Introduction: The ConRec
Convenient Recycling from the comfort of your home
My messy room motivated me to work on this project. I’m all for recycling but the bottles piling up in my room had to go. What if you could just get rid of your bottles and cans without leaving the house or going to the garage or basement? The solution is ConRec. While my motivation to build this project might be laziness, the device can also provide a much more important service to those who can’t leave their homes because of medical reasons. You open a latch that fits in a first-floor window, slide your bottles and cans down the chute and they go right into a recycle container. The container has a battery powered air freshener, a wifi camera to monitor when the barrel is full on your smartphone and it even has a handle that can “jiggle” the barrel to settle and even out the cans. The product also goes a long way toward promoting and encouraging recycling.
The project took about 12-14 hours to put together (It’ll probably be a lot quicker now that I’ve done it once.) and about 10-15 minutes for final installation in the window. There were a bunch of measurements to take for the wood components, and locations of pilot holes and screws. There were things like the door latch that needed to be changed (did not originally plan on using a bungie cord), figuring out a way to attach the air freshener to the inside of the barrel, and getting the wi-fi camera to work took up a lot of time.
It costs about $130 to make. The biggest expense was a $60.00 one-inch camera. The wood cost 23.00, the barrel cost $10.00, the air freshener cost $10.00, paint $7.00 and the hardware (screws, hinges, dryer chute, L brackets) added up to 22.00. It may seem expensive but the convenience and service it provides is worth it.
You should be comfortable using a drill and jigsaw. It also helps to have another person around to help stabilize some of the components when your drilling into them, like the dryer hose and when cutting the 6” hole with the jig saw or the 1” hole for the camera box.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Most items are available at a local hardware store except where noted below.
1’x31”x1” piece of plywood (Window Base)
1 10’x 2”x1” piece of plywood (Door)
1 10”x10”x1” piece of plywood (Door frame)
9 2”x1”x1” pieces of plywood (screw anchors)
4 1 ¼” pieces of plywood (Camera box)
3” piece of dowel (“Jiggle” handle)
1 8-foot dryer chute with 6” opening
6 2” L brackets
1 1” L bracket
2 3” door hinges
1 industrial trash barrel
16’ piece of rope
1 6’ piece of adhesive weather stripping
21 ½” wood screws
6 1” wood screws
6 1 ¼” wood screws
1 1 1/2” wood screw
2 small bungie cords
1 eye screw
1 large hook (for the eye screw)
1 small can of white paint
1 1 ½” remote night-vision camera
Smartphone App: HDMiniCam, free at the Apple store or Google play
Order Camera on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F7KRWSW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Smartphone and WiFi
1 Battery operated air freshener (Air Wick), available at local pharmacies and grocery store
Drill bits, including a ½” bit and 1-inch keyhole bit
Step 2: Wood Elements: Window Base, Wood Anchors and Camera Box
Measure plywood elements (see supply list) and use a jigsaw to cut them. Set aside all wood elements except the 1’X31”X1” piece of plywood (WINDOW BASE)
Measure the center point on the WINDOW BASE (Center= Width: 15 ½”, Height: 6”) Using that point, set your compass at 3 inches and draw a 6” circle. Near the inside edge of that circle, use your drill and 1” keyhole bit, cut a pilot hole as a starting point for the jigsaw. Then use the jigsaw to cut out the 6” hole.
Measure 1 ½” directly above the 6” hole, use the ½” drill bit and drill a hole. Measure 9” to the right of the 6” hole and using a 1/8” bit, drill a ¼” deep pilot hole.
6) Take the 1 10”x10”x1” piece of plywood (DOOR) and drill a ½” hole on the right
side, 1” from the right edge and 5” from the top or bottom.
On the left edge of the DOOR, measure 1” from the top and 1” from the bottom, draw a ½” line to mark. Place the door hinges on the DOOR with the edges of the hinges on each of the markings. Place the 10”x2”x1” piece of plywood (DOOR FRAME) next to the door and place the other side of the hinges on top of that wood. Using 1/8” bit, drill 12 pilot holes about ¼” inch deep. Remove the hinges. ALSO, measure 1” in from the edge of the DOOR and drill a 1/2” hole. Take the WINDOW BASE, DOOR and DOOR FRAME and paint them white on both sides.
