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Sick of seeing trash littering your favorite public spaces and community? You can go beyond picking up litter in your neighborhood, serve your community, and develop a sense of civic engagement all at the same time! How? Organize your own community trash pickup event! Community clean up programs can go a long way toward improving your neck of the woods, and they’re not that hard to organize. Let’s walk through how to make one happen.
Step 1. Start Small
All good projects start with an idea. Community clean up project ideas are easy to come by--here’s a few to get you started:
- Aluminum Can Scavenger Hunt (have prizes for top collectors)
- Plastic Bottle Scavenger Hunt
- Fill a Bag, Get a Prize (provide coupons/prizes for number of trash bags filled on site)
You don’t have to get too creative either. Starting with a small idea is often much more actionable than an enormous project. Don’t start by trying to clean up every park in a 5 mile radius. Start with a small one, or even just a cleanup for your street or neighborhood. Remember the snowball effect--start the ball rolling, and you’ll be surprised where it ends up.
Step 2. Have a plan
The most important part of any successful event is the planning. Execution grows exponentially harder when you don’t have a plan in place for how everything is going to go. Here’s a few things to get organized before you start promoting your event:
- Where? Where is the event going to take place? Will you require city permits and volunteer consent forms to clean the place you’ve chosen?
- When? A weeknight, a weekend day? What’s going to be the idea time to get the most turnout for the event?
- How many people? Determining what the ideal amount of people you’ll need to help out with the even will go a long way in.
- What are you going to do to incentivize attendance? There may be different ways of doing this--shoutouts on social media, t-shirts, and if all else fails, the feeling of having done a nice thing is a pretty good motivator.
- Do you have the right equipment? A successful trash pickup event requires somewhere to put all the trash you’re going to be picking up! Getting in touch with your local government to see if they’ve got some trash bins they can loan out is a great place to start, and making sure you have a good supply of trash bags on hand is a must. If you need good trash bins, why not take a look at our extensive inventory?
- What safety precautions need to be observed for the cleanup? If people are going to be touching a lot of trash and potentially hazardous materials, making sure that they’re protected is a great idea. Plan for gloves, trash bags, and all the materials necessary to ensure that the cleanup is healthy, safe, and effective.
Step 3. Get Social
One of the best ways to get people on board with your community cleanup project is to connect with folks where they are. Social media is a wonderful platform for spreading the word about your event, as well as getting a tentative head count for the day of the event. A Facebook event is a wonderful place to start--invite everyone you know, and get them to invite their friends as well.
NextDoor can also be a valuable local tool for connecting with people in your area. Find the board for your neighborhood, and post on a bulletin board.
Other social media platforms can be useful as well. If you’ve got a local following, Instagram can be a great way to drum up engaged participants!
Step 4. Put Up Flyers
There are traditional methods for getting the word out about your event, and the old tried-and-true flyer method is a great one. Find all of the local community boards that you can, and print out some eye-catching flyers to get people intrigued by the event. While it might seem self-explanatory, people often forget to include the important details like:
- Where it is
- What time it will be at
- What to bring/what will be provided
- End time
- Special events/announcements
Once you’ve got your flyers, hang them up wherever you can, but remember, you’re trying to reduce the level of mess in your community, so be strategic about where you put your flyers, and don’t overdo it.
Step 5. Local Support
This one can depend on where you live. If there’s a community newspaper or another local business that runs a newsletter, get in touch with them. They might be able to offer you space for free in a community events section, or potentially advertise your event for free.
Also, if you’re new to the world of non-profit endeavors, you might not realize that you can go ask businesses for free things! If you’d like to get some t-shirts together for the event, go and talk with a local t-shirt company, see if they’d be willing to help in exchange for space on the poster or event page that says “sponsored by.”
Remember that your most powerful source of capital for a volunteer or free community event is social capital. Reach out to your friends and social network for help, you never know what people might be able to pull together to help you out with.
Step 6. Get to work
Now that you’ve organized and advertised, it’s time to get going with the event. Make sure that the meeting place to start the cleanup is clearly marked so you can meet with your volunteers and get them going on different tasks.
Then it’s just a matter of rolling up your sleeves and getting to work.
If you need equipment for your community cleanup event, we have you covered, from rolling trash cans to large recycling bins. Get in touch with us, or browse our wide selection of products, and we hope your event is a success!
