6 Weird & Wonderful Ideas for a Recycled Home

Due to the growing environmental issues affecting our planet, now is the best time to start looking at alternate ways to construct an energy efficient lifestyle and home.

With companies pushing for triple glazing, solar paneling, electric cars etc, not everyone has the luxury or even the resources to implement such innovative concepts.

James Waste will be looking at some of the best homes crafted from reusable and recyclable materials. From homes that float on recyclable bottles to fantastic homeless and refugee housing, recycling is more important now more than ever and it also leaves plenty of room for creativity.

Let’s begin!

Junk Castle – Washington State, USA

Image via Fineartamerica.com
Image via Fineartamerica.com

Now this looks amazing. The junk-infused castle was actually built by a secondary school teacher 40 years ago (1970) for a mere £350.

The castle was constructed as part of his MFA thesis and was made entirely out of junk he collected from a scrapyard. The castle is comprised of many household wares, such as washing machine parts, vehicle doors, sheet metals and other wacky miscellaneous parts.

What makes this even better is that Victor (the creator) and his wife lived in the Junk Castle for several years! The building has become somewhat of a popular tourist attraction and has been included in the Jim Christy’s book ‘Strange Sites.’

2. Glass Castle – British Columbia, Canada

Image courtesy of http://www.cowichanvalleymuseum.bc.ca/
Image courtesy of http://www.cowichanvalleymuseum.bc.ca/

Castles seem to be a very popular home recycling concept. More than 200,000 bottles were used when constructing this fantastically Gothic abode.

The project began in 1962 when a retired carpenter by the name of George Plumb received a large donation of 3,000 milk bottles from a local dairy farm.

Plumb thought to build a glass emporium that would replicate the Taj Mahal. The entire castle is made from 5,000 bottles which eventually turned into a five-bedroom house! The project only took one year to complete and was open to public viewing by 1963.

As the years went on, Plumb began adding quirky monuments to his bottle home, including a giant cola bottle and even a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Plumb unfortunately died in 1976 and the Plumb family took over the property for over a decade before reluctantly selling the property in 1990. In its prime, the castle operated as a tourist attraction for many years but soon fell into disrepair due to weather conditions and general lack of care. The Castle was bulldozed to make way for a highway expansion in 2010.

What a shame!

3. Dan Phillips’ Budweiser House, Texas

Image via Har.com
Image via Har.com

Dan Phillips is an architect responsible for creating several homes that are made purely from recyclable goods.

Dan’s aim is to provide poor families with easy-to-build homes that are both efficient and cost very little to build. As the name suggests, the house takes inspiration from the design of a Budweiser beer bottle. Built in 1998, the house’s structure is mainly made up of discarded/reclaimed timber, the interior allows more customisation, in that Dan will essentially grab whatever he can from wherever and make it work.

Another quirky feature is that the branding of Budweiser can be seen in certain parts of each house. Little details such as bottle caps stuck on the walls, slogans and colour palettes help to give this house a splash of creative flare.

4. Cosmic Muffin Plane Houseboat – Fort Lauderdale

Image via Sailmoonshadow.com
Image via Sailmoonshadow.com

I’m sure by the name of this structure you’re probably thinking:

“What the hell is that!?”

This is insane construct was made from none other than Howard Hughes’ 1930s ‘flying office’ plane. Due to the plane being deemed ‘un-flyable’ in 1969, is narrowly missed the scrapheap and was instead saved by Kenneth London, a pilot and realtor who sought to turn the plane into a houseboat.

Over the course of four years, London morphed the plane into an elaborate houseboat that still runs today – though under different owners – who seek to use it for educational purposes.

5. Darfield Earthship – Canada

Image via Darfieldship.com
Image via Darfieldship.com

Earthships are a spin-off of recycled homes pioneered by Michael Reynolds over 30 years. Earthships are one of the most eco-friendly abodes currently on the market and use all natural elements to function. The constructs are able to provide heat, power and water from the sun and rain.

To give you an idea of what they are made of, they are comprised of old tires, timber, bottles and coke cans.

The construct utlises water conservation, renewable energy and organic growing techniques – all of which create a truly eco-friendly home.

Earthships have received very positive feedback for their eco-friendly stance and organic approach to housing.

6. Cob House – Oxfordshire, UK

Image via Oxfordmail.co.uk
Image via Oxfordmail.co.uk

Michael Buck – a smallholding owner – challenged himself with creating a house without spending any money.

Taking 8 months to build, and unfortunately costing £150 (due to a miscalculation) the house was constructed out of old cob techniques and a combination of clay, straw, earth and water.

Buck also ingeniously used the windscreen of an old lorry to create multiple windows for his hobbit-home. With beautiful details such as a wood-burning stove, bathroom, kitchen and a large bedroom, the house is currently rented out to a neighbouring farm worker in exchange for free milk!

A fresh-water stream provides water which conveniently runs beside the house and with no gas or electricity being used, the bills are not exactly expensive!

That concludes our 6 weird and wonderful list! Are there any other structures or homes you’ve come across that I’ve missed? I’d love to know! Comment just bellow and I’ll be sure to get back to you!


Author: Ben Taylor

Eco Warrior! Recycling Buff! Owner of James Waste Management LLP, UK recycling over 90% of waste.

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