Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: How to easily label trash and recycle in the kitchen

While I did some recycling in Ohio (and a lot of composting!), recycling took on a whole new meaning when we moved to Washington two years ago. Not only can I recycle practically anything, I don't have to sort and or drive to the recycling center to drop things off -- it gets picked up at the curb!

Trash can and recycle can

Because I don't have to sort, I just have two cans under my kitchen sink: Trash and Recycle. When the bag gets full, I take it outside and dump it into the trash can or recycle bin out there. Once a week, I take the trash out to the road, to be picked up. So convenient!

When we moved to this rental house, we got a different trash service and they sent a flyer listing everything we can and can't recycle. I knew there was no way I could remember everything, and I didn't want to either put the wrong stuff in the trash OR in the recycle bin.

Recycling label for easy reference

So, I taped the list of "dos and don'ts" to the side of the recycle trash can. I love having it there for quick reference, but it's not another paper cluttering up my kitchen counter. :)

I also put a big "TRASH" label on the trash can, so everyone could remember which can was which. I explained it to all of the children, including Ruth (who was just 2 at the time) and they can easily follow my instructions of putting something "in recycle" or "in the trash can". :)

(This tip was shown/mentioned in my kitchen tour video.)

I'm also extremely happy that after nearly a month, switching to a smaller trash can size has worked out okay. I switched to the smallest size of customer-provided can, which is 20-gallons once a week (and unlimited recycling), and would save $7/month. I was a little worried that we would make more trash than that, but we haven't! In fact, there's even been a little extra room each week still. :)

Recycle and trash cans under sink

My top 3 tips for making less trash:

  • Use cloth everything! Napkins, towels, diapers, etc. We've been doing most of this for years, so it's not difficult (most of the time...)
  • Recycle as much as possible! I'm glad this is an easy option for us.
  • Compost, or use the garbage disposal. I love composting and hope to get back to it some day! :)

More tips for reducing trash output (from Ohio, when we paid per bag for trash pickup)

And, just because I'm curious, please vote in my poll about trash pickup prices! :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

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1. Creamier oatmeal
2. Bean dips from leftover beans (Donna)
3. Getting homemade meals on the table quickly (Gretchen)
4. Dishwasher tip (Jill)
5. Kneading a large amount of dough (Tereza)
6. Hamburger tips (Kolfinna)
7. Easy lasagna noodles tip (Linda)
8. Citrus fruit tips (LeAnne)
9. Stove top percolater


I am very interested in this because I seem to be taking the trash out daily. We also get our recycling picked up at the curb but there are only certain things we can recycle. I need to stop using paper towels so much (we have Skoy cloths) but other than that I don't use too many paper products.

Here is my tip:

Thank you!


I posted a dishwasher tip on my blog

I have a KT for today! Check my little video here:

I posted some hamburger tips today.

My tip today is for Easy Lasagna Noodles.


I have some tips for using citrus fruits.

Thanks for hosting!

I love the idea of taping the list of what can and cannot be recycled to the side of the can. I tend to forget myself. We also use lots of cloth, but also get our milk from the dairy, so we return the glasses to them. Our shredded materials we give to a farmer who uses it on his farm, and we use freecycle to donate things that still function that we no longer need to decrease our waste.


That is great that you get it picked up! We're in NC, and we have to take it to the recycling center.

I posted about my stove top percolator. I use it daily to make tea. It is also wonderful for lose-leaf herbal teas and black leaf teas as well. Coffee, too!

I'm going right out to the kitchen to set this up under my sink ~ thanks for sharing!

*Michigan Momma*
wife to The Pastor & momma of:
~Isaac ~Selah ~Talitha ~Elijah ~Micah

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