How to Build Chutes for Recycling

These chutes carry recycling from the laundry room into recycle bins in the garage.
These chutes carry recycling from the laundry room into recycle bins in the garage.

Creating through-the-wall chutes for sorting and storing recyclables is a great way to reduce indoor clutter.

  • The room you want to use must be adjacent to another room like a garage or storage room. Locate and mark the studs inside the wall with a stud finder.
  • Lay out the location of the chutes on the inside, being careful to avoid the studs. We’re using pet doors to cover the chutes so they are used to mark the size of the holes that will be cut in the drywall. Be careful to avoid wires inside the walls.
  • The chutes themselves are built from pieces of 1/2-inch plywood. The inside opening matches the pet door’s size while the outside is slightly taller to allow the bottom of the chute to be angled down.
  • Cut the holes in the drywall on the garage side to match the larger end of the chutes so they can be fished into the wall from that side. The mounting screws for the pet door secure them on the inside while narrow molding tacked around the outside secures that side of the chute.
  • Add letters to the inside of the pet doors to designate which chute gets what recyclables.

Watch the video to learn more.


  1. This is a horrible idea you should not be suggesting people to do this. It violates fire and building codes in most, if not all areas of the country. You compromise the firewall protection and allows for Carbon Monoxide to enter the house. This also negatively affects heating, cooling and ventilation and allows insects, spiders and other creatures to enter the house.

  2. I really enjoy watching your show.I have to say the episode,cutting cat doors into a garage wall would be a make your building code violation in any jurisdiction.I truley believe this one should be corrected?

  3. Well this is a fail. As already stated, it creates a fire hazard, a Co hazard and more than likely will just drop materials all over the floor when they miss the can.
    Did you run this by a licensed contractor or inspector before advising people to undertake this project.
    By the way where did you move the outlet and was the work done by a qualified electrician or do you think anyone should just be moving boxes?


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