Keep Omaha Beautiful offers tips for reusing old trash bins

New trash carts to be distributed before FCC begins waste management in Omaha on November 30th.
New trash carts to be distributed before FCC begins waste management in Omaha on November 30th.(WOWT)
Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 12:42 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A new era of waste collection begins today across the city. You can no longer use your old trash cans and recycling bins, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw them out.

You’ve stored them for days, weeks maybe even months, but today is the day you must begin using the new, 96-gallon bins for your trash and recycling.

But before you kick your old bins to the curb, non-profit “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 Hanna Rennard-Ganley with Keep Omaha Beautiful.

Obviously, the plastic bins won’t decompose quickly. Hanna Rennard-Ganley says sending 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 reusable,” said Hanna.

“I have it all prepped and soiled for planting in the spring.”

She’s repurposed one bin into a vegetable planter, and another into a toy chest of sorts.

“It’s accessible for the kids to just throw things in,” said Hanna.

Other ideas could be to turn your trash bin into a rain barrel to cut down your water bill or use it as a composter, or tool storage.

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

And you can always donate the bins you don‘t need anymore. Organizations like City Sprouts want your old green bins to use for their urban farms.

Farm manager Aaron French says they need plastic containers to help with vegetable harvesting, and the old recycling containers are a perfect fit.

Whatever you decide to do, Keep Omaha Beautiful wants you to be conscious of where your waste is going, and always look for ways to reuse.

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 North 16th street.

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