How to Make a Recycling Bin Out of Soda Boxes (and Particle Board)

Introduction: How to Make a Recycling Bin Out of Soda Boxes (and Particle Board)

 I was in Barcelona last year to take Fab Academy 2012 in Fab Lab Bcn (Iaac), and there was this cafe called 'Pedro's' right in front of my apartment, I've been there several times to grab some sandwiches and coffee, but sadly the cafe was driven out of business.(and it finally turned into a kebab restaurant)

 Few days later when I was doing my routine garbage dumping duty, I discovered a bunch of plastic soda boxes of all kind inside the plastic trash bin. Coca cola(red), Vichy Catalan(sparkling water, green), Moritz (beer, yellow), and anonymous blue box covered with fungi.

 I had no idea what can I make with them at the moment, but couldn't fight against an uncontrollable urge to take them back home (it's in the blood, thanks dad)

 Barcelona has very good garbage collecting system: Grey bin for general waste,  Brown for food waste, yellow(plastic), green(glass and metal), blue(paper), However it seemed no one in school really cared about recycling, simply because there was only one type of garbage bin in the school.   

So After hearing my flatmate's complain for a couple of weeks, I realized the colors of the boxes were a perfect match for a recycle bin. 

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Step 1: Cutting Out the Soda Boxes

 First, you need to cut out the bottom of the boxes with electric jigsaw. It's a bit tricky because the inner structure of the box has many supporting trusts attached to the walls. 

 I first removed inner core of the structure to make the job easier, and then carefully sawed out the rest of it.

Then you need to smoothen the cut surface a little bit with a grinder or a rasp, otherwise the sharp surface can tear the plastic bag when you take the trash out. 

Step 2: Frame Design and Cut

Next, you are gonna need to build the frame that you can put the soda boxes on.

I again used  2 large particle boards(about 600m x 2000m x 20mm) salvaged from street. 

Then I draw a simple finger joint box structure on Soldworks to see how it's gonna be. 

The design has to be unique for each soda box and material you choose.

I recommend you to try to create design for the frame.

The app is for small cases and has unadjustable joint size. but you can simply scale down the input size to get a desired design. (and you also need to edit the dxf a little bit)

I made some grooves to fix the soda boxes on the top of the frame.  

And then I used Multicam 2000 400W Laser cutter to cut particle boards.

A CNC router or manual tools will do as you know. 

Step 3: Done

Now it's all set.

I added some screws  on the corners of the frame to reinforce the structure.

Anyway the most important thing is to let people to recycle trash, especially when they were not used to do so. 

(Looks like it's now removed for the school because it takes too much space)

Hope you enjoyed it!

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