To assemble the CAMERA BOX, use the four pieces of 1 ¼” wood blocks. Use the 1” keyhole bit and drill a hole in the center of one of the wood blocks. Assemble the pieces so it looks like a box; it’ll be open on one end. Then drill pilot holes using a 1/8” bit on the edges of each of the blocks. And use the 1 1/4” screws to assemble the CAMERA BOX. Set aside.
Drill two ½” holes into the 3” wooden dowel (HANDLE). Set aside.
Step 3: The CHUTE:
Use the 1” screws to attach the L brackets to the CHUTE, screwing them into the CHUTE itself and then the ANCHORS that are inside the chute.
(wooden anchors inside the chute)
Take the barrel cover and using a Sharpie, mark the center of the top of the cover. Using a compass, set it to 3 1/8” and draw a circle. Drill a 1” hole on the inside of the circle so you can use your sheers to cut out the larger hole. Take three measurements of the bottom of the CHUTE eight inches apart and mark. Slide the bottom of CHUTE into the top of the cover. Repeat the process of attaching three 2” L brackets to the CHUTE at the 8” markings. Slide the CHUTE so the bottom of the L brackets are touching the bottom of the barrel cover. Using the bracket holes as a guide, drill pilot holes through the L bracket, into the bottom of the barrel cover, then into the wooden anchor which are on the top of the cover.
(Top of the barrel showing wooden anchors)
(Underside view of barrel cover, L brackets and wooden anchors and chute)
Screw in L brackets using 6 1” screws. The CHUTE should now be connected to the barrel cover.
Step 4: The BARREL Elements:
Follow the package instructions for battery powered Air Freshener. The one I used is an Air Wick.
Measure 10” down from the center of the barrel handle and mark with a Sharpie outside. Drill pilot hole into the barrel and 1” above the bottom of the air freshener. Measure two pilot holes diagonally UP from that pilot hole. In the bottom hole, use a ½” screw to attach an L bracket AND the air freshener. Using two more ½ screws, attach two more L Brackets to the inside of the barrel. Use a small bungie cord and hook each side to the L bracket holes. This will keep the air freshener in place.
From the top of the barrel, mark two measurements two inches down and two inches apart on the on the outside of the barrel. This should be done on the opposite side from the air freshener. Drill pilot holes at those markings. Place the CAMERA BOX inside where the pilot holes are and then drill pilot holes into the outside edges of the box. Using the ½” screws, attached the CAMERA BOX. Follow instructions for the Camera and APP.
Place the CAMERA into the CAMERA Box and use weather stripping foam to secure the camera inside the box.
Step 5: After the WINDOW BASE, DOOR and DOOR FRAME Dries:
Line up the door over the 6” hole. Using ½” screws, screw the door hinges into the previously made pilot holes.
Line up the door frame so the joint of the latch falls between the door and door frame. Drill four pilot holes, two on top and two on the bottom and use 1” screws to attach the frame piece to the Window base. Then use six 1/2” screws to screw in the other side of the door hinges.
Place the eye screw into the hole that was drilled 1 inch from the right edge of the DOOR and bolt it in place.
Drill a hole through the end of the bulb bungy cord and screw into the ¼” pilot hole on the WINDOW BASE. Attach latch hook onto the bungy cord and adjust it so it’s tight enough to hook and unhook but also keep the door closed. The tie a knot to tighten the bungy. This could take a few tries to get the right amount of tension.
Thread the rope through the previously drilled holes in the 3” HANDLE. Then threat the two ends through the top ½” hole on the BASE. This will attach to the barrel handles but during the installation.
Place strips of weather stripping on the inside of the door, slightly longer than the size of the circle. Close the door to get an imprint of the CHUTE opening. Using a cutting knife, cut the outside edges of the weather stripping off, leaving only the stripping to fill the hole once the door is closed. See below
Step 6: INSTALATION
The ConRec is complete and ready for installation in your window. After sticking the weather stripping to the edges of the window BASE, it slides into your windowsill, attaches with two 1” L brackets, screwed in using 1” screws on the top two corners. Place the barrel with camera and air freshener below your window, pull down the chute and place the cover onto the barrel. Tie the two ends of the ropes to each handle. Check to make sure the rope has very little slack, otherwise adjust it.
Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. firstname.lastname@example.org.