Bin Storage Ideas: How to Hide Your Wheelie Bins and Conceal Your Compost

By   | Last Updated :   January 22, 2021 | Filed In :   Garden Accessory Ideas

Garden bins are a necessary evil… but – WOW – they are not pretty. If you’ve put a lot of effort into cultivating an immaculate garden, it’s not surprising that you’re looking for bin storage ideas to maintain your aesthetic.

Most households experience the joy of walking their council-issued wheelie bin to the roadside once a week, but there’s also the self-inflicted compost bin, where the reward for being eco-conscious is watching rubbish decompose for months. You might live somewhere that separates waste materials into two, three or even four categories… and that’s a whole lot of bins.

No matter how many bins you’re juggling, we’ve got garden bin storage ideas to help you out. Whether you want to hide bins, camouflage bins or just make them prettier – you’re covered.

Tips for making garden bins less obvious

Before showing off our favourite bin storage ideas, there are a few things you should factor in.

  1. Location: Where are your bins most prominently seen? Do you hate seeing them from the kitchen window, or is it the view from your garden gate that annoys you? Focus on the viewing angle that you find most problematic when coming up with a solution.
  2. Space: How much of your garden are you prepared to sacrifice for bin concealment? Some of our bin storage ideas have a very small footprint (like privacy screens or fences). Others – like dedicated bin sheds – will look better, but take up more space.
  3. Convenience: Where do your bins need to go, and how often? An attractive storage unit at the end of your garden sounds nice… Until you have to take rubbish out in the rain, or heave a heavy bin round to the front of your house for collection.
  4. Stability: Avoid letting your bin sink into the mud. Wheelie bins are a nightmare to pull through sludge, and fixed-position compost crates need to be supported to stop them collapsing. Make sure you have some slabs or other solid platform for your bins to rest on.
  5. Access: Make it easy to reach your bin whenever you need it. Consider a pathway to the area you’ll be storing it, and don’t accidentally block it in. For example, if you build a bin store on a narrow driveway, can you still open the door and pull the bin out when a car is parked?

With those five factors in mind, it’s time to look at some fun, attractive and practical ways to conceal your garden bins!

Ways to hide your wheelie bins

Wheelie bins… so practical, but so ugly. Pretty much ubiquitous across the UK, these big plastic oafs are something the majority of households have to deal with. Fortunately, there are a few ways to tuck them out of sight.

Build your bin a home

The most effective way of removing your bin from view is to build it a lean-to or similar storage unit. This can be anything from a simple DIY job using a few recycled palettes, right up to this incredibly swish bin shelter. By using the existing wall, the unit becomes the boundary of the front garden, giving the home a more contemporary look.

Using some visual trickery will make your bin storage less obvious, too. While these bins aren’t exactly invisible, matching the lines and colour of the storage unit with the fence helps it visually blend in with its surroundings.

Aiming for something more industrial? A metal bin container is crisp and durable for a more contemporary design.

Bin storage with a living roof garden

I LOVE this bin storage. It’s so simple, but looks absolutely gorgeous. Building your own lean-to is super cheap and can be done with salvaged pallets quite easily. What gives this bin shed in Croydon its added oomph is its living roof! You can grow them using a combination of hardy perennials, succulents and moss – check out our living roof garden ideas for more tips!

Here’s another DIY bin unit with a living roof – this one has been divided up specifically for the bins it needs to house. Not only does it look tidy, it doesn’t take up any more space than it needs to! A word of caution before you copy this idea though – keep in mind that councils do occasionally change bins and recycling setups, so you might end up having to start over sooner or later!

Plant a green screen

Let your garden do the work for you! Using foliage to hide your wheelie bins is super easy – especially if you already have tall plants that you can move around.

Evergreen shrubs are ideal for year-round coverage and the density of their branches means no one will spot your bins lurking behind them. Alternatively, plant climbers in pots on the ground and install a trellis in front of the bins.

Top tip: Lay down a solid surface to save your wheelie bins from getting stuck in the mud.

a black plastic compost bin is tucked between a fence and large bush

Use a privacy screen for your bins

Building a specific enclosure for your bins can sometimes stick out more than the bins themselves. Instead, buy a privacy screen, or single panel of fencing, and angle it to hide a corner of your garden.

Tucking your bins behind the screen helps to maintain the flow of your garden and give your bins somewhere to live. Pick a screen in a design that mirrors other elements of your garden, like your fence, lawn edging or deck.

a stylish wooden screen cuts across the corner of a garden so bins can be stored behind it

Compost bin storage ideas

If you’re cultivating your own compost, you already know that decaying matter doesn’t make the most attractive of garden features. When it comes to planning your composting situation think about all the points we looked at earlier: location, space, stability, convenience and access.

It can be tempting to put your compost bins at the far end of the garden, out of sight. While this is generally good for keeping the compost out of the way while the materials degrade, it will be a pain to reach from the house on a rainy day. Make sure you’ve got a convenient container to collect household matter between trips.

Uniform bin storage

Do all of your bins live in more or less the same place? Build or install matching storage for your wheelie bins and compost units to keep them neat. This set looks super slick – and the handles that double up as lights are stylish and practical – double win.

Try making your bin storage less conspicuous by incorporating it into existing structures, like a gazebo or shed. Even if it’s not built-in to the same unit, painting it the same colour can be enough to make it feel like a cohesive building.

Build a multi-purpose bin store

This cute DIY bin storage shows how a little bit of elbow grease and a lick of paint might give you better results than pulling out your wallet. Perfectly proportioned to fit in a specific gap, it also works extra duties as a mini garden and log store. The contrasting colour adds a splash of personality and shows that camouflage isn’t always necessary.

Don’t hide your bin, celebrate it!

What if you simply don’t have the time, space or budget to build your bin its own little house? Well, it’s a controversial idea, but maybe you could have some fun and actually treat your bin to some TLC and decoration.

Wheelie bin vinyls

Vinyl stickers are a low-budget way of improving the look of your bin. From simple, universal decals that display your house number, to custom wraparound images, there really is no limit to the designs. Vinyl bin decals are waterproof and durable, so it’s up to you how much fun you have with them!

Modern art is rubbish

No more excuses about remembering which bin is which! Play around with stickers or paint to create a masterpiece on wheels. This pop-art design is super fun and doesn’t waste time pretending that the bin is something it’s not.

Use your bin as a centrepiece

I think this might be the best wheelie bin I’ve ever seen in my life… Just don’t ask whether it’s still actually usable!  Want to try and take your wheelie from rubbish bin to art piece? Check out the Global Inheritance TRASHed project at Coachella to see more truly inspirational ideas.

Hopefully these tips have given you some ideas about how to stop your bin from stealing the spotlight from the rest of your garden. If you’re trying to stay on top of other garden clutter, don’t forget to check out our posts on garden shed ideas and outdoor toy storage tips!

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By Kirsteen Mackay

Kirsteen is a professional writer who traded a tiny garden for an even smaller balcony when she moved to Brighton in 2015. Her interest in gardening stems from a keen desire to turn her simple slab of concrete into a lush urban oasis, complete with cosy-but-practical garden furniture and delicious edible plants.

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