Storage Bins From Recycled Containers

About: Like walking in the mountains, fixing things, making things, good food, doing things with the family, outdoor activity, learning new things, trying to learn: C++, C#, Java. Electronics, Arduino and woodwork.

I just can't bring myself to throw things away! My father in law, would empty most of the contents of my workshop into the skip in seconds if I let him!

Well I did some work at home and had a few 5 litre containers to dispose of. I also had some precious junk in cardboard boxes so I decided to make the containers into storage bins. I am sure I am not inventing the wheel and that there are plenty of instructables for this but here is mine anyway,

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Step 1: Safety First

As always, put safety first:

1. Do not dispose of toxic and dangerous liquids into rivers and drains, atmosphere, countryside etc. Dispose of them as per your local laws for the handling of toxic and dangerous waste.

2. Clean the containers well. Do not use containers that contained harmful, inflammable or toxic substances. Instead it is better and safer to dispose of them correctly.

3. Always wear / use protections when using power tools and other potentially dangerous tools / devices.

I will not be held responsible for injury or damage caused while following this instructable. If you are unsure how to do any of the steps described in this instructable, seek assistance or don't do it.

Step 2: Preparations for Cutting the Container.

So after you have cleaned the container very well, Mark some points all the way around the side of your container. I marked mine just below the lid, as shown in the photo.

Step 3: Draw the Cut Line

Draw a line all around the container by joining the points marked previously.

Step 4: Starting to Cut.

Using a hacksaw, cut along the lines at each end of the container (top and bottom). It is better to use a hacksaw, rather than a knife, because the plastic is quite thick and harder to cut.

Once you have made the cuts on each end, you can finish the cuts along the sides with a sharp knife. Be very careful because the knife may slip and you may cut yourself. It may be better to make a couple of shallow cuts rather than one deep cut. I have a table saw and used that to finish the cuts.

Step 5: Fill the Containers

Once you have cut the containers, you should clean the edges with sandpaper. This will also help remove any sharp edges.

Now the containers are finished, you can fill with your favourite "junk" and put labels on them. The part removed can also be used as a container for holding srews / parts when you dismantle something or catching liquids.

Not the most interesting of instructables but I hope someone finds it useful!

Happy spring cleaning!

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    4 Discussions


    5 months ago

    Good Idea, I work at a water treatment plant and we end up with about 10 of these style containers per month from a Chemical we use. I've been thinking about what I could use some for and this is a nice simple idea for my garage. Thanks!

    1 reply

    Reply 5 months ago

    Thanks but I am sure I am not the first to think of it. However, proper containers are quite expensive and boxes don’t last long. These were a nice blue too and I could not just bin them! Wow 10 a month! That is a lot. You could make plenty of things. What about a garden sofa or armchair?


    5 months ago

    Nice . when I make these I cut along the seam that run through the handle , cutting tub in half . this way I end up with two tubs both with handles . jig saw with fine tooth blade is the tool to use, start cut in bung hole . to tidy up edges use some coarse sandpaper or file to remove burr .

    1 reply

    Reply 5 months ago

    Hi Robert! Thanks for the advice. I did not think of cutting that way to have handles on both. However, in y case I needed one deeper one. Will bear in mind for next time! Thanks :-)