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How to repurpose and reuse your old trash and recycling bins

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 11:59 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Monday kicks off a new era of waste collection in Omaha. Most residents must now use the new 96-gallon bins for trash and recycling.

But just because the old bins can’t be used anymore doesn’t mean they should be thrown out.

A local nonprofit Keep Omaha Beautiful wants you to consider repurposing them.

”When we’re considering where things go and how to keep things moving, repurposing is always going to be the least impactful on society and least impactful on the environment,” said Education Coordinator Hannah Rennard-Ganley.

Obviously, the old plastic bins won’t decompose quickly. Rennard-Ganley says letting them pile up in a landfill isn’t environmentally friendly or sustainable in the long-term.

There are other options:

”Even though we’re not using them for trash anymore or recycling, they’re very usable.”

In her own backyard she’s repurposed one green recycling bin into a vegetable planter, and another into a toy chest for her kids.

Other ideas include turning your trash bin into a rain barrel, using it as a composter, or even for tool storage.

“There’s a lot of really cool things you can do and the sky is the limit,” she said.

You can also donate the bins you don‘t need anymore.

Organizations like City Sprouts want your old green bins to use for their urban farms.

In a statement, Farm Manager Aaron French says: “Finding enough durable, easy to sanitize plastic containers for our vegetable harvesting is always a huge need for our farm program and the old recycling containers will fit the bill perfectly. They’ll serve as excellent in-the-field harvesting containers, replacing cans and cardboard with carrots and cabbage.”

Of course, if you do want to dispose of your old bins, you can put them in the new trash and recycle carts to be picked up, or you can drop them off at 5903 N. 16th St. in Omaha.

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