Buyer's Guide for Trash Receptacles
Buyer's guide for trash receptacles.
Buyer's Guide for Trash Receptacles: What's Inside:- Your Town’s First Impression - Stopping the Problem Before It Starts: Prevent Littering - Trash Receptacle Placement - Types of Trash Receptacles Outdoor Trash Cans Indoor Trash Cans - Recycled Containers - Transportable trash containers for festivals - Dog Waste - Animal-proof - Choosing Your Trash Receptacle Material Capacity Lids Emptying Options Unique Designs - Summary - Resources
Outdoor Trash Cans Can Have a Big Impact on First Impression of a Town or FacilityJust like people judge a book by its cover (even when you tell them not to), they also judge your community by its appearance. There is a major difference between a town whose streets are lined with flowers and one lined with debris. That's when a simple strategy, such as an adequate supply of commercial trash cans is critical.
Overflowing garbage can
Which area feels more inviting? The one to the left with a small trash can overflowing with litter, or the one on the lower right with the new, large empty trash can with an outdoor ashtray to reduce cigarette litter as well. Trash is nothing new, but our amount of trash has greatly increased since our grandparents’ generation. That’s because we’ve increased our production of plastics and disposables like diapers and paper products, while refusing to boost our recycling habits (65% of Americans don’t recycle according to Virginia Tech). As our trash increases, so does our littering habit. Keep America Beautiful, an organization that has dedicated the last 60 years to organizing volunteers to clean up litter, has a very useful Community Appearance Index. This assessment is conducted by local affiliates who gather annual data and survey local residents. The localized results help bring a focus to new programs and ideas that can help their town improve. Dealing with a major littering problem, the City of Los Angeles recently installed more trash receptacles to help decrease the litter. With only 1,000 commercial trash receptacles installed, littering was way easier than searching for one of the city’s few trash cans. That’s why Mayor Eric Garcetti installed 5,000 more trash receptacles for the community, initiated an Adopt-A-Basket program, and ordered that the trash cans were clean, free of cracks, and had properly closing doors. Mayor Garcetti’s Clean Street Strike Team cleaned up 500 tons of trash each week, with inspections that rated the cleanliness of the communities. His emphasis on cleaning the littered streets of Los Angeles is one that we can all admire.
Clean park trash can
Whether you are a city planner, park manager, business owner, or concerned community member, it’s essential to put in the extra effort to keep your community pristine. A 2009 Keep America Beautiful study found that 93% of homeowners would think twice before buying a home in a dirty neighborhood. Realtors, homeowners, and industry experts all agree: litter decreases property values. Not only is it more inviting for guests, it’s also much more sanitary to stop the spread of illness and disease. Keep America Beautiful found that a strong contributor to littering behavior is the existence of litter. That’s why your first step in preventing litter is to find and add an adequate number of quality commercial trash cans. With a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and functions, it’s difficult for beginners to buy the perfect trash receptacle for their facilities and find the perfect placement. While you may not be excited about sanitation, we are trash experts and our tips can help you keep your facility as clean as possible, building a positive reputation to increase the guests to your facility.
