We have two big green recycling bins in our kitchen under one of the counters. That was the most convenient place for them, but as you can imagine, they contain a holy grail of baby temptations. He doesn't want his toys but he really wants paper (which I would let him have if he didn't chew and swallow it). Since most of the stuff in the bins is not very clean or very safe (e.g. aluminum cans) we are constantly training him not to pull things out. But I made him his own little recycling bin of safe, clean, plastic containers that he can scatter all over the floor to his heart's content.
I recently had an idea for an upgrade to his would-be landfill toys. This idea is so simple and obvious that you've probably already thought of it. Some of us require a little more time. I got the idea from some of the toys that he plays with at baby time at the library. They are clear plastic tubes filled with things like bells, feathers, and beads that the babies can shake and turn back and forth. I believe they are from lakeshore learning, which probably means that they are expensive. At least compared to what I made which was nearly free!
I bought some beads, bells and pom poms and put them in some of John's recyclable containers. Most are soda bottles but I also had two spice containers. Now instead of just plastic containers, they're colorful, noisy plastic containers!
John is enthralled with them! They kept him rapt yesterday for 20 minutes or so. Which, in baby time, is like a light year.
One man's trash, another baby's treasure!