Tips for Keeping Your Public Park Clean
Tips for Keeping Your Public Park Clean
If you’re reading this article, you’re either a person who wants to know more about how they can keep their public park clean and tidy, or someone who is responsible for keeping a park sparkling clean. Either way, we’re here to help, with plenty of tips for how you can divide and conquer the tricky task of keeping a public space clean. The importance of clean parks can’t be understated. Let’s get going.
Tip 1: Paperwork and permissions
This mainly applies to being a volunteer cleaner. If you’re going to be doing any sort of organized public cleaning effort, you need to make sure that you’re not doing anything illegal. This is unlikely, as most cities will be very happy that you’re showing civic involvement in attempting to organize a community clean up. If it’s just yourself, you likely don’t need permission to head over to a public park and start removing trash.
But, if you’re working with volunteers, it’s a good idea to give the city a heads-up so they can make potential resources available to you (for instance, large trash bins that the city might have access to).
Tip 2: Equipment
You’re going to have a hard time getting your cleanup project off the ground without the right equipment. But this doesn’t have to be high tech. Some gloves and a trash bag will often do the trick. If you want to get fancier, pick up a trash picker so you can snag things off the ground without having to bend over.
If you’re trying to set up a good sanitation solution for a public space, trash cans are an important part of that too. Luckily, if you’re reading this blog, finding the right cans (or maybe even rolling trash cans) is just a click away.
Tip 3: Divide and conquer (take it piece by piece)
Like most big projects, cleaning a large public area can be an intimidating prospect. How to take care of public parks is a daunting task. But, it doesn’t have to be scary. Just like any big project, divide it up into smaller pieces, and then start handling them one by one.
If you’re organizing a public cleanup with a bunch of volunteers or several employees, taking a map of the park and dividing it up into sectors and tackling each sector one at a time can be extraordinarily helpful in knowing what you have to do and where you have to go.
Then, it’s just a matter of going to each sector, and starting to pick up and clean. Good ol’ elbow grease!
Tip 4: Set a schedule
If you’re a government employee organizing regular park cleanup, setting a schedule is essential. Utilizing online cloud-based tools like Google Sheets can be a barebones and easy way to keep checklists and schedules synced between employees, to ensure that you (presumably the manager) are informed about what is and isn’t being cleaned on a given day. If you’re building a schedule, here are some helpful things to include and track for each public park:
- Specific tasks and the days of the week they need to be done, with appropriate boxes for employees to initial when they have done it. Examples include:
- Emptying trash cans
- Picking up litter
- Cleaning playground equipment, benches, etc.
- Trimming grass, hedges, etc.
- Materials and supplies that are needed to do the various tasks, and a running inventory of those supplies, so employees or volunteers can request as needed.
- A maintenance schedule tracking appropriate maintenance of tools and equipment.
Tip 5: Get help
If you’re organizing a volunteer effort to clean up a public park, it’s a pretty big task for one person. If you’re just out there by your lonesome, maybe just a quick sweep for excess litter with a trash bag is the way to go. But, if you want to go bigger, it’s time to get other people involved.
Again, let the city know what you’re planning so they can make additional resources available to you, and then start advertising your park cleanup locally and on social media. Just a few volunteers can make a park cleanup go from a slog to a fun and exciting event.
Tip 6: Plan an event
As far as making cleaning up the park an event goes, you can go as big or small as you like. People love feeling connected and involved with their community, so organizing a park cleanup can be a super fun way to get everyone involved. It’s a great way to showcase the importance of keeping public places clean.
If you’re just doing a small shindig, the suggestions above about small advertisements locally and social media is probably enough. But, if you want to organize a much larger event, you could incorporate fundraising for a local non-profit or even go so far as to team up to pair another event with the cleanup, like a 5K run. It all depends upon your level of enthusiasm for the project.
Think about the future
How do you keep a park safe? Keep it clean. One of the great things about a clean space is that it offers almost unlimited possibilities. Remember to keep that in mind, and that this clean space can easily get messed up again in no time. So, if you’re in charge of keeping a park clean, plan for the future by having enough trash bins and recycling bins for waste, and ensuring that you’re following the other tips above. The best way to keep a public space clean is by being proactive, rather than reactive.
Trashcans Unlimited has enormous supplies of trash cans for every type of public space, from large to small parks. Browse our collection of outdoor trash cans to find the right thing for your space, and get in touch with us if you have any questions.
