Recycle Bins: Types, Colors and How it Helps the Environment

A recycling bin is one of the most common things in America today. For many reasons, Americans have come to accept the idea of the recycling bin as a necessity. While some people know what it is and why they need it, others don’t.

If you are part of the former set of people, congratulations; you are one step closer to knowledge about your environment. But if you fall under the latter category of people, there’s still a chance to learn everything you need to know. And that chance is what you have in this post.

In today’s post, you will learn what a recycling bin is and how to use it. We’ll also examine the types of recycling bins and what items you can put in each of them.

Meaning of Recycling Bin

Recycling bins are receptacles or medium-sized drums normally used to keep different materials considered recyclable. These receptacles serve as temporary containers for items we want to recycle and are periodically emptied by the recycling company.

Basically, recycle bins are large containers outside most homes, parks, or streets and are used to store recyclable material.

Once filled with the material, the disposed of items are picked by the local municipal body or local recycling firms and used to process new items. So, the recycle bin’s main purpose is to collect things that would have ended up in landfills and use them to process and make new things.

You can put different things in a recycling bin — papers, metal scraps, plastic magazines used electronics, and many other things.

However, it’s not a matter of tossing all these items in one bin before moving to the next one once the initial bin is full.

No, not at all.

Each of the bins has a category of items that it’s meant to accommodate, so you have to know what to put where. Much of that will come later, but first, let’s consider how a recycling bin helps the environment.

4 Ways Recycling Bins Help The Environment

The fact that recycling bins are exploding in popularity is enough to spell out the benefits of this idea.

1. Conservation of Resources

The idea behind recycling is to conserve resources. Likewise, recycling bins allow people to put what they consider waste into them. These wastes are then utilized as raw materials to make new materials.

This shows that recycling and recycling bins help to conserve resources. For example, when you put stacks of old magazines in the recycling bin, you indirectly reduce the pressure on trees. This way, the old magazines would be recycled to make other paper-based items, thereby saving trees.

And by the way, just in case you didn’t know, manufacturers cut down trees to get pulp used for papers. Hence, the more paper you recycle, the more trees we will all have standing.

Similarly, when you recycle tins or irons, you are cutting down mining pressure. Whether we like it or not, mining has a damaging effect on the environment. Hence, to save the environment, we should recycle more metals.

2. Saving of energy

Save energy

You would agree that a lot of energy is directed for use when manufacturing a new product. This is a necessary part of the production.

For instance, when making paper, you would need the energy to get to the site. The machines used for cutting the trees would also run on energy before using it again to transport and process them. The energy demand carries on till you finally package it and transport it to the store for sale.

Often, there are no means to cut this energy other than recycling those already used. This way, lesser energy is used to reprocess these materials.

For example, experts have estimated that one would save up to 90% of energy when recycling aluminum products. This revelation is a big shot and shows that we should recycle more.

So, there it is. Recycling bins help play a role in saving the world’s energy. And if you think about it, they are also dropping the amount of greenhouse gas from manufacturing a new product.

3. Protection of The Environment

Recycling plays a pivotal role in safeguarding our invaluable environment through various means. For instance, neglecting to place used plastic items in the recycling bin poses environmental challenges. Disposed plastic could potentially find its way into aquatic ecosystems, harming marine life.

Aside from this, recycling paper is another way to protect the environment. Trees used for paper help release energy into the environment and take in poisonous gases. This is why there have been different campaigns recently to plant more trees.

4. Reducing Landfills Content

You would agree that all used things would go into the garbage without recycling bins. And where would they end up?

The landfills, of course.

If you consider this, you will appreciate the recycling bins even more. Landfills aren’t very sightly, so the less we have them, the better for us all. Recycling bins help us achieve this in some ways.

Tossing your used things in the recycling bin reduces the content that goes to the landfill. This helps the environment greatly. Plus, landfills occupy a large expanse of land and emit offensive odors.

Now, imagine if there was no recycling bin. The implication is that you might just have a landfill close to your block because humans need to dispose of stuff.

These are just a few ways recycling bins and recycling help the environment.


Types of Recycling Bins, Colours And Types of Items You Can Put In Each Recycling Bin

As earlier pointed out, recycling bins are out there and come in different colors, blue, green, red, yellow, and white, each for a specific category of goods. Let’s now learn what you need to put where!

1. Blue Bin

You would have come across the blue recycling bin. The color of this recycling bin means something. It signifies the kind of items you can put in it.

For the blue recycling bin, you can put paper, cardboard waste, or any paper-based materials. The blue color signifies saving the trees and ecosystem, particularly the wildlife.

2. Green Bin

The green recycling bins are for collecting organic materials. Collecting organic materials is very important to the environment. Though if you toss them away, they will decompose after a while, they can still be used for other things.

You can put foods, flowers, coffee grounds, veggies, fruits, prunings, and food leftovers in your green recycling bin.

3. Red Bin

The red recycling bin is for collecting materials with a thin plastic coating in them. They are mostly used to gather landfill wastes.

For the red recycling bin, you can put plastic bags, polystyrene, sticky tapes, cling wrap, glazed wrappers, etc.

4. Yellow Bin

The yellow recycling bin is a more encompassing bin you can have in the environment. It is a mixed recycling bin containing different kinds of things. Nonetheless, you still can’t toss everything you find in the yellow recycling bin.

Use the yellow bin for glass bottles, cardboard, newspaper, plastic, aluminum cans, juice and milk cartons, office papers, and coffee cups with lids (Disposable ones).

5. White Bin

The white recycling bin is for collecting soft plastics. We mean materials coated with plastics or made with a thin lining of plastics by soft plastics.

For the white recycling bins, you can put plastic bags, biscuit packets, bubble wraps, cling wraps, frozen foods, confectionary bags, etc.

Ways to Use Recycling Bins

Recycling bins

Using something right is as important as having that thing in the first place. For recycling bins, you should learn how to use it properly.

There are 8 different ways to use recycling bins. They are:

1. Single Stream: There’s just one compartment for your recyclables

2. Double Stream: You have two compartments for your recyclables

3. Triple Stream: It has two compartments for your recyclables and one compartment for the non-recyclables

4. Quad Stream: Multiple compartments for sorting recyclables. You have four separate compartments for sorting various recyclables, ensuring efficient waste segregation.

5. Tray Top: A bin with a flat surface for easy use. A tray-top recycling bin includes a convenient flat surface on its upper part, allowing you to place items temporarily while sorting recyclables.

6. Automatic Trash Bins: Automatic trash bins utilize motion-sensing technology to open when someone approaches, providing a hands-free disposal experience.

7. Lockable Shred Cans. This is mainly for office purposes. You keep unused documents in them before shredding them. The good thing is that you can always lock it.

8. Wall-mount Recycling Bins: Wall-mount recycling bins are affixed to walls, optimizing space utilization while encouraging proper waste separation.


Recycle bins are a great way to start recycling. Their inception has helped enormously in the last few decades to process waste products that could otherwise have filled landfills. Recycling helps in energy conservation, reducing pollution, and landfill reduction.

Recycling bins have come to be known in every home in America. We have them in different places across the country beyond the homes. Wherever you may go, you will find them. What this shows is the importance and usefulness of the recycling bin.

In every way, the recycling bin will always be useful because it helps us save the environment. More importantly, you have to learn to use them properly.

All the information you need has already been provided above. So, you see, you are way more knowledgeable than when you first started reading this post.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.