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Recycle Bins and Recycling Containers Buying Guide


Looking For The Right Commercial Recycle Bins & Containers?

Commercial facilities generate significant amounts of waste every year, but the planet isn't getting any smaller. By doing your part and providing eco-friendly waste disposal options, you'll encourage your customers, guests, and employees to make greener choices and produce less waste. That's good news for you too, because you won't have to pay to clean up or haul away as much garbage.


Before you invest in designated recycling containers for your space, make sure you explore your options to get the most out of your investment. The right recycling bins will be clearly marked, durable and spacious, but your options get much more detailed than that.

A Quick Introduction To Indoor Trash Cans

What is an indoor trash can?

Indoor trash cans are essentially purpose-built trash cans just for indoor locations. They reduce litter, prevent litterbugs, and keep garbage away from areas where they might bother others.

What kinds of indoor trash cans are there?

Trash cans and recycling bins come in an array of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials.

Plastic Recycle Bins

Plastic recycling trash cans have become extremely popular in the last few years for their durability, color options, fire safety, and ease of emptying for office workers. These are particularly useful if local regulations make recycling a part of your daily routine at work.

Designer & Decorative Recycling Containers

Designer and decorative recycling containers are the type of recycle bins you will see at any upscale establishment like hotels and law firms. They are the classic look and type of recycling bin that most people think of when it comes to classy recyclers. While they have grown more popular in recent years with the advent of more materials, custom messaging, and technology, this is still the dominant type of recycling receptacle many establishments, particularly commercial businesses, will look for.

Metal & Steel Recycling Bins & Containers

While these are the most common in many parts of the country, the popularity of metal and steel recycling bins and containers has increased in recent years. The benefits of steel recycling trash cans are that you are assured that they will last for a long time while remaining aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The downside is that they dent or scratch compared to plastic recycling trash cans.

What Features Should You Look For?

If you don't know where to start, it helps to focus on the everyday basics. Think about the people who will be using your recycling bins, as well as the items they're most likely to recycle.

Designated Lids

Unlike trash cans, recycling bins are only intended to collect specific types of waste. That's why some businesses choose to provide a different lid opening for each recycling category. For example, paper-only bins might have a thin vertical slot to accommodate bags and pieces of paper, preventing anyone from accidentally (or lazily) tossing anything else inside. The lids for aluminum and plastic recycling bins could have small circular openings that are just big enough to fit standard cans and bottles.


How much plastic, paper, and aluminum waste does your site generate every day? How many people do you expect to use each container between cleanings? These questions will determine the size you need. From a few gallons to a few dozen gallons, your options include personal, commercial, and industrial sizes for large capacity.


Don't forget about the employees who will be responsible for emptying and refreshing your recycling containers. Before you make your choice, find out how easy the container is to clean and maintain. 

  • Is there a wheel kit option, so they can drag the containers from place to place? 

  • Are the lids easy to remove and replace? 

  • What about the plastic liners?

How Do You Settle On A Style?

Recycling bins are excellent ways to decrease your environmental footprint, but if you're selective enough to find the perfect one, they also increase your curb appeal and indoor ambiance. To make sure your recycling bin meets all your needs and fits in with its surroundings, pay attention to the basics.


Don't limit yourself to blue plastic or beige concrete. With bold, playful colors like green, red, or yellow — or sleek, polished black and white cubes — fewer people will forget to recycle or mistake your bins for trash cans. You can even color-code your cans for different recyclable materials, so that recycling options are consistent throughout your campus and no one has to think twice about where to toss their trash.


There are so many shapes and styles, it's easy to find one (or several) that will blend in with your unique aesthetic.


  • Half round— Conserve space in a narrow room or hallway with half-cylinders that appear to blend into walls.

  • Cubic— The sharp angles and lines of cubic containers are perfect for an upscale lobby or office.

  • Stackable — If you regularly need to rearrange furniture or move your trash receptacles for different events, you may want affordable, lightweight bins that are designed to be stacked or connected and transported.

  • Perforated metal — Outdoor sites and events require heavy-duty bins that withstand weather conditions and open from the side. Slats and perforated holes provide ventilation to control odors and mold growth.

  • Multi-stream — Many recycling containers are available with a variety of different lid options, but some are actually long containers divided into separate sections for different recyclable materials.


Each container's durability, cost, and style ultimately depends on how it's constructed. Your options include the following materials:

  • Concrete — Durable enough to withstand impacts and weather. Stone and quartz finishes also lend a rugged, natural look to outdoor spaces.

  • Stainless steel — Choose from indoor and outdoor options that resist fingerprints and rust while looking upscale and modern.

  • Aluminum — Toss your aluminum cans into a lightweight and sleek bin that's made of the same material.

  • Plastic — From high-quality faux wood finishes to basic blue, plastic recycling bins are affordable choices for indoor spaces.

  • Fiberglass — Lightweight but sturdy and UV-resistant, it’s a great option for recycling bins in high-traffic spaces.


Because every business and city has its own recycling requirements, most containers come with multiple customization options. These range from completely personalized, laser-cut logos to extra decals that identify or illustrate the categories of contents. Some are even available with custom color matching, so you can match your bins to your brand, team, or building.

How Do You Manage Risks?

If you don't think ahead to prevent common risks, your recycling bins will attract the wrong kind of attention. Avoid safety hazards, eyesores, and irreparable damage by determining the likelihood of the following risks. Then choose your bin accordingly.


Outdoor recycling bins are susceptible to storms and seasonal changes, especially if you live in an area with high winds or extreme temperatures. If your recycling bins aren't indoors or installed beneath a permanent cover, you may want to choose a rust-proof material and invest in a covered lid.