How to Clean Playground Equipment and Keep It Clean
Keeping indoor and outdoor play equipment can be a daunting task. Equipment like this gets put through the paces, and without regular maintenance and upkeep, these structures can become hazards very quickly. Our guide will take you through the materials and logistics you’ll need to pull together to effectively clean and maintain outdoor and indoor equipment.
Depending on the stage that the playground is in, you’re going to need the right materials and supplies, from cleaning products to the appropriate tools and products like wood stain, brushes, scrubbers, and buckets.
If you’re planning on doing a deep clean of wood or metal playground equipment, indoor or outdoor, here are some useful supplies to bring along:
- Ammonia-free window cleaner
- A mild detergent
- Rags or cloths for wiping
- Soft brushes for more persistent grime and dirt
- A non-toxic disinfectant
If you’re working on an outdoor playground, especially one that has wood, if you want to go the extra mile, bring along sandpaper and a high-grade wood sealant. These materials can be used to remove mildew or other grime from wood and the sealant will allow you to treat the wood so it lasts longer.
Safety and long-term planning
For indoor equipment, make sure to do a quick safety spot check. If anything is loose or wobbly, locate the source of the issue and correct it. Often bolts and other connective devices will loosen over time due to wear and tear, so keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary is a good idea.
Also, remember if there’s ever a biological contaminant (urine, feces, blood, vomit), you need to make sure that it is properly cleaned and disinfected. You want to make sure that there’s no possibility of pathogens spreading due to improper cleaning. Keeping bleach on hand is a great idea.
With outdoor equipment, there’s an additional component to the routine checking and maintenance of equipment--the flora and fauna in the area. Depending on the location of the playground equipment, you want to make sure that there are no insects or other vermin that might degrade or pose a hazard to children playing on the equipment. Bees, raccoons, and other pests require careful management to keep them away from the playground.
Keep an eye out for any potentially hazardous plants that might have grown near the playground. Poison Ivy in particular is a common plant that can have painful consequences for unaware children (and adults, for that matter).
Know your equipment
It goes without saying that it’s almost essential to know how your equipment works, and what materials were used in its construction. This is going to go a long way to helping keep it clean and well maintained.For instance, metal playground equipment needs to regularly have rust cleaned off of it, and in cases where rust has gone wrong, cleaning it off and applying a new coat of paint is vital to the longevity of the equipment. You wouldn’t want a car with rusted parts, and playground equipment is no different.
An excellent way to discover more about the equipment you’re cleaning and maintaining is to talk to an expert, or see if you can track down the assembly or maintenance manual for the equipment you’re working on. Not every piece of equipment is going to have this, but going in with a can-do attitude will go a long way in keeping things clean and shipshape. It may also help to understand the price and upkeep cost of the equipment you are considering purchasing.
Now, before we get into the actual how-to of cleaning playground equipment, there’s one final note to hit: scheduling. Whether it’s you doing all of the maintenance on the playground equipment, or one of your employees (or a team of employees in the case of larger operations) you want to make sure that you’ve built and maintained (no pun intended) a maintenance schedule. This schedule should include:
- How often each piece of equipment should be cleaned (and if you want to get more granular, what should be used to clean it)
- How often each piece of equipment should have a maintenance check done
- Who is going to be responsible for the cleaning
- When it was last cleaned, and when it will need to be cleaned next according to the schedule (don’t forget to count holidays!)
A scheduled routine will help keep all the playground equipment clean and maintained well, which overall decreases the amount of work for everyone involved.
Cleaning playground equipment isn’t exactly rocket science, but it helps to have a few pointers before you go out and start doing it.
- First, utilize a mild detergent, hopefully with some form of degreaser present. This will help with the initial cleaning, knocking away any tough stains, grease spots, or other undesirable materials. Give a thorough cleaning with a washcloth and warm water, or a soft brush. Avoid using abrasive materials on plastics as over time this can make them uncomfortable and damaged over time when children are suing them.
- Next, rinse off the detergent. If you’re using a very watered down detergent solution, you might be able to skip this step.
- Finally, use a disinfectant solution, for instance heavily diluted bleach water, to rinse off and sanitize the equipment. Germs on playground equipment can be tough to get rid of, and sanitizer solutions are important part of the overall cleaning process.
Follow the schedule, and make sure that trash is disposed of too. If everything is done right, you’ll end up with a gleaming playground that’s all ready for use!
