A James Island man has come up with a clever way to recycle the recycling bins.

After recently receiving a large new "single stream" rolling cart as part of Charleston County's All-In-One recycling program, David Coe was left with a few of the old containers at his house. And he suspects he isn't the only person who has wondered what to do with them.

So, when in doubt, plant tomatoes.

Coe took the smaller squarish bins, which are about 2 feet tall, and drilled holes in the bottom. He set them on bricks for drainage and painted over their bright blue plastic sides in a "Charleston Green" color. He also erected a trellis of PVC pipes for supporting the plants as they grow.

With the prep work done, he was ready to plant. Coe filled the containers with a mixture of sifted soil, cow manure and peat moss, then put in tomato transplants.

"You can easily plant three cherry tomato plants in one container, and two in each when planting the larger tomato plants," says Coe, a retiree who lives in the Battery Point neighborhood.

In spite of his ingenuity, Coe is somewhat irked by the recycling changes. One annoyance is the size of the new rolling carts, which have a 95-gallon capacity. "How do you expect the senior citizens to handle them!" he wrote in an email.

Then there's the matter of where to keep them in the yard. "A lot of people don't have garages," he says.