It’s time to rethink your recycling routine

Recycling 2Do you recycle everywhere you can at home? It may be time to refresh your laundry room, revamp your bathroom or rethink your home office by adding a bin, bag or basket to collect recycling.

About half of home recyclables never make it to the recycling bin. We do well recycling kitchen items, but our bathrooms, laundry rooms and home offices have lots of recyclables that often end up in the trash can instead of the recycling bin. You can rethink your recycling habit by using convenient recycling bins and signage and mixing in a little fun.


Recycle everywhere in your home with these tips and tricks:


  1. Make recycling easy

Start by putting a recycling bin, bag or box next to every garbage can in your home. Then label your bins with signs so that everyone knows how to sort their recycling and trash.

If you have limited space, get creative. Hang a bag on the doorknob of your bathroom, laundry room or office for recyclables. Put a divider in your wastebasket to make it trash on one side and recycling on the other. You could also hang a recycling container inside a cabinet or mount them on a wall.


  1. Recycle in every room

Did you know there are more than 20 items in the bathroom alone that are recyclable? Find more items to recycle by reviewing this list:



  • Shampoo, soap, lotion, mouthwash and contact lens cleaner bottles. Keep caps on plastic bottles, but remove and toss pumps and spray nozzles.
  • Boxes from toothpaste, medication and other toiletries
  • Empty medicine bottles
  • Empty toilet paper rolls
  • Plastic containers from baby wipes and cleaning wipes


Laundry room

  • Laundry detergent and fabric softener bottles. Keep caps on plastic bottles.
  • Stain remover and other cleaner bottles. Remove and toss spray pumps.
  • Cat litter jugs and boxes
  • Dryer sheet and laundry detergent boxes



  • Paper
  • Mail
  • Catalogs, magazines and newspaper
  • Office supply boxes
  • Paper file folders
  • Soft cover books
  • Tissue boxes


  1. Make it fun

Involve the entire family in recycling by making it fun. Have kids make a “please recycle” sign that shows what items can go in the recycling bin. Place a homemade basketball rim above the recycling bin so your family can slam dunk their recyclables.

Make it a challenge: try to generate only one bag of trash a week, and once you’ve conquered that, get a smaller trash can.


In addition to Recycle Everywhere, Hennepin County offers residents, business and organizations the following resources to increase recycling:

  • Grants, signage, best practices guide, staff assistance and a recognition program are available to help businesses and organizations troubleshoot and set up recycling programs.
  • Free education materials, signage and on-site assistance are available to property owners and apartment managers.
  • Grants, signage, classroom presentations and staff assistance are available to help schools improve recycling and educate students and staff.
  • Recycling containers for events, event recycling and waste reduction guides and green event resources are available.
  • Factsheets, brochures and handouts, including a recycling guide and ideas for reducing waste, are available. Hennepin County also has resources for learning more about recycling, including learning trunks, activity ideas, and field trip ideas and transportation funding.


To learn more about the resources available, search each program at

Establish new recycling habits with tips, and tricks that make it convenient to recycle in every room. Recycle in every room. Learn more tips and get resources at


This information was provided by Hennepin County Environment and Energy, Environmental Education & Outreach.