If you’re setting up indoor or outdoor playgrounds for the first time, quality waste receptacles are an important part of keeping these areas clean and tidy. We offer a wide variety of trash bins, from rolling trash cans to decorative recycling bins. Our outdoor trash cans are the perfect fit for a park environment. Browse our enormous selection of trash cans, and stay tuned to this blog for more info on playground maintenance and care. We also offer a host of general playground equipment: from benches to safety barriers to tables we have your needs covered. And, as always, if you have any questions, get in touch with us.
Behind the Scenes of Medical Waste Disposal
Hospitals are often like small cities--they have cafeterias, places for patients to sleep, staff rooms, gift shops--a microcosm of the amenities a city might have inside its limits. Because of their need to provide superior care, this is by design. Naturally, it follows that these enormous structures create a lot of waste. For this post, we’ll just be focusing on medical waste and biohazards waste--specifically what hospitals do with medical waste. We’ll talk about the medical waste industry, as well as how new recycling initiatives have created a better world for the disposal (and often reuse) of medical waste.
What is medical waste?
It’s important to define what medical waste is because not everything that is thrown away or disposed of at a hospital qualifies. So, what is considered medical waste?
Source: Biomedical Waste Solutions
Generally speaking, medical waste and biohazardous waste are waste items that have may have been contaminated with blood, body fluids, potentially infectious or pathogenic materials. It’s important to note that to be considered medical or biohazardous waste, all the waste has to do is have the potential of being in contact with something hazardous.
Where it goes
The next, most likely question, now that we have a running definition of medical waste is where does medical waste go?
Many estimate that on average, the hospitals and medical facilities of the world produce around 2 million tons of medical waste. That’s quite a bit. On top of all of this, many types of medical waste contain extremely carcinogenic and dangerous chemicals. Often, medical waste can contain heavy metals. Luckily, a process called autoclaving, which involves heating waste to an extremely high temperature and effectively sterilizing it, removes much of the dangers of pathogens or other nasty bugs getting out into our environment. The majority of medical waste that ends up in landfills has been sterilized or safely disposed of so it does not pose a threat to human populations or groundwater.
But, there’s an exciting part of this as well! In recent years, medical waste recycling has become a popular, safe, and highly useful practice.
Medical waste recycling
The recycling of biomedical waste is mostly maintained by private companies, which often oversee the collection, disposal, and resale of medical products. According to some, as much as 85 percent of medical waste is not biologically hazardous, and can thus be sterilized and repurposed. The degree to which medical waste is recycled is often left up to an individual hospital’s recycling policy. If you’re curious how your local hospital disposes of their medical waste, get in touch with them--they’ll usually explain how.
Medical waste solutions
At Trashcans Unlimited, we offer a wide variety of medical waste disposal solutions, from small to large. If you’re looking to supply your hospital (or potentially your home) with medically safe cans, we’ve got you covered. Additionally, our comparison tool will help you find the best can for the job. If you have questions about how to recycle medical waste, get in touch with us, and our customer service representatives will help you out.
Crowd Control During Riots: Essential Traditional & Technological Techniques
Peaceful protest is an American tradition that goes back a long way. But, with every protest or peaceful demonstration, there runs the risk of individuals acting in bad faith to incite a riot. Being prepared and educated about what makes a riot happen, and how crowd control can occur safely during one is important information for anyone in event management to know.
Follow along as we take you through what makes a riot, and how riot control tactics and crowd management technology and techniques help prevent and control them.
What Makes a Riot?
Again, it’s important to remember that a peaceful gathering of people is not a riot. A riot, as defined by this helpful article, often occurs when you have two components: fuel and a spark.
Fuel is the undercurrent driving the riot. For instance, when riots have occured in the past, they were often underpinned by racial or economic injustice. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes a sports team loses, and that provides enough fuel for a potential riot.
The spark is the inciting incident. It could be somebody throwing a rock or breaking a window. The individuality of the crowd gives way to a more intense and mindless grouping, where fear and often violence takes over. The transition from group of people to riot can happen so fast that many aren’t prepared for it. If you’d like to learn more about the history of rioting in the United States, here is an article to get you started.
Police crowd control techniques and traditional riot control techniques revolve around the use of non-lethal force and well trained first responders. In the past, police officers would form a line or wall utilizing riot shields that protect from thrown projectiles, while keeping rioters at bay using batons.