Stopping the Problem Before It Starts: Prevent Littering
Source of litter
Pop Quiz! What do you think are the biggest sources of litter? Most people would guess that motorists tossing trash out their window would be the number one source, but there are actually several sources of litter that you may not expect. According to Keep America Beautiful, the top sources of litter besides motorists include:
- household trash handling
- commercial dumpsters
- loading docks
- construction and demolition sites
- trucks with uncovered loads
- pedestrians and outdoor litter
- Place litter bags in your cars and bikes and pick up any trash you find
- Organize/attend a clean up project
- Report litterbugs or areas that are heavily littered
- Keep your trash can covered and don’t place excess trash next to it
- Tie your trash bags closed or secure with twine
- Adopt a highway or road with your church, scout, or civic group
- If you smoke, carry a portable ashtray or only smoke where you can properly dispose of it
- Clean up after your pets; do not put pet waste in recycling bins
- Landscape and repair your neighborhood. When communities look nice, litter decreases
- Strategically install easy-to-use trash cans and spread them out
- Install trash cans and ash trays near the entrance of any buildings
- Make sure you have extra trash cans for festivals and events
- Empty commercial trash receptacles regularly and make sure the top and side doors are secured
- Cover dumpsters and trash cans and make sure employees can easiy access them
- Sponsor and organize educational training programs to encourage recycling and stop litter
- Start a program at your campus, park, or work to pick up litter and install more trash receptacles
Commercial Trash Receptacle PlacementIt’s clear that trash receptacles can help your facility prevent litter and boost cleanliness. But poor trash can placement can mean your trash cans go unused, creating a litter problem. Carefully strategize your trash can placement before installing. First, pull out a map of your park or facility and find areas where sidewalks meet, where families have lunch, or other high pedestrian traffic takes place. Your trash receptacles need to be easily visible by first-time guests—if they have to search for it, then it’s too hidden! Next, and perhaps most importantly, visit the site and just watch. You may feel a little stalker-ish, but keep an eye on what guests are doing. Do they have bags of fast food with them? Are they smoking? Are they walking a dog? Record the amount of litter gathered in current commercial trash cans and speak with sanitation workers to discover any litter problems you need to solve at your facility. Observing the habits of your guests at different areas of the park will help you fully understand where trash accumulates and how to make guests most comfortable. Walt Disney was famous for this practice. That’s one reason why the Disney parks today are still models of cleanliness and a top-notch consumer experience. It will also help you determine where to place your facility or park trash cans based on guest behavior, not based on where they are easiest to empty. This will save you money and resources by installing the trash receptacles right the first time instead of guessing where to put them and adjusting later. Areas you may want to monitor for litter build up include:
Trash can near bench
- Transition Points: When guests move from one area to another, they usually bring trash along. Place commercial garbage cans at transition points like train and bus stops, shopping malls, food vendors, and building entrances.
- Intersections and Crosswalks: The Project for Public Spaces recommends 2-4 waste receptacles per block in a downtown area, with one by the crosswalk at the end of the block, and another in the middle of the block by any existing benches. The San Francisco Better Streets project recommends that commercial trash cans are as close to corners as possible and “located near high activity generators such as major civic and commercial and transit destinations.”
- Near Seating: Guests looking for a place to eat or smoke usually gather at picnic tables and park benches. If you don’t have enough commercial trash receptacles installed in these areas, you will find these tables and benches covered with litter—not exactly the best welcome for the next guests who wander in.
Keep America Beautiful surveyed 130 public places and found that as the distance between commercial trash receptacles increased, so did the amount of litter. Most littering that the organization observed occurred far from any park trash cans, an average of 29 feet. Walt Disney set the standard for clean parks. By following his techniques and the guidelines from Keep America Beautiful, your facility can be just as clean as the Happiest Place on Earth. Space out your commercial trash receptacles using these
Outdoor trash cans strategically placed
Types of Trash Receptacles
|Outdoor Trash Cans||Outdoor trash cans usually have a higher capacity and are sturdy enough to withstand damage from people, curious animals, and extreme weather conditions.Consider installing add-ons like ash trays or lids to prevent scavengers. Always mount your commercial trash receptacle in the ground for stability against theft and harsh weather. Choose a material type that will withstand the outdoor conditions at your location (see below for more information).|
