Universal Bottle Crusher




Introduction: Universal Bottle Crusher

The Universal Bottle Crusher is a human-operated and gravity assisted machine that we have created to promote recycling. As we have walked around our school halls, we have noticed that recycling bins are filled all the way to the top and overflowing. This machine will crush bottles/cans, which will prevent recycling bins from overflowing, because of decreased volume of each can.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Materials

1 9 foot piece of rope, 1 4 foot by 4 inch PVC, 2 4 inch plastic drains, 1 three mouthed pipe, 1 roll of duct tape, 1 roll of electric tape, 1 cleat, 1 axe head, 2 screws
Drill, Dremel, Knife, Glue

Step 2: Step 1- Poke a Hole

The first thing that you should do to make a Universal Can Crusher is poke a hole in the drain. You do this do the string can come to the top of the can crusher so you can begin to promote recycling. Note- Make sure that you do not poke the hole right in the middle of the shower drain, poke it where it is in the picture.

Step 3: Step 2- Insert Skrews

In this step, you must put on two screws into the cleat to secure the cleat to the PVC pipe. The purpose of this is to secure the rope in place so other supplies do not fall through in later steps. This step must be completed correctly or your other steps will not be executed correctly.

Step 4: Step 3- Attach and Lower String

Next, you must attach the rope to the axe head and make sure the flat side is facing down. Then, loop the string through the drain and make sure that it is secure. Look at the next slides picture for further assistance.

Step 5: Step 4- Tie to Clear

After you tie the knot securely to the axe head, take the shower drain with the hole in it and pull the string through that hole in the shower drain. Lastly, tie it to the cleat on the side. The interior of the machine should be secure and in place after this step.

Step 6: Step 5- Attach Bottom

Next, you must attach the other, non-drilled shower drain to the bottom of the crusher. You must do this because when you insert your can after the completion of this machine, it will stay in place. By doing this, you are one step closer to completing the Universal Bottle Crusher.

Step 7: Step 6- Attatch the Three Mouthed Pipe

Your sixth and final step is to attatch the three mouthed pipe to the bottom of your machine. This is a very important step because without this piece you would not be able to insert your can or bottle. Once you have completed this step, you have completed the Universal Bottle Crusher.

Step 8: Step 7- You Are Ready to Crush

Now that you have completed the Universal Can Crusher, you are ready to begin crushing. If you would like to make your finished crusher shine, you can add elastic tape to give the machine some color. Remember, crushing cans is fun, but it also helps the environment. Be responsible, safe, and recycle!

Step 9: Mathematical Calculations

There is a reason that we crush bottles, to free up our recycling bins. We can prove mathmatically that our bottle crusher works, through volume and surface area. Don't believe us, check out these images that prove the Universal Bottle Crusher does make a difference!

Instructables Green Design Contest

Participated in the
Instructables Green Design Contest

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Magnets Challenge

    Magnets Challenge
  • Snow Challenge

    Snow Challenge
  • Wearables Contest

    Wearables Contest

4 Discussions


4 years ago

FYI, the "three mouthed pipe" is more commonly referred to as a "TEE fitting" (as it resembles the shape of the upper-case letter "T"). It is called a "fitting" because it is not an actual piece of pipe but rather a "pipe fitting" which attaches to and joins two or more pieces of pipe together.

The Freak
The Freak

6 years ago on Introduction

I doubt schools would like something standing in the hallway that crushes stuff.. Nonetheless I hope they have a garbage compressing machine. So for schools this might not be the best idea, but for other places (a home, community centre or whatever) I think it's a good idea!