Batons and non-lethal munitions are still the primary methods of riot and crowd control, but the techniques used by officers have changed dramatically.
Now, most officers and police departments use the above pictured formation to control rioting. You have a front and rear echelon, whose job is to essentially filter the crowd and find people who are causing harm. These echelons can expand or contract to allow peaceful members of the crowd to filter through to safety, and can compress when they are engaged with violent or escalated members of the crowd.
At the center, there is a team leader, usually flanked by gas officers. The leader can let the officers know when to deploy pepper spray or tear gas and their primary job is to assess the situation and command the teams to respond accordingly.
Finally, behind the leader, there is an arrest team. Their job is to fluidly engage with violent members of the crowd, restrain and process them so that the violent members of the crowd can be separated from the nonviolent members.
Of course, these methods are designed to control an intense situation, but crowd violence is unpredictable and extremely dangerous, so there is no guarantee that a given method will work. This is where technology has come into the picture, resulting in a number of technological innovations to try and prevent and control riots.
There are a lot of crowd control technologies that rely on non-lethal or minimum lethality projectiles. Any projectile is dangerous, but the majority of the ones used in riot situations are designed to subdue, not kill. Here are a few examples:
Tear gas, which is most commonly known as CS gas (2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile), is a gas that that targets the eyes and sinuses, as well as acting as an asphyxiant. This mean that it causes intense pain and subdues the people it is used on, and it also denies oxygen, mixing with fluid in the lungs. Its effects usually wear off in around 30 minutes, and unless someone is sensitive to the chemicals, it is almost entirely nonlethal, though very unpleasant.
Rubber or plastic bullets are non lethal projectiles that can incapacitate or cause rioters to flee. They are extremely painful (many compare the experience to being hit with a large rock), but are not designed to penetrate flesh and kill, as with traditional bullets.
The most common instance of sound cannons is the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) which has been deployed both overseas and domestically. It utilizes sound waves to issue directives or cause pain, thus subduing a crowd. It’s serious business, and there’s a lot of debate about its use in the United States.
Active Denial System
Finally, the most experimental crowd control device currently seeing scrutiny and use is the Active Denial System (ADS), which is essentially a heat ray. Unfortunately, it’s non-lethality has not yet been full confirmed, and it requires a lot of energy and powering up time to see effective use. However, the Department of Defense is actively researching the use and deployment of the ADS.
How You Can Be Prepared
Now, what does this have to do with you as you’re trying to get your event planned and ready? Well, it never hurts to have your pulse on current events, especially in your area. Does there seem to be fuel in the community to start a potential riot? Is your venue or event location a likely place for this to happen?
Most likely the answer to these questions is no, but it’s important to be prepared. Your event plan should have a section that describes who will be the point person to interact with law enforcement in the event of an emergency, and having your event or venue ready to facilitate emergency services is a must. Reading up on stuff like this is helpful, and we’ve already published several blogs giving information regarding crowd control techniques and management.
5 Best Practices of Crowd Control On Ships
As part of our extensive series on best practices for crowd control, we’re continuing the series by diving into another important topic: crowd management and control techniques on a ship or other maritime environment.
Cruise ships and other seafaring vehicles present a unique series of challenges and obstacles when designing a crowd control plan. There are plenty of instances of cruises going wrong, most famously, the Carnival cruise in 2013. You don’t want to be infamous for customers having a terrible experience at sea, or even worse, have injuries or deaths due to poor planning. Here, we’ll list 5 best practices for making sure that you’re prepared for the worst, and that you can be ready to face any obstacle on the high seas.
1. Understand the psychology of the crowd
It pays to educate yourself around how crowd psychology works, so you can plan accordingly. This can be difficult, as there are many differing opinions about so-called “mob mentality” works.
We’re not crowd psychologists, nor do we pretend to be them online. But, if you do some reading, you can see that there’s basically two camps:
- In a crisis situation, a mob will behave according to “unrestrained impulses.”
- Even in a crisis situation, mobs are able to respond to directions and stimuli.
For your purposes, when designing a safe crowd control plan at sea, it’s likely best to assume that both are true; in a mob or crowd situation, people will likely behave badly, but they will also be receptive to direction and control. Having a strong plan and a ship layout that is conducive to potential catastrophe resolution will go a long way toward keeping your passengers safe.
2. Prepare for anything
If you’re prepared for anything, you’re prepared for everything.
