On the heels of keeping trash chutes clean and in tip-top shape, let’s take a look at their hardworking partner, dumpsters. While the chutes are the first point of contact for your unwanted items and household trash, the dumpster does the heavy lifting, or should we say holding? Hundreds of pounds of garbage and recycling travel down chutes each week and drop into the dumpsters at the bottom of the building, or heavy bags are tossed in and the lids slammed open and shut if they reside in an outdoor corral. The bags are susceptible to ripping open or breaking on impact allowing all types of liquids, detergents, and organic waste to leak out. Eventually, this hodgepodge of ingredients from steak bones and old cat food to dishwashing liquid and rotten milk becomes the disgusting and putrid substance pooled at the bottom of the container known as garbage juice.
Anyone who has been stuck behind a garbage truck on the road is probably familiar with this stench – it’s unforgettable. Imagine how potent it must be when trapped in a confined area with little to no air circulation? However, the unpleasant odor is the least of your worries. As much as humans despise it, rodents and bugs love it! It attracts them from everywhere, outside and in. Ensuring the dumpster containers are cleaned regularly helps to keep infestations to a minimum. It also helps with other types of infestations such as mold and bacteria. That juice has all the organic matter it needs and sits just at the right temperature for all kinds of disgusting growth. Under the right conditions, these things can flourish in just a few days and it’s a lot harder to treat them once they’ve really had a chance to spread.
Keeping the juice at bay isn’t just helpful in the fight against bacteria, smells, and rodents. It’s also a great way to extend the life of your dumpster. Although they are made from galvanized steel to stop rust and painted for another layer of protection, they still suffer a lot of wear and tear. Dumpsters are always being abused. They’re picked up by trucks, slammed on the ground, and pushed all over the place. Eventually, they end up with holes and dents and that’s when the garbage juice can really cause damage. It seeps into those tiny cracks, freezes, and expands when it’s cold and speeds up rust when it’s warm. Once the juice is out it can also run into building drains, storm drains, and grass areas. This has to be avoided as much as possible. All those chemicals and bacteria leaking into the water treatment system and the environment are extremely unhealthy.
Keeping the lids securely shut and working correctly is equally important. Dumpster divers are more than just rats and roaches; raccoons, stray cats, even the occasional coyote (based on where you live) will all come to feast on your residents’ dinner remains. Keeping Rocky and Wile E. from setting up shop in your corral is vital to employee and resident safety. Not only do these invaders make a mess they pose a serious danger. Wild animals can have any number of diseases including rabies and the last thing anyone wants is to be bitten or scratched. Lids are the most common part of the dumpster in disrepair. Because they are constantly left open and slammed shut, they endure extra damage. Whether it’s plastic or metal, the locks and hinges need to be checked regularly. Maintaining the lids and keeping them shut is the easiest and cheapest way to fight trash container problems.
Just as important as the lids are the casters the containers sit on. A broken or damaged wheel can delay waste services or damage the concrete pad underneath. The wheels should be checked as part of a standard inspection to be sure they are in good shape and not rusted or cracked. While you are checking the wheels and casters check the concrete pad the container rests on. If it’s an indoor corral it will probably last longer. Outdoor setups tend to degrade faster. The elements and the salt residue from the parking lots if you are in an area that gets snow and ice, eat away at the cement.
Making your dumpster cleaning and damage checks a part of your regular maintenance schedule is a great idea. You will be contributing to the control of pests, mold, and bacteria and keeping your budget down. The team at Fresh Foam can include scheduled cleaning of your dumpsters in your service plan. Ask us today about getting your dumpsters cleaned.