17 of the Most Creative Recycling Bins and Devices

We bring you 17 recycling bins and machines so fine, they simply can not be ignored.
Loukia Papadopoulos
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Reduce, reuse, recycle. We all know the three Rs for environmental sustainability. In the past few years, the third, recycle, has grown ever more accessible around the world and it's no surprise.


Recycling offers unimaginable benefits from saving our planet from overflowing toxic landfills to contributing to our ever-growing need for base materials. Yet, a 2016 Harvard Business Review study found that not enough people recycle.

One of the solutions offered by the authors was to "spur" recycling options that could motivate people. As such, we bring you here 17 inspirational recycling bin and device designs bound to tempt even the most staunch anti-recycler.

1. The slam dunk

We can thank Elmer's Glue for this fun initiative. After all, we know no one can resist trying to shoot a basketball into an open net. This bin tempts passersby to slam dunk their recyclables. Score!

slam dunk recycling bin
Source: UCSD Sustainability/Pinterest

2. The Star Wars android

The Ovetto bin looks just like our favorite android BB-8. And don't let its small size fool you, this little guy packs a crusher that crumbles up recyclables allowing for more to be stored.

3. The sassy one

Nothing inspires action like a good catchphrase and this bin has got that covered. The playful concepts were courtesy of designer Kristin Hardy as part of an initiative by the El Cajon Improvement District to liven up its boulevard's bins.

"Utilizing their existing color scheme, and art deco inspiration, these bin designs were proposed, and selected, as part of the city's renovation efforts," explained the designer's site. We chose them for their inspiring motos. So don't be trashy my dear, please recycle!

recycling bin Kristin Hardy
Source: Kristin Hardy Design

4.  The hungry penguin

We dare you to walk past this little guy and not feed him! Ideal for a water park but suitable for all locations, this bin is as cute as it is useful.

5. The happy bunch

These smiley little bins come in all kinds of sizes and colors so you can now separate your recyclables according to quantity and type. And since smiling is contagious, you're likely to giggle while you you do it.

envirobin smiley bins recycling bin
Source: Envirobin

6. The DIY recycle bin separator

If you got a simple old-fashioned garbage bin at home, this tutorial will help you transform it into a super cool super organized recycling corner. The process is fun, cheap and easy to do so give it a try!

7. The alien invasion

This creative idea came from the City of Chicago's Green Initiatives Committee juried competition for innovative urban recycling initiatives.

This alien-inspired concept is just one of many designs aiming to create containers that expand the city's sustainable practices. The contest was also supported by the Chicago AIA Young Architects Forum and we can see the results were clearly architecturally creative.

chicago recycling bins
Source: AIA Chicago via Inhabitat

8. The bottle bank arcade

Yup, you read right! This bottle recycling bank is an arcade game. We bet this one will have people saving up their bottles for more fun.

9. The gum ball made out of gum

It might sound a little gross, but this recycling sphere for chewing gums is made out of discarded gums itself. The final product is a pretty red ball so we promise no one will be disgusted.

gum-tech gum bin recycled
Source: Ollymotion/Reddit

10. The bin that feeds strays

A truly unique and incredible idea, this novel bin called Pugedon turns your waste into food for stray animals. This amazing concept was found in Istanbul, Turkey but we can only hope it will spread to the world.

11. The Brexit voting recycling bin

Brexit resulted in some heated opinions on both sides and this recycling corner decided to use the controversy to stimulate sustainability. This innovative two-part recycling bin lets people share their feelings on the UK's much-debated exit plans in an environmentally-friendly way.

voting Brexit recycling bin
Source: Recycling Magazine

12. The DIY cardboard dinosaur

This do-it-yourself tutorial shows you how you can make your very own dinosaur recycling bin out of discarded pizza boxes. A recycled recycling bin bound to appeal to Jurassic World fans everywhere, this nifty concoction makes art useful.

13. The emotional gang

These bright bins come in several colors and emotions. They look good separately but all together make for quite the fun emotional gang. Although when it comes to recycling, we think they would only be smiling.

envirobin recycling bins
Source: Envirobin

14. The at-home repurposing machine

This machine not only lets you recycle your plastics from the comfort of your own home, it also allows you to transform them into new creative works of art. The device offers endless repurposing possibilities that will not only take care of your plastic disposable needs but also offer you an entertaining creative new hobby. What might you create?

15. The multi-purpose trash tree

This lively tree can double as recycling bins and furniture piece. Its colorful baskets can be used to separate a variety of recyclables or to store household items. There is no reason why the multi-purpose tree can't simultaneously do both! It is called the trash tree but don't let that deter you from exploring its many storing capabilities.

trash tree puzzle design recycling bin
Source: Puzzle Design

16. The bomb-proof digital comms pods

These city recycling points courtesy of London-based firm Renew are not only bomb-proof, as bins are often targeted by terrorists, they are also digital communication devices, offering a variety of services such as news headlines and stock options.

The clever pods come with two LCD screens displaying up-to-the-minute bulletins showcasing worldwide updates from everything from the world of sports to arts to technology. The future of recycling is here and it is digital!

17. The all-in-one dump

This invention's creators call this twirling concoction the recycling garbage dump. The nifty multi-layered bin features compartments for everything from trash, to bottles, to food. Designed for use in small houses, the trendy device offers an all-in-one solution for all your home waste disposal needs. Simply rotate and alternate.

garbage dump cargo collective recycling bin
Source: Cargo Collective

We hope these wonderful bins and machines will inspire the world to recycle. For those of you who loved recycling just as much as we do, check out these DIY home-based recycling systems. We promise you won't be disappointed.  

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