When September ends every house will be getting a new 65 gallon rolling recycling cart and a new 45-gallon trash cart. Later, you won’t be able to use yellow bins for recycling or any old cans for trash unless you qualified to opt out or they work with the trash truck lift. So, what do you do with those old cans you can’t use anymore?

For social media - reusecansFor one, you can have them taken away as part of the rollout and there will be more from the City on that later. But, reuse is the greenest choice, so the Green Team has some options for you – just don’t forget to clean them out before reusing!

Let’s get creative, Mount Rainier. The Green Team will be giving away prizes for creative trash can reuse!


1. New Planter. Metal or plastic trash cans without a lid can be used as a planter both indoors or outdoors. Drill a hole in the bottom for proper drainage. Pro-tip: If you are not sure yet where you’d like to place your new trash can planter, fill the bottom with plastic bottles before you fill it with potting soil. Also, Larger trashcans make ideal containers for root vegetables, or any plant that has a long or deep root system, such as potatoes.

barrel2. Rain Barrel. A metal or plastic trash can be used to collect rain water, help provide free water for watering your garden, and prevent excess runoff in big storms. There are plenty of different ways to craft a trash can into a rain barrel. At this time, you cannot apply for a Rain Check Rebate if you use your trash can as a rain barrel. This tutorial from SFGate.com has a good rundown of you’ll need/how to repurpose your trashcan as a rain barrel: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/make-rain-barrel-garbage-can-78538.html
mulch3. Yard waste/mulch container. Instead of purchasing bags upon bags at Home Depot or Lowe’s, why not use your now outdated trash can to store and put out yard waste on Mondays? Plastic cans might be easier to repurpose for this use. Another option: use it to collect free mulch from the County when they have their free mulch days every spring.
compost4. Compost bin. Turning a trash can into a compost bin is a great way to upcycle your trash can while also providing useful compost for your garden. You can use a metal or plastic trash can for this. A drill will likely be needed. This link can give you tips on how to create a compost bin in this fashion: http://pallensmith.com/2014/02/27/trash-can-compost-bin/
storage5. Storage. Need a bin to store things in? Whether it be outdoor tools, pet food, children’s toys, or even a clothes hamper, look no further than your current metal trash can! For tools, just clean it out and put them in. For pet food, clean it out and line it with a plastic bag or paper – or simply store the economy sized bags in it. For clothes hamper/children’s toy bin, clean it out, line it with cute fabric, decorate the outside and voila!
furniture6. Furniture. Another option is to turn your metal trash can into an artistic piece of furniture – an end table, a main table, or some other design. This one is a little trickier to do yourself, but some good places to look for inspiration could be Community Forklift, Tanglewood Works, and Pinterest!

Enter how you re-purposed your trash can: http://bit.ly/mrgt-can-contest by December 31, 2018 to win.

NOTE: Make sure you wait until you don’t need your old cans for trash though before you re-purpose them!