DIY Rubbish Chute Replacement: Essential Tips and Techniques

Last Updated on July 4, 2023 by Pro Handyman Editorial Team

Rubbish chutes serve a vital role in our households. However, their presence can sometimes disrupt the aesthetic harmony of our living spaces. We believe in integrating every aspect of your home into a grand design – including the rubbish chute. Here are five innovative ways to add style to your rubbish chute, ensuring that it augments, rather than detracts from, your interior décor.

Color Coordination: Harmonizing Rubbish Chutes with Wall Paint

Your rubbish chute doesn’t have to stand out as an eyesore. Opt for a rubbish chute door that matches or complements your wall paint. This integration will help your rubbish chute appear as a subtle, purposeful design element rather than an intrusive addition.

Color Coordination

Paint Application: Giving your Rubbish Chute a Fresh Coat

If a matching rubbish chute door proves elusive, consider painting it to achieve the desired color match. Always obtain approval from the building’s administration and seek advice from paint stores on suitable paints for this unique application.

Construction Innovation: Encasing Your Rubbish Chute

Add a dash of sophistication to your rubbish chute by building a wooden box around it. Not only does this conceal the chute, but it also provides an opportunity for additional storage or shelving space, depending on the dimensions of the box. After construction, paint the box in a shade that complements your interior decor.

Adorning with Decorations: Adding Flair Around the Chute

A simple, cost-effective way to stylishly incorporate your rubbish chute into your home design is by decorating the surrounding area. Add stickers, colorful borders, or signage to draw attention and contribute to the overall aesthetic.

Choosing a Stylish Handle: The Finishing Touch

The handle of your rubbish chute can serve as a statement piece. Select a handle with a unique design or oversized dimensions to make a visual impact. This seemingly minor change can make your rubbish chute positively distinctive rather than merely functional.

Build a DIY Garbage Chute from Concrete Forms

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on building a DIY or trash chute using concrete forms. If you’re a dedicated DIY enthusiast like us, you know that renovation projects often involve significant trash and debris. In the past, we found ourselves hauling demolition waste through the house, causing dust and discomfort. However, we discovered a brilliant solution that simplifies the process and minimizes the strain on our bodies. Get ready to learn how to construct your garbage chute to revolutionize your remodeling endeavors.

Gathering the Materials

Before diving into the construction process, let’s gather all the necessary materials and supplies. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Concrete form tubes (preferably larger diameter)
  • Nylon zip ties
  • Extension ladder
  • Bungee cords
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill and 3/8″ drill bit
  • Cable ties

Now that we have all the materials let’s proceed to the construction steps.

Gathering the Materials

Step 1: Determining the Length of the Chute

To begin, you need to determine the required length of your garbage chute. There are two methods you can use:

  1. Brains Method: Brush up on your math skills and apply the Pythagorean theorem. Measure the distance from your window sill to the top of the trash can at the chute’s bottom. Subtract 2 feet from this measurement to allow for the “chute removal system” we’ll discuss later. This will give you the overall length of your chute.
  2. Brawn Method: Place an extension ladder against the house, aligning it with the window sill. Measure from the window down to the top of the trash can, which sits at the bottom of the chute. Subtract 2 feet from this measurement to account for the “chute removal system.” This adjusted length will be your overall chute length.

For example, if the measurement from the window to the top of the trash can is approximately 12 feet, your chute’s length will be 10 feet.

Step 2: Drilling the Tubes

Once you have determined the length, drilling the concrete from tubes is time. These tubes come in different diameters and lengths, but larger diameter tubes are preferable for this application. We recommend using 16″ diameter tubes due to their availability and cost-effectiveness.

Lay the tubes on the ground, ensuring that the most miniature diameter tube sits at the top of the chute (closest to the window sill). Let’s refer to this as “tube 1.” Now, slide tube one into tube 2, overlapping them by approximately 4 inches. Use a 3/8″ drill bit to drill three equally spaced holes through both tubes at the points of overlap.

Step 3: Connecting the Tubes

With the holes drilled, separate the tubes and thread the nylon zip ties through the holes. Cinch the ties together, effectively connecting tube one and tube 2. Repeat this process for the remaining lengths of concrete form tubes you plan to use for your trash chute.

If you anticipate disassembling the trash chute, label the drilled sets of holes for easier reassembly.

Step 4: Adjusting the Length

You can cut the concrete from tubes to the desired length if necessary. Cut tube three or any other tube that exceeds your required length using a jigsaw. Simply measure and mark the appropriate length, then carefully cut the tube. Since the tubes are made of cardboard, they are easy to cut through.

Step 5: Attaching the Chute to an Extension Ladder

Lay your extension ladder on the ground and place the assembled trash chute on top. Use bungee cords to securely attach the garbage chute to the ladder. We recommend using at least three bungee cords—one for each tube section. Ensure a tight attachment to prevent the chute from detaching when the debris is pushed through.

Step 6: Hoisting the Chute into Position

This step requires extra caution and assistance due to the weight and awkwardness of the gadget. Gather a team to help you hoist the ladder and trash chute into position. Ensure that the top of the garbage chute sits just below the window, while the bottom should be slightly above the opening of the trash can. Position the ladder carefully to prevent accidents or injuries.

At this point, your garbage chute is ready to use. However, if you want to enhance its functionality, proceed to the next step.

Step 7: Constructing the Telescoping Garbage Can Removal System

To further optimize your trash chute, you can create a telescoping section at the bottom that allows easy trash can removal and emptying. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Cut a 4-foot piece of tube lengthwise from end to end using a jigsaw, approximately 8 inches from the first cut. This will leave you with a “U” shaped section of tubing.
  2. Drill two holes on either side of the lowest tube of your garbage chute, about 24 inches up from the bottom. Repeat the same drilling process on the cut tube.
  3. Connect the cut tube to the bottom of your chute using cable ties. To create long cable ties, connect multiple ones end to end. Thread the cable ties through the drilled holes and cinch them so that the cut tube rests approximately 4 inches inside the end of the bottom tube connected to the ladder. This will allow you to remove and replace the trash can easily.

Telescoping Garbage Can

Additional Tips and Considerations

To ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your DIY garbage chute, here are a few additional thoughts and tips:

  1. Protect the chute from moisture by wrapping a tarp around it and securing it with bungee cords.
  2. Choose a trash can with wheels to facilitate easy maneuverability, as construction debris can be heavy. Wheeling the trash can to its destination and tipping it over will be far more accessible than lifting it.
  3. Utilize contractor bags inside the trash can for convenience. Fill them up and tie the tops securely. When complete, empty the trash can by simply tipping it over at the desired location. For extensive demolition projects, consider renting a dumpster or using a Bagster.
  4. If you’re new to demolition projects, check out our post on the most important tools to have on hand. It will provide valuable insights into essential tools for successful DIY renovations.


With these methods, your rubbish chute can effortlessly blend into your interior design. By paying attention to such details, you transform the mundane into the magical, and your home becomes a coherent and harmonious space, from the grandest features to the most functional elements.