Garbage bin storage structures are a great way to hide garbage cans and add an attractive element to your home or office. They come in many shapes and sizes and can be purchased online or at your local home store. If you’d like a more refined structure, consider a custom enclosure.
We designed and built our own garbage bin storage structure to corral and hide the messy garbage and recycling cans at our office. Here are a few suggestions for your own custom garbage enclosure.
Garbage bin storage, an architect’s solution
Our office building garbage cans are covered and taken out regularly. However, they used to be visible from the street and from our neighbor’s property. Like many property owners, we needed to find a solution for the visibility of our garbage and recycling cans. We saw this as an opportunity to add utility, beauty, and value to the property.
First and foremost, we felt the structure should be beautiful. Often, “ordinary” projects like this can be a missed opportunity. We chose cedar decking for the primary material, for its long-term beauty, durability, and ease of maintenance. All screws are attached on the back side of the cedar so that no screws are exposed to view.
Our wood garbage storage structure accommodates both cans with extra room for yard waste in the spring. The structure is attached to a concrete foundation for stability and forms an L-shaped wall that shields the cans from view by neighbors and the street. It is also slightly taller than the garbage cans. This allows us to conveniently reach over the fence to access the cans but is high enough to prevent high winds from blowing the lids open.
We designed it with one open side. When it’s time to add garbage to the can or to roll it out to the curb for collection, we just walk right in. Many garbage storage structures include a gate, but we rejected the idea due to potential maintenance issues. We also paved the small enclosure’s floor with concrete so it would be easy to roll the cans in and out.
We are using the backside of the fence to hang often-used yard tools, like the hose and sprinkler. On the front side, we planted ivy and we will train it to grow on the enclosure.
Suggestions for your custom garbage bin storage structure
Here are a few additional suggestions for your custom garbage enclosure:
- Make it beautiful! This is an opportunity to add an attractive element to your property while hiding unattractive garbage cans.
- Design the structure for safety. Flimsy structures can tip over or blow away. Kids may be attracted to the structure and may climb or attach something to it – plan on it.
- If you live in an area frequented by bears, you may want to provide a roof for your enclosure. The roof will also add stability.
- Secure the can lids. Most smaller animals will not be able to access the garbage if the can lids are secured.
- Think about the best location for your garbage storage – it should be convenient to where the garbage is generated but far enough away to minimize the smell.
- Build the enclosure with weather and longevity in mind. Use materials that are attractive, but also will weather well and will last a long time.
- Think about versatility and ways that you can get the maximum value from your new enclosure. For instance, you can add hooks to the back side of the enclosure for yard tools or kids’ toys.
- Allow some space below the wall for rain water to drain out. This will also make it easier to hose out the enclosure when something is spilled or leaks out.
- Pave the floor so that it is easy to roll the cans in and out.
- Make the enclosure high enough to hide the cans and prevent wind uplift.
- Integrate landscaping with your new enclosure. Vines and shrubs can soften the appearance of the enclosure.
Do you have additional suggestions?
You can view lots of nice ideas on Pinterest by searching for “garbage can storage” or “garbage can enclosure”.