In many American communities, citizens can recycle clear plastic milk jugs. Usually, the clear jugs that are marked with a “2” and “HDPE” (stands for high-density polyethylene) are accepted. All you have to do is discard the lids, rinse out the jugs, squash them with your foot, and place them in the nearest recycling bin. Since there’s not a way to recycle plastic milk jugs in our community, I was putting them out in the trash. Finally, one day, after I had put out what felt like the one billionth jug, I got an idea to recycle them on my own. So here are my ten unique uses for plastic milk jugs:

1. Homemade Piggy Banks

Rinse out a plastic milk jug and and let it dry thoroughly. Then, cut a hole- just large enough to slip coins into- in the cap. Next, decorate or paint the piggy bank however you choose. The kids can use it to save their money for their next big purchase!

2. Clothesline-Clothespin Holders

Hanging the laundry outside is a great way to save energy. What can be a hassle, though, is finding a convenient place to put the clothespins so they’re close by when you need them. I remedied this problem by recycling a plastic milk jug. I cut a portion out of the side, on the other side of the handle. I made a hole that’s large enough to stick my hand in. Then, I bent a stiff piece of heavy wire to make a hanger. I hung the holder on the clothesline by using the hanger. The holder slides along as I move down the clothesline. It’s also easy to remove and take inside in case of inclement weather.

3. Salt Keeper/Spreader

If you live in a cold, wintry part of the country like I do, then you probably use salt on your sidewalks and driveway to keep them ice-free. Cutting a corner of the bag off and trying to spread the salt is a hassle. So, recycle plastic milk jugs for the job instead. Just cut a small part out of the top near the lid. Fill the jug with salt, then sprinkle it out through the hole as you need it.

4. Contain Used Motor Oil

Changing the oil in my lawn mower doesn’t take a lot of time. What used to take me so much time was finding a suitable container to place the used oil in. Now, I just recycle a plastic milk jug. Cut off the top portion. Then, slide the bottom part underneath your mower to catch the oil.

5. Waterer for Garden Plants

The best way to moisturize garden plants is to allow water to slowly seep into the soil. Recycle several milk jugs, and you can instantly have several waterers at your disposal. All you need to do is take a small nail and poke a row of holes around the bottoms of the jugs. Then, fill them all with water and set them near the plants you want to water.

6. Always Have Funnels on Hand

Another unique way to recycle plastic milk jugs is to remove the caps and cut the bottoms off. Then flip the tops over, and you have instant funnels to use!

7. Weights for Swimming Pool Covers

We used to have an above-ground swimming pool in our backyard. To keep tree branches and other debris out of the water, we used a pool cover. It was designed to be tied to the side of the pool. Whenever a strong thunderstorm rolled in, the wind would inevitably rip the cover off the pool. To remedy this problem, I filled six recycled milk jugs with sand. I then screwed the caps back on. After I tied pieces of rope to the handles, I then attached the other ends to the swimming pool cover. Voila! The pool cover stayed in place after that.

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