Vandalism and theft may not seem like a big risk to your recycling bins, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Graffiti-resistant finishes help deter permanent damage, while lid lifts, anchors, and mounts allow you to secure each receptacle against kicks, shoves, and theft.


Most people don't carefully wash out their recyclables before tossing them into a bin. Assume that the bottles and cups in your recycling bins will still contain some traces of the liquids they contained, which could be sugary and dyed. To avoid unsightly stains and unwanted ants, you may want to choose a lid that closes and a material that can be easily wiped down.

Wear & Tear

Over time, sunlight and everyday wear and tear will damage flimsy materials. If you want to reap a long-term reward on your initial investment, opt for recycling bins that are heavy duty and protected by a high-grade finish or sealant.


Fire is a rare but devastating possibility, and recycling bins are full of extremely flammable materials such as paper and plastic. Fireproof steel and concrete containers won't become fire hazards if there's an open flame nearby.

The Right Recycling Bins & Containers For You

Don't order identical containers and expect people to notice and follow the rules. Put some thought into your recycling bin choices, and you'll enjoy a cleaner, greener and more responsible workplace as a result.


Trashcans Unlimited has over 10 years of experience in keeping spaces clean with effective and stylish waste disposal solutions. Let us know how we can help you find the perfect recycling bins and containers for your facility today.

Our Expert Facility Managers’ Top Picks

Here are some of our recommendations based on years of our own experience, what other customers buy for given uses, and what we have learned over the phone helping people:

Ideal Commercial Recycle Bins for Office Buildings


Geo Cube Recycle Bin Collection


Kaleidoscope Recycling Collection


Half Round Recycling Collection


Value Recycle Bins & Containers


Metro Collection Recycling Series


Concrete Recycling Bins & Receptacles


20 Gallon Stainless Steel Dual Recycler


15 Gallon Chrome Open Dome Top Recycling Trash Can


20 Gallon Aluminum Recycling Trash Container Open Top


Brushed Stainless Steel Recycling Receptacle with Finger Print Proof Finish


Dual Stream Connectable Metal Recycling Trash Can Combo 3 Sizes 29 Colors


Glaro Metal Recycling Trash Can in 29 Available Finishes WasteMaster Collection


The Best Recycling Containers for Outdoor Environments


38 Gallon Metal Armor Recycling Receptacle


36 Gallon Metal Outdoor Recycling Trash Can


Clean Grid Fully Collapsible Recycling Receptacle


Large Capacity Two Stream Trash and Recycling Receptacle


42 Gallon Recycling Trash Can Garbage Can with Dome Lid


Landscape Series Perforated 34 Gallon Recycling Receptacle


28 Gallon Metal Armor Coated Dual Recycling Container MF3221


24 Gallon Plastic Indoor Outdoor Recycling Waste Container TF1001


Kolor Can 42 Gallon Recycling Indoor Outdoor School Park Trash Container


30 Gallon 3in1 Ash Trash Recycling Concrete Outdoor Waste Receptacle TF1011




The Best Recycling Bins for Malls, Hotels, and Universities


Large Capacity Recycling Collection


Extra Large 50 Gallon Oakley Recyle Bin


55 Gallon Perforated Recycling Container


Connectable Recycling Container Collection


75 Gallon Concrete Multi Recycling Receptacle


36 Gallon Oakley Outdoor Recycling Trash Can


Heavy Duty 48 Gallon Metal Recycling Receptacle


60 Gallon Ultra Site Square Recycling Bin or Trash Can


55 Gallon Parks and Rec Steel Drum with Push Door Lid


Landscape Series Perforated 40 Gallon Recycling Receptacle


Galaxy Series Indoor Outdoor Trash and Recycling Cans 3 Sizes Blue and Gray




The Right Recycling Containers for Schools and Cities


Concrete Recycling Center Trash Receptacle


50 Gallon Parkview Double Recycling Trash Can


54 Gallon Concrete Dual Recycling Waste Container


Stainless Steel SIMLEY 3 Stream Recycling Receptacle


40 Gallon Ultra Site Square Recycling Bin or Trash Can


20 Gallon Ultra Site Square Recycling Bin or Trash Can


32 Gallon Ultra Site Metal Street Park Recycling Trash Can


Venue Collection - Coordinating RECYCLING & TRASH Receptacles


Heavy Duty 45 Gallon Capacity Stainless Steel Recycling Receptacle


Heavy Duty 44 Gallon Capacity Stainless Steel Dual Recycling Receptacle




The Optimal Recycling Bins and Containers for Home

  1. 30 Gallon Aluminum Can Crusher

  2. Stackable 3 Piece Recycling Bin Set

  3. 20 Gallon Can or Paper Collector

  4. 24 Gallon Recycling Trash Can Liner

  5. 25 Gallon Square Recycling Container

  6. 20 Gallon Stainless Steel Dual Recycler

  7. 8 Gallon Half Round Recycling Wastebasket

  8. 2 Gallon Stainless Steel Step On Kitchen Recycle Bin

  9. Guest Room Trash and Recycling Bin with Vinyl Wrap

  10. Rubbermaid Large Recycling Deskside Wastebaskets

  11. Glaro WasteMaster Collection Recycling Wastebaskets

  12. 4 Gallon Stainless Steel Step On Dual Kitchen Recycle Bin

  13. Heavy Gauge Steel Perforated 10 Gallon Trash Receptacle

  14. 12 Gallon Stainless Steel Step On Multi Kitchen Recycle Bin

Thanks for reading this guide. We hope it provides you with all the information you need to select the perfect indoor or outdoor recycle bin or recycling container and receptacles for your facility. Please let us know if you have any questions. Over the past 10 years, we’ve helped hundreds of people as well as schools, businesses, cities, and towns make their public spaces clean and safe with proper recycle bins. Let us know how we can help you find the perfect recycling receptacle.