Circular logic aside, making sure that your marine safety and crowd control plan has protocols for every possible contingency, and your crew is appropriately prepared for those contingencies is of maximum importance. Here is a list to get you started for incidents where you might need to prepare for serious crowd control issues:
- Natural Disasters - Rogue waves, intense storms, fallout from hurricanes and natural disasters in ports, fires, lightning strikes.
- Human Disasters - Pathogens like norovirus, vandalism, people attempting to incite riots, arson, altercations between passengers.
- Events - Concerts, trade shows, major events, dances, etc.
- Logistics Problems - Food shortage, clean water shortage, sanitation issues, mechanical problems, etc.
The key is to be ready, and not be caught unawares without a plan for trouble.
3. Crowd pacification
In the event of an emergency, you’re going to be dealing with a crowd full of a variety of people. Some of them might be under the influence of alcohol and other substances. Some might be terrified and looking to your crew and staff for safety and reassurance. Others might just be running around like maniacs.
It’s important to ensure that you’re familiar with crowd pacification techniques as well as the necessary terminology that goes along with it.
At sea, stairway control and safety is going to be of primary concern. A crowd that is mobbing stairways is a prime place for disasters and problems to occur. You don’t want people being trampled or injured, so making sure that you’ve got the right training and plan to manage stairways and stairwells is crucial.
Additional, a key tool in the crowd pacification toolbox is going to be mustering stations. You want to make sure these are clearly delineated around the ship, and that all crewmembers are aware and ready to respond at their designated mustering station. Having a plan and running drills so crew can get to these stations and be ready to direct and pacify a crowd is essential.
4. Training, training, training
Of all the things on the list, training your crew to respond well to crisis situation is likely the most important. When bad stuff happens, your people are going to be the first and last line of defense against dangerous situations.
One of the best pieces of management advice we’ve ever come across is this: train your people so that they can leave. It’s a counterintuitive piece of advice, but people whose supervisors and managers demonstrated investment in their success and skill training are much more likely to stick around. More loyal, experienced, and trained staff equals better crowd control and crisis response. If you’re looking for some ways to begin training your crew to have a better idea of crowd management strategies, these courses are a great place to start.
5. Have the right equipment
Finally, you need to have the right equipment to help facilitate crowd control procedures in the event of an emergency. Making sure that exits are clearly market with quality signage, and that your employees have the proper tools to ensure that people are going the way they need to when they need to do it. Trashcans Unlimited offers crowd control barriers, stanchions, and warning posts that can help direct the flow of traffic in non-emergency situations. We also have a large supply of bollards, which can be useful in breaking up the flow so employees can manage a filtering crowd.
With us, you’ll be able to find the right equipment to help you stay safe out on the high seas, regardless of the waves that get thrown at you. If you have questions, or need information about which crowd control equipment will be most useful for your situation, get in touch with us. We’re here to help.
Preventing Trash Bag Leaks: 6 Tips You Won't Throw Away
Preventing Trash Bag Leaks: 6 Tips You Won't Throw Away
How many times have you gone to take the trash out only to realize there’s a trail of liquid seeping from the bag? Speaking of messes, maybe your garbage left a puddle in the bottom of your trash can, or the sides of the bag fell into the can and caused trash to spill out.
If any of this is sounding familiar, you know the havoc a filthy garbage bin can wreak (and reek). No one likes a leaky trash bag that oozes grime, stench, and God knows what else. A trash bag is meant to contain our waste, not spill it. And yet, leaky trash bags remain a fact of life.
Luckily, there are some simple tricks of the trade that will help you prevent future bag leaks and learn to better clean up current ones.
How to Prevent Leaks
You won't have to clean up a mess if there isn’t one in the first place. Here are some of our go-to hacks to prevent leaks.
1: Newspaper Liner
Your mother's solution is still a sound one. Lining your trash can with newspaper is a smart way to keep liquid from oozing out as the newspaper can soak up any unforeseen leakage. Simply place old newspaper on the inside bottom of your trash can and the bottom of your trash bag. If (and when) any liquid seeps out of the bag, replace the dirty newspaper with dry sheets.
2: Carry the Trash Can Outside
It's everyone's nightmare that their trash bags will give out on them in the middle of the kitchen. If you are worried about the integrity of your trash bag, don't remove the bag from the can to dump it outside; take your entire trash can out with the bag still in it. That way, you only have to rely on the strength of the bag for a few seconds when you lift and dump it into the outside bin. This avoids a minute-plus trek to the garbage that could end up in a busted bag.
