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Trash Chutes 101

Everything You Didn’t Realize That You Need to Know About Your Trash Chute

What is a trash chute?

A trash chute, also called a garbage chute, is a length of tubing made from galvanized steel that allows objects to fall from a higher to a lower point. Chutes must be one continuous length from top to bottom and the design, installation, and maintenance are regulated by the National Fire Protection Agency. There are several different types of chutes, however they are identical in construction except for the entry and exit points. There are two different types of entry doors, one with a hinge on the side allowing you to open to the left like a car door and one with a hinge on the bottom which would be similar to a mailbox opening that you pull down.

What are Building Chutes Used for?

Mid-rise and high-rise buildings use chutes to collect and remove garbage and other large volume materials from the building in an efficient and sanitary way. The type of chute you have is determined by what material is put into it. Some of the more common items are trash, recycling, and linen or laundry. Trash and recycling will usually be found in an apartment building or residential high rise while linen chutes would be more common in a hotel.

Where Does Trash Go When Using a Garbage Chute?

In a larger, high-rise building, it would be common for trash or recycle chutes to empty directly into a compactor. While a smaller, mid-rise building with less room may have a manual door that empties into a dumpster. The dumpster can then be pushed out for garbage pickup a few times per week.

What Type of Garbage Can I Put in a Trash Chute?

A big part of chute maintenance falls on the residents because they are the individuals utilizing the chutes daily. Property and building managers often have signs posted at each intake door outlining what can and cannot be put through the trash chute and instructions on how to dispose of or break down certain items.

  • Garbage chutes – All household waste should be wrapped and sealed tightly in plastic bags.
  • Recycle chutes – It is best to crush milk cartons and gallon plastic milk jugs along with soda cans and any other items that can be made smaller.
  • Laundry Chutes – Only linens should be dropped down a laundry chute. Do not use it to dispose of no shoes or hangers.

Proper Trash Chute Maintenance

Why is Trash Chute Door Maintenance Important?

Maintaining a chute and all the parts is important, and that includes the doors on both ends. Latches and hinges on a building’s garbage chute must be checked on a regular basis. The trash chute doors should create a seal when shut to keep odors and germs in and smoke or flame from spreading in the event of a fire.

  • Intake Door – The entry door of a trash chute is where garbage and other materials are deposited.
  • Discharge Door – Located at the bottom of the trash chute, some discharge trash chute doors open with springs which are triggered by weight, some are automated, and others must be opened manually. How the chute discharge doors open is usually determined by where the items are landing.

How do I Clean a Trash Chute?

Making sure that all the parts of a garbage chute are functioning correctly is only half the maintenance necessary; trash chutes need to be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Building managers and superintendents are typically in charge maintaining commercial trash chute cleaning and odor control services and will usually have an annual contract in place. Hiring a professional trash chute cleaning company that provides cleaning, deodorizing, and disinfecting services for dumpster & trash compactors  and loading docks can be a money and time saver.

Can Cleaning My Trash Chute Stop Pest Infestation?

In addition to causing physical damage, disposing of liquids or food debris to be spread around the inside of a trash chute can causes harmful bacteria and dangerous mold to grow. Mold and bacteria growth can result in poor air quality which isn’t just unhealthy for breathing but also very smelly. Those smells attract rodents and bugs which are difficult and expensive to exterminate, especially roaches and rats. Rodents multiply quickly and one or two can become hundreds in a very short period of time.

What is the Best Detergent to Use on Trash Chutes?

Fresh Foam is an effective, cost saving, and environmentally friendly cleaning foam that clings to dirty surfaces, provides longer dwell time than liquid cleaners or water, and eliminates mold, bacteria, mildew. While Fresh Foam’s patented commercial, no rinse foam cleaner and deodorizer absorbs grime and dirt it also removes food, smoke, and pet odor. Leave your trash handling areas, loading docks, and floors free of bad odor and dirt, contact Fresh Foam to learn more.

How a Trash Chute Cleaning Service Helps Property Managers

Observing the guidelines for proper disposal and trash chute use can keeps a building’s garbage system in good condition. Emergency trash chute repairs and dumpster or compactor cleanings are expensive and they’re not always available immediately. When trash chutes and compactors are out of order, residents are the first to suffer. Practicing proper chute etiquette is not just helpful to the building staff, but an act of kindness towards your neighbors.

Fresh Foam is the best foam cleaning and deodorizing solution for trash chutes in commercial, multifamily, and high-rise buildings. From apartment complexes to warehouses to retail stores, if you have a garbage chute, property managers must ensure that it is functioning properly and remains sanitized. Cleaning a trash chute can be a challenge for property maintenance managers, but it is a proactive and preventive way to stop the spread of harmful bacteria, mold, and offensive odors.

Fresh Foam offers building managers from New York City to Washington D.C. chemical-free and environmentally safe products and services that clean and eliminate mold and bacteria inside trash chutes, as well as cutting-edge products like Repel-A-Smell that deodorize commercial and residential properties.

Request a quote to get started today!

One thought

  1. I have a stainless steel trash chute that doesn’t close as it should. Is there a contractor in the Los Angeles Area that handles repairing of the self closing hinge on the chute. We got tagged by the Fire Inspector for not having it operate properly.

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