|Indoor Trash Cans||Whether you’re shopping for a food court, restroom, or office, there are plenty of commercial garbage cans specific to your business needs.Indoor trash cans typically have a lower capacity and are designed for specific purposes. For example, bathroom trash cans are made of stainless steel with either no lid or a simple foot pedal lid to prevent rusting or the spread of harmful bacteria. Simple office wastebaskets can be small enough to slide under your desk or medium sized for common areas.|
|Recycling Receptacles||With the same variety of materials that you can find in typical trash receptacles (stainless steel, plastic, fiberglass, etc.), recycling receptacles are specifically branded with recognizable recycling symbols to make the receptacle look distinct from regular trash cans. Some are consistent with the city-wide design of recycling containers. Others are separated into the different types of materials, like cans, glass, and plastic.Additionally, recycling cans typically have smaller openings to prevent trash and non-recyclable items from littering the recycling receptacle. Keep in mind that installing recycling receptacles can earn your business LEED credits to help it become more eco-friendly.|
|Cigarette Receptacles||Whether you decide to install a cigarette receptacle smoking urn with sand, an urn/trash receptacle combination, or a free-standing smoker’s station, there are several options to help guests dispose of their cigarette butts in easy-to-use disposal slots. Steel, plastic, metal, concrete, and other materials will keep your smoking urns safe and sturdy enough for frequent use. Keep your cigarette receptacles highly visible near building entrances (while still following local regulations about minimum distances from buildings). Outside ashtrays installed in high volume areas will need to be emptied more frequently through either a trap door on the urn, or simply pulling the cap off.|
|Transportable Trash Receptacles||High-capacity, temporary commercial trash receptacles are essential for festivals, concerts, carnivals, holiday events, and state fairs. When your facility is functioning at a much higher capacity than usual, trash accumulates more quickly—especially when food is involved.Easily transport your temporary park trash cans by purchasing one with wheels (like a trash cart), or using a park trash receptacle dolly.|
|Dog Waste Receptacles||Without trash receptacles designed for dog waste, guests are much more likely to leave their pet waste and move on with their day. Pet waste can accumulate very quickly, making your park much less enjoyable and spreading harmful bacteria to water sources through rain runoff. About 40% of pet owners don’t clean up their dog waste, and with roughly 80 million dogs in America, it adds up quickly. The EPA has even recognized pet waste as a significant source of pollution, similar to toxic waste.That’s why pet waste receptacles with provided bags are essential at any park, apartment complex or community. Install several along paths and trails with detailed messages warning pet owners of the local laws regarding pet waste.|
|Animal-Proof Trash Receptacles||If guests are camping at your facility and throw away leftover food, it can be an immediate draw for bears, raccoons, wolves and other wildlife. Bears can smell food a mile away (their sense of smell is 100 times stronger than humans). Once they discover food in a trash receptacle, they will return for another meal the next day.Purchase an animal-proof trash receptacle with a deterrent latch to prevent wildlife from littering trash around your facility. When shopping for an animal-proof park trash receptacle, find one that has been tested by wildlife foundations in national parks.|
Choosing Your Trash ReceptacleOnce you’ve narrowed down to the type of park trash receptacle that will work best for your facility, there are some important considerations to help you find the perfect product for your park or facility. Material Make sure you carefully select commercial trash cans constructed from materials that best match your facility’s conditions.
- To prevent vandalism, get a steel trash receptacle. A hardy thermoplastic coating is best to remove and deter graffiti.
- For protecting trash in moist areas, go with recycled plastic, galvanized steel, or stone aggregate.
- For optimal outdoor strength, get fiberglass, plastic, aluminum, steel, or concrete trash receptacles. Look for park trash receptacles with warranties when shopping around if durability is a top priority.
- Near barbeque areas, avoid commercial trash receptacles made of solvent-sensitive plastics, which can melt from the heat of lighter fluids.
- Sturdy, immovable trash receptacles that don’t need to be mounted are made of concrete.
- For fire-resistant, industrial trash cans, get galvanized steel.
- For a decorative look, go with mesh, painted steel or metal, fiberglass, or plastic to match your facility.
|Small capacity Indoor Trash Can||
Large Capacity Outdoor Trash Can
|10-20 gallons||30-60+ gallons|
|Don’t let the smell of trash permeate your indoor living and working spaces. Some plastic and metal cans block odors from escaping. Also, be sure to keep a lid on bathroom trash cans.||Higher capacity generally means more use. That’s why durability is an essential factor when looking at large capacity trash receptacles. Make sure your trash receptacle is made of sturdy material and isn’t easily knocked over—you may need to mount it to the ground.|
|Perfect for: Small indoor office space or facility· Hallways, lobbies, restrooms, office areas, entries and exits. Low use and low traffic areas||Perfect for:· Outdoor events with larger crowds like festivals and fairs· Younger crowds, who statistically generate more trash and litter more often|