One minute, you’re putting a fresh trash bag into your trash can. Then, in what seems like the blink of an eye, it’s suddenly full and needs to be taken out! Perhaps one day, there will be a bottomless trash can that will automatically teleport our trash directly into a black hole, never to be seen again.
Until someone invents that, it’s important to have a safe and sanitary place on the premises of your home or business where you can place full trash bin bags before they’re collected or taken to the dump. For most homes and businesses, the best place to store trash is in your outdoor rollaway carts or dumpsters. But knowing a few things about storing trash first can save time, effort and mess.
So, where should you store full garbage bags, and how can you keep your garbage area and your trash cans clean in the process? We’ll talk about those questions and more in this guide to storing your full trash bags.
Where Should You Store Full Garbage Bags in Your Home?
If you live in a single-family home or small multi-unit building, placing full garbage bags directly into your home’s curbside trash cans is the preferred option for storing trash. (If you live in or own a larger building, see our answer later on in the article.)
Storing full trash bags outside in a bin keeps trash odors out of your home, and it makes it simple to take the cans to the curb on collection day. However, here are a few questions to think about when it comes to the bins themselves and where they go, including:
- Does your HOA or neighborhood covenant have rules about where your trash cans can be when they’re not set out for collection?
- Are you experiencing problems with animals (such as raccoons) breaking into your trash cans?
- Do weather conditions in your area make it hard to keep your trash cans in good order?
Storing Garbage Bags in Outdoor CansPlanning to store your full garbage bags in outdoor bins such as curbside city garbage cans? Keeping these tips in mind will help keep your cans cleaner and more manageable:
- To keep your garbage cans secure and out of site before collection day, consider adding a trash enclosure to your yard. These durable structures keep your trash out of view, protect cans from wind and rain and help fend off animals.
- Having persistent trouble with raccoons or other animals getting into your trash? Read up on some ways to keep raccoons out of your trash, and remember that these methods work for many other common trash-raiders like skunks, too. Adding lighting to your trash area, spraying your bins with harsh scents and even putting a radio near your cans are all options for severe animal problems.
- Keeping your outdoor cans clean will reduce the scents that attract insects, raccoons and other animals. Buy high quality trash bags that offer the right thickness to hold your trash without leaks, and be sure to clean your outdoor trash cans thoroughly with soap and hot water on a regular basis. If your trash bag slips down into the can often, consider some trash can rubber bands to keep it in place.
- Do your outdoor cans often end up over capacity? Consider investing in a trash compactor and trash compactor bags to reduce the physical volume of the trash thrown away. Additionally, you might also simply need more trash cans. Check with your waste service about obtaining one or more extras.
- Use drawstring trash bags to make it easy to carry your full trash bags to the garbage can when it’s time for a new bag.
Storing Garbage Bags in the Garage or ShedThe other common solution for storing your trash is in your garage, or another outbuilding such as a garden shed. If that’s where you store full trash bags, make sure you know these tips:
- Unpleasant odors are a common problem when storing trash in outbuildings, so try some of the tips in our guide regarding how to keep a trash can from smelling in a garage. With some simple steps such as regularly cleaning your cans and securing the trash bags with rubber bands, you can dramatically reduce odors.
- Make sure your full trash bags are in a receptacle or container like a rollaway bin, even when they’re inside a shed or garage. Full trash bags that are left to sit around without protection will create more smells, and they’ll be more likely to make a mess if someone accidentally collides with them.
- Food waste is often responsible for the worst smells in full garbage bags, so think about whether there’s a smarter option for disposing of it. For starters, composting food scraps is an excellent choice for certain kinds of scraps like veggies and coffee grounds, and it can be done entirely outside. In other cases, the best choice is to wait for the day before trash day to throw away things that create strong odors, such as old food from the refrigerator.
What If I Live Somewhere Without Trash Pickup?If you live in a rural area without trash pickup service, be prepared to devote a little more time and space to managing full trash bags. People in rural areas usually buy their own heavy duty outdoor trash cans to store full bags of trash from their homes. These trash cans and trash bags are often stored in an outdoor trash enclosure or garage to protect them from weather and animals.Regular trips to the landfill and/or recycling center are an important part of life in areas without trash pickup services. Learn what days and times the dump is open in your area and try to schedule a regular time to make the trip. Getting in the habit of going to the dump will help prevent full trash bags from piling up and overflowing the space you’ve designated for them.
