

Buy now

Brabantia Bo Touch bin with three inner buckets: £153, Brabantia

The Bo Touch bin by Brabantia is without doubt one of the most stylish on the market, but looks aren’t everything. Does it deliver in the kitchen clutter stakes? Does it keep trash sealed away and is it easy to access? Tick, tick and tick. You can create your ideal bin combination on the Brabantia site – we went for three 11 litre sections for plastics, paper/card and non-recyclables, which worked out perfectly for our tester couple but may not have had the capacity to deal with larger families’ rubbish without multiple bag-changes.

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Simplehuman dual compartment sensor bin with voice control: £259.99, simplehuman

This is a whole lot of money for a bin and the most expensive in our roundup. What’s it going to do for you that others can’t? Firstly, our favourite thing about it is the panel on the larger of the two sections which holds a bag of bin liners – when you remove a full bag, simply pull another one out of the in-bin dispenser and you’re good to go. The voice activation works well, opening and closing tightly with the command “open can”. And here’s where it’s worth its weight in gold – children love it and can’t wait to use it. Miracles do happen!

Buy now

Beldray two-section recycling bin: £36.99, Beldray

There are two 15 litre compartments in this pedal bin and our tester averaged a two day bin-fill for each section with her family of four. We liked the separate green and yellow coded pedals for each section, with two lids opening separately. Although the pedal mechanism is not particularly sophisticated, the polypropylene lids fitted nicely and were easy to keep clean.

Buy now

Minky 60 litre Sort3 recycling bin: £191.25, Amazon

Made of steel and a stylish white polymer, this bin is practical as well as good to look at. It didn’t take up much space and the vertical bins – one with a 30 litre compartment, the other split with 18 and 12 litre sections – did a great job of swallowing a family of five’s mess. As well as having pull-out, tilting sections, the top part can be accessed via a single-touch flip lid. A great all-rounder.

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Morphy Richards recycle sensor bin: £170, Argos

We like the moody grey of the titanium finish on this clever recycler, which also comes in shiny stainless steel. The lid can be opened with a wave of the hand, so it needs six AA batteries, which annoyingly, aren’t included. With a pull-out waste food caddy, it’s the larger top section that has the remote capabilities but it also has a simple push mechanism. The bottom pull-out drawer is in two parts so you can separate cans, paper and so on. A versatile choice with a huge 75 litre capacity.

Buy now

The verdict: Recycling bins

There’s no denying the all-round functionality of the Bo Touch Brabantia and that would get out vote if money was no object. It’s a hefty price for a bin, though, so brilliant home store The Range gets our vote for the Kitchen Master dual bin.

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