3: Command Hooks
Almost as bad as a trash can leak is a trash bag that falls out of place and into the can. To keep the bag secured, place command hooks on either side of the can and hook the drawstrings around it. It's the ultimate trash bag hack.
4: Binder Clips
Of course, not every trash bag comes equipped with drawstrings. In that case, we recommend using binder clips to secure the trash bag to the can.
5: Tape a Tube Inside Your Trash Can
Here's a MacGyver-like tip for you. You know how it can be difficult to remove a full bag from the trash can? That's because a full trash bin can create a vacuum that clings the bag to the bin’s walls, leaving no room for airflow. To prevent this, tape a tube inside the trash can to keep air flowing.
You may have heard of the trick of drilling a hole in your trash can to keep air flowing, but this can cause trash to leak out. And no one likes a dripping trash can.
6: Get the Right Trash Can Liner
Not all trash can liners are the same. How could they be? Not all trash is the same. That's why trash can liners come in all different sizes, seals, and densities. If you're not sure which one to get or whether you have the right trash can for your needs, refer to this guide: Which Trashcan Liner is Right For You?
What to Do If Your Trash Can Leaks
Not all hacks are foolproof. Sometimes a trash can just leaks, and then we have to hold our breath, buckle down, and clean it up. If your trash can does leak, here's what you should do about it.
Determine the Cause
Why did it leak? Play Sherlock Holmes for a minute and investigate possible causes. Was your trash bag liner too thin? Did you tear a hole in it? Did the sides fall in and leak liquid into the bottom of the can? Only after you have learned why it leaked can you take steps to prevent it from happening again.
Clean Up the Mess
The fun part! Just kidding, but you really do need to clean this up. Liquid from your trash is unsanitary, and it should not be left to sit. Use antibacterial wipes right away to soak up the mess, and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
Clean the Trash Can
Not only do messy trash cans look gross and smell worse, but they can attract pests. After you've cleaned up the leakage mess, remove the trash can from your house and take it outside to clean. Spray it down with a hose, and apply some elbow grease by scrubbing the can with soap and water. Only after the trash can is bone dry should you replace the liner and bag.
Frequent cleaning of your trash cans with mild soap and water is recommended, regardless of any leaks. For more on cleaning and caring for commercial and residential trash cans, check out this guide: How to Clean and Care for Commercial Trash Cans.
Keep It Clean
Again, no one likes leaky trash bags, but they can show up and surprise you. Life is messy, but thankfully now your trash bags and cans don't have to be quite as messy.
4 Steps for Creating an Effective Crowd Control Plan
Without an effective crowd control plan, any event can end in disaster. The long and short of it is that you’re never going to be fully prepared for a disaster or a major event requiring crowd control, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to end up with someone being harmed or worse, killed because there wasn’t due diligence done in the planning phase.
We’ve talked in a previous post about creating effective strategies for crowd management, but in this post, we’ll dive deep into create a plan on paper, and what that will look like, with examples of plans that have been used effectively in the past. We’ll go through it piece by piece.
Once you written down all the information at the head of your plan (point person, event location, relevant contact info), next comes the objective. You don’t have to be fancy, just say what the objective of your crowd control plan for your event is. Some great resources to start with are some like these from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. In one of their crowd management plan example documents, they give this as a template for an objective:
“The objective of this plan is to provide a safe atmosphere for people to gather and reduce any risk to an acceptable level. By establishing this plan, YOUR ORGANIZATION has taken steps to try to identify and mitigate all foreseeable hazards, before during and after the EVENTS NAME.”
You can expand on the objective a little bit, but simple language is key. If you’re planning a concert, trade show, convention, it doesn’t matter, the point of your crowd control plan is to create safety and reduce risk. A quick internet search can provide a world of crowd control techniques and ideas.
Your plan should include at the bare minimum a list of the most important positions within your event’s hierarchy. Who is the event manager, the person in charge of crowd control, their assistant, and the point people on the ground? All of these people (with smaller events, they might be the same person) should be listed, with contact information and a list of what their responsibilities are, so on the day of the event, unforeseen obstacles can be accounted for and taken responsibility for.
