A home can produce a lot of waste on it’s own. 

Having horses or other animals at home adds to that waste.  Here are some tips to reduce, reuse, and recycle around the barn.

We have two recycle bins for our home that are emptied bi-monthly by a local service.  We also have a recycling center in town where we take all items that cannot be put into our bins.

Reducing and reusing items prevents pollution caused by the need to harvest new materials.  It saves energy and money.  It reduces the amount of waste that is needed to recycle or the waste that needed if item is sent to the landfill.

Here are some ideas on how to reduce and reuse around the barn:

  • Buy used (tack, riding clothes, tools, farm supplies).
  • Look for products that use less packaging.
  • Maintain and repair products like clothing, tack, tools, fencing, tires, etc.
  • Borrow or rent items you may not use often.
  • Sell or donate items to tack consignment shops or to non-profit horse organizations.

Here are products that I accumulate in my barn and recycle:

Hay Twine – hay twine adds up quickly.  I take this to our recycling center and it goes into the Mixed Plastic bin.

Supplement Bins, Pak Strips, Bottles – plastics that can be recycled have a sorting number 1-7 on them.  These plastics can be added to our home bins for pickup.

Feed Bags – I have feed that comes in paper, plastic, and woven plastic bags.  Paper bags can go in our home recycle bins.  Plastic bags need to be taken to our recycle center and placed in the Plastic Bag bin.  Woven plastic feed bags go into the Mixed Plastic bin at our recycle center.

Wood Pallets – Our recycle center will take wood pallets during summer months only.

Scrap metal & Broken Plastic – Horseshoes, broken plastic manure forks, old nails, old wire fencing, etc. can be taken to our local recycle center.

Remodeling an old barn?  Contact Habitat for Humanity to see if they will take your

construction waste (cabinets, doors, window frames, etc.)

Recycling can be overwhelming at first so pick a few items that will be easy for you to start with.  Research what can be put in home bins and what needs to go to a recycle center.

We’d love to hear the steps you take to recycle around the barn.  Share in the comments below.


Erin Gouveia of Silver Oaks Farm is an accomplished equestrian, award winning photographer, and an artist.   She was born and raised in San Diego, California, graduated from Colorado State University, and now resides in Park City, Utah on a small ranch with her husband.  She has had careers in Medical Research, Zookeeping, and most currently Photographer at Erin Kate Photography.

Follow Erin on Instagram at @silveroaksfarm and find her equestrian inspired fine art photographs and handmade goods in her Etsy shop SilverOaksFarm