Recycling Bins That Finally Look Better Than Their Contents

Recycling Bins That Finally Look Better Than Their Contents

Recycling bins. You know them by their shape and color. They're big, bulky and sky blue, or occasionally dark green.

Sure, attempts have been made to gussy them up with different colors and shapes, ultra modern designs and a touch of the bizarre.

But often when designers hit recycling bins with a pretty stick, function goes out the window in favor of form. It gets tough to tell what goes where, so you don't see too many of those models around.

Mostly you see receptacles that look like this:

Basic blue recycling station

Enter Miami firm DeepStream Designs with a bin that its creators fashioned to blend good looks with utility -- a container that would be at home in a posh hotel, a high-end office building or resort.

Working with Móz Designs, a decorative metal fabricator based in Oakland, Calif., DeepStream has produced Audubon Recycling Receptacles, a line of bins with removable and customizable panels that are made from 80 percent post-industrial recycled aluminum.

A DeepStream/Moz Designs recycling bin

The panels come in more than a dozen colors and finishes and are interchangeable so that if the color scheme of the surrounding decor changes, the bin can be made to match.

The modularly constructed receptacles are 31 inches tall and 17 inches deep. The width varies to accommodate as many as four openings for various materials. And the top is labeled to cut down the confusion about what to place in the container.

Although designed with an eye toward ritzy environments, the bins can lend "a touch of glamour to public area recycling" in a range of venues, DeepStream says.

They can add "visual excitement to museums, theaters, theme parks or recreational facilities, such as ski resorts, water parks or other public attractions,” says DeepStream Designs President Sheila Boyce.

Prices for the bin range from $1,050 to $2,300, depending on the size of the receptacle and the number of openings, a spokeswoman said. Quantity discounts are available, as are custom quotes for companies that want their logos on the panels, which entails an additional charge.Labels atop a DeepStream/Moz Designs bin

Other lines of the 4-year-old firm's decorative recycling bins, trash receptacles and planters have been used by clients that include Ritz Carlton, Sheraton and InterContinental hotels, the Pentagon, NASA in Ohio and the U.S. Naval Air Station in Pensacola.

Image of traditional recycling bin CC licensed by Flickr user Samuel Mann. All other images courtesy of DeepStream Designs.