Additionally, a flow chart describing the hierarchy can be useful so that volunteers and staff can reference who they’ll need to talk to in advance.
IMAGE OF A FLOW CHART
Your official crowd control plan should feature a section that describes specifically how to proceed in an emergency or crisis situation. One of the nice things about thinking about your event this way is that it can help you plan out the regular and normal functioning of your event. Here are some important items to include.
Your plan should outline how you will prepare staff each day for the event. What time will the meeting take place? Who’s going to be leading it? What is the essential information that must be shared between stakeholders?
Getting attendees attention
In the event that you need to get the attention of your attendees, how will you do it? Who will have the keys to the car (figuratively speaking)? Intercoms, marquees, staff with megaphones? It’s important that this information be agreed upon so your staff can remain calm in an emergency situation.
In crisis and emergency situations, what will be the easiest way to communicate with the crowd. An alarm to grab their attention, followed by intercom announcements? Staff members with megaphones directing people to the exits? Examine your space and determine what will be most helpful going forward.
Lights, visible exit information
What will happen to your light array in the event of an emergency? Will the lights turn on full, or dim slightly, with floor lights directing to the exit. Whatever you decide, it must be immediately clear to the average person where they’re supposed to go to exit safely.
Who will do what
This one should be a no brainer. With reference to your hierarchy, who is going to be in charge of what in the event of an emergency?
Pre and post event information
Before and after the event, will there be information sessions for your staff. You likely want to include these in the plan as well, as they’ll give everyone a solid idea of what the order of operations is.
4. Layout and Diagrams
Finally, a helpful component of an effective crowd control plan is diagrams, charts, and pictures! Everyone loves a good chart, right? Well, even if you’re not a chart-lover, having the relevant layout information of your space easily accessible to your team can be invaluable, especially in the event of an emergency situation. When first responders know the fastest exits in your space, and you have an easily referenceable document, emergency situations can be resolved easier. Here are some great examples of chart-making and mind mapping apps.
Seating diagrams, lighting plans, even photos of important landmarks can be invaluable in creating an optimal plan, so make sure to use them!
We’ve got plenty of options for helping you create an optimal crowd control setup, and we’re happy to consult with you and talk options. Make sure to check out our other posts on thinking through crowd control procedures too. Browse our products or be in touch!
5 Essential Considerations for a Crowd Management Strategy
Congratulations! You’re in charge of making sure that a major event at your venue or another venue is going to run smoothly and safely. The task you’re undertaking is a big one, and is not one to be taken lightly. All manner of things can happen when your empty venue suddenly becomes a full one. You’re going to need to think about traffic, safety, and behavior, and all before you even know what your total crowd will actually look like.
Don’t worry! This post, and others like it, will help you prepare yourself, and give you the tools you need to be successful. Thinking through various crowd management strategies doesn’t have to be headache-inducing. Let’s roll!
1) The Overall Strategy
This is the fun part, because you get to do a lot of research. Have you ever done an event like this before, perhaps even at the same venue? Look back and try to determine what made that event a success (or potentially a failure) and what the points of growth were. What were the crowd control techniques and ideas that were useful previously? Good data points to have and think about:
- How many people are you expecting?
- Is there a comparable event to compare to?
- What will the crowd look like? Will there be children? Rowdy concert goers? Is there a need for heavy security to prevent safety concerns?
- Horror stories/success stories: study successful events, and study failed events (like the Fyre festival). Where did they go wrong? Where did they go right? How can you avoid or copy them?
- What type of event are you throwing, and will it differ significantly from ones this venue has seen in the past?
The point is to come up with a plan describing your event, the resources you’re going to need (security, volunteers, paid staff, facilities, etc.) and then get in contact with the necessary stakeholders so you can ensure everything runs smoothly. The principles of good crowd control can follow from looking and the past and preparing for the future.
2) What Kind of Event?
The question is so simple that it seems obvious, but one of the keys to creating effective crowd control procedures is understanding what kind of event you’re throwing. Is it a concert, a trade show, a conference, a meetup? What is the goal or the objective of the event? Answering these questions can give you options for creating an environment conducive to certain types of crowd control techniques. Maybe you need one entry and one exit, or your crowd is going to come and go as they please. Regardless of the type of event, if you don’t understand it, you’ll have an incredibly difficult time coming up with any sort of strategy.
3) What Kind of Crowd?
It doesn’t matter what field you’re in, knowing the audience who will be attending