What If I Live in (or Own) a Condo or Apartment Building?
Condo and apartment buildings that have more than two or three units will usually be required to rent a dumpster for residents’ trash. Either the landlord or the condo association will need to pay to rent a dumpster, which should go in an area that’s equally accessible to all residents.
High rise buildings will usually have a trash chute that allows the building’s residents to send their trash directly to a dumpster on the lower levels. In low- or mid-rise buildings, tenants will usually need to take the trash out themselves. Wherever trash goes, it’s important that residents don’t leave it in common areas like hallways or courtyards.Use Trash Can Rubber Bands to Keep the Can Liner Secure
Where Should You Store Full Garbage Bags in Your Business?
Many businesses dispose of multiple full garbage bags every day. Large businesses like warehouses and manufacturing plants might fill up dozens of garbage bags over a single shift! Where do all of these garbage bags need to be stored while you’re waiting for a garbage service to collect them?
Generally, storing full garbage bags anywhere inside your business isn’t recommended. (In fact, it may even be against the law!) Instead, the answer for just about every business is to store full garbage bags in a rented dumpster. Dumpsters are made to store lots of garbage, and they’re designed to be easy for a waste service to collect using a truck.
Other types of business may require different storage procedures for full garbage bags. Let’s dive into the basics of what you need to know about storing your business’s garbage.
Where Is My Business Legally Allowed to Store Full Garbage Bags?
First, check your state or local health department’s website to learn about how businesses manage waste in your area. Many types of businesses have to follow certain types of state and local health rules that tell them where they can and can’t store garbage.
Restaurant health codes are a great example. A health inspector will often deduct points from a restaurant’s sanitation score if the business is storing full trash bags somewhere other than a dumpster or trash can. Storing full trash bags anywhere near food, such as in a cooler or storage pantry, can be a particularly serious violation.
In the construction and demolition industries, a business might have more leeway to temporarily store full contractor bags outside of a dumpster. However, remember that this can still be a hazard if it increases the risk of accidents from a cluttered job site. For this reason, a construction dumpster is a must for these businesses.
Renting a Dumpster for Your Business’s Garbage
So, where can your business rent a dumpster? Some municipal waste services offer dumpster rental to local businesses. In most other cases, you’ll need to rent a dumpster through a private waste disposal company. At least one of the nationwide waste disposal companies probably offers service in your area, but it’s worth looking at local or regional options as well.
Dumpsters are available in many different sizes and service packages. Some small businesses rent small dumpsters with volumes of two or three cubic yards, while others use massive units that can hold hundreds of full garbage bags. Construction and demolition businesses will often rent a large rollaway dumpster designed to hold heavy debris and then call the disposal service to have it hauled away on demand.
If you have a small home-based business, you might be able to use the same pickup services as other residential buildings. This usually includes professional services like lawyers and accountants who purchase residential buildings specifically for business use. Again, these policies vary widely from one city to another so check with your local government.
What If My Business Has Too Much Trash for Its Dumpster?
Overfilled dumpsters are a common problem for many different types of businesses. If your dumpster is so full that it doesn’t close completely, or you’ve had to pile full trash bags around your dumpster because you ran out of space, your waste hauling company might charge you extra.
If this is a consistent problem for your business, consider your choices. First, you might be able to rent a larger dumpster. Your waste management company probably offers several size options. If you’re already renting a large dumpster, consider renting one with a built-in trash compactor to help condense the trash to a more manageable size.
It’s also worth looking at how much waste your business produces. Learn more about how long trash takes to decompose and consider how your business can reduce the ecological footprint of its waste. Even small steps like using durable eco-friendly trash bags can add up!
Where to Store Hazardous Garbage
Some businesses generate waste, such as hazardous chemicals and medical waste, that isn’t safe to dispose of in a standard dumpster. Every type of hazmat waste is different, so there’s no one-size solution. Documents such as safety data sheets (SDS) will help you learn about disposal procedures for your specific waste type.If you’re in an industry that requires hazmat disposal, your premises should include designated collection points for hazardous waste. Medical facilities, for example, have safe drop-off boxes for medical waste bags because these bags are often filled with used syringes and other biohazard materials. Specialty hazmat disposal services then come to collect these bags.Protect Your Rollaway Carts with Trash Bin Bags
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