If your business or property has concrete trash cans or precast concrete trash cans, it’s vitally important to know how to maintain them. In this article, we’ll explain how to maintain this type of can, as well as other things you need to know when maintaining any type of garbage receptacle.
Why Garbage Receptacle Maintenance Is Important
Most people don't associate trash cans with cleanliness — instead, they’re thought of as gross things that hold garbage. And in a sense, they are. They’re designed to hold all your dirtiest, grossest, and most hazardous waste. However, it's both possible and important to keep them as clean as possible at all times. People see, touch, and smell the external parts of your trash cans every day, but the insides are far more contaminated, and it's just as important to clean those too.
If you neglect your trash can maintenance, you'll invite the following risks into your business and/or home:
- Bad odors that permeate the surrounding area
- Viruses and infections can spread more quickly
- Pests (such as rats, flies and maggots, and cockroaches) that are attracted to odors and spills
- Additional costs of replacing damaged trash cans
But what’s worse than all that? Making a bad impression on visitors or potential customers. An unsightly mess or disgusting odor casts a negative light on your spaces.
How to Maintain Concrete Trash Cans
No matter the type of concrete furnishing or trash can, it can be easily maintained to preserve appearance and extend the life of the product itself.
Before you start doing anything, make sure to double-check manufacturer instructions before using or cleaning anything, and take any necessary safety precautions.
Annual Concrete Trash Can Maintenance
Clear any outstanding debris, and then pressure wash the entire surface. Once that’s been done, spot clean individual areas using a cleaner of your choice (most are fine for this purpose). If there’s any chipped or broken areas, contact the manufacturer, as many (Wausau Tile, for instance) will send you a patch kit.
Periodically, sealer and stain must be applied; most manufacturers recommend doing so once per year. Apply using the directions on the stain and sealer.
Monthly/Weekly Concrete Trash Can Maintenance
For monthly and weekly maintenance, most off-the-shelf cleaners will handle problems you might face. Citrus cleaner and Simple Green are common types to use, and will handle most of the stains or discolorations you might find. These types of cleaners are often classified as neutral, non-aggressive cleaners, and may require some soaking or scrubbing effort to remove some of the tougher stains and grime.
In extreme cases, paint thinner or other more aggressive types of cleaners can be used. Remember, this is a concrete product and is built to withstand aggressive cleaning. However, the more aggressive the cleaner, the more risk is involved for the person doing the cleaning. Always start with the most neutral cleaner and work your way toward the more aggressive cleaners.
Weather Maintenance of Concrete Trash Cans
When you’re doing weather maintenance or seasonal repairs, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- De-icing salts can damage concrete, causing them to scale or break up. These chemicals should be used sparingly and with caution on concrete products.
- Calcium magnesium acetate and calcium chloride are good alternatives, as they can cause the least damage to concrete.
- Mix the de-icers with sand to increase their effectiveness and reduce overall use.
Tips for Caring for Outdoor Trash Cans
Whether you’re cleaning a dumpster or another outdoor trash can, you want to make sure that the can itself is capable of handling the outdoors, and potentially consider replacement. When doing an audit of your outdoor receptacles, ask yourself about the following conditions:
- Are there overhead coverings? — Will a roof or awning protect your trash can from outdoor conditions? If that’s the case, you can select pretty much any type of can you want, as the awning will protect it.
- Is there exposure to wind and projectiles? — Will your trash can be in the middle of an open space, or can you depend on trees and buildings to block gusts of wind? If your item will be getting hit with wind, you want something sturdy enough to not blow over.
- What’s the local climate? — How hot, cold, humid and/or windy does it get throughout the year? You'll need to find an outdoor trash can that is tough enough to stand up to the weather in your area.
- Are there nearby fences? — Can you depend on a security fence to keep your cans secure? If not then you'll need to get an item that is difficult to vandalize and/or move or just an item that you can secure fairly easily. Don’t forget about animal proofing either. Both urban and rural areas may need to be concerned about rats, cats, dogs, or raccoons getting into the trash. In certain situations you may just need to purchase an item you can feel comfortable replacing periodically.
- How is air quality? — Will it be exposed to salty or polluted air? Humid, salty, and polluted air causes metals to corrode and rust faster than air with less salt, humidity, and pollution.
Clean Regularly & Set a Schedule
When you maintain a frequent and thorough cleaning schedule for outdoor and indoor trash cans on your commercial property, you ensure that your facility is safe, clean, and welcoming. With proper maintenance, your trash cans will maintain their luster and appearance for many years. Keep your customers and guests coming by ensuring that things are kept neat and clean on a regular schedule.
Have you created a maintenance schedule? If you haven’t, it’s a must for any commercial operation. A schedule and map of how often, when, and where cans should be emptied, maintained, and cleaned is important.
If your concrete trash cans have become damaged beyond repair, or you need more to equip your properties for your expanding business endeavors, Trashcans Unlimited is your first and last stop for high quality trash cans at great prices. Our trash cans are built to last, and we have trash cans to meet every need and use, and you’ll never have to worry about an inferior quality can when you buy from us. Start browsing our inventory today, or get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable staff.