Well, there is no more denying it folks. The climate is changing, we use way too much plastic, and if we don’t start recycling (and doing it properly), things are not looking too good. These days, the way most food and other consumer items are packaged and sold, recyclable material tends to build up quickly in a household, office, or any communal space.

Luckily, finding good recycling containers that can fit seamlessly into a smart recycling program is easier than it has even been before. Recycling containers are a simple, one-time investment that can end up doing a lot of good for years to come. Here are some tips are buying the right kind of recycling containers to suit your needs.

1. Figure out where you’re going to put them

Before you head out to buy, take some time to consider where the best place within your home or office to keep the recycling containers would be. Ideally, it should be close to a fairly high traffic area where lots of recyclable waste is produced, and although you don’t want it to be in the way, it should still be highly accessible.

If the container is tucked away where it is easy to forget, or access to it requires awkward maneuvering, it is much less likely to actually get used. Figured out where the best spot would be, measure it, and now you’re ready to shop.

2. Make sure you address all your recycling needs

Depending on your individual household or office, you’re going to have different recycling needs in different areas of the space. Although in some cases it can be practical to have all recycling receptacles centrally located in one spot, it might be wise to have recycling containers distributed throughout different areas, so they can be more easily accessed.

For example, in the kitchen it is just too easy to throw material away that could have otherwise been recycled if there is a waste bin on hand but no recycling container, make it easy and convenient to recycling.

3. Know what level of volume you’ll be dealing with

Speaking of making it convenient, make sure you get containers that are capable of accommodating your recycling output according to a reasonable schedule and local pick-up times. If the recycling in your area is picked up every week, make sure you get a container that can easily accommodate a week’s worth of waste. Take some time to analyse your out-put of recyclable material and keep this in mind when you go out to buy.

4. Think about how durable your recycling containers need to be

Is your recycling container going to be exposed to harsh outdoor weather during regular use of while waiting for pick-up? Make sure you pick containers that are up to the job and will easily stand up to the climate conditions of your area.

If the recycling container is going to be located outside regularly, make sure you account for things like unexpected high-winds by perhaps investing in an anchor kit. In some cases, wildlife considerations might factor into it. Make sure you consider all possible threats.

5. Use a straightforward and logical labelling system

If you want your recycling containers to be used often and efficiently, it is crucial they are labelled clearly. If there is even a moment of hesitation involved when a user doesn’t know which recyclable material belongs where, it is much more likely to end up in the trash.

Opt for picture labels over words or colours, which can be confusing. Also be sure that the size of the opening is appropriate for the type of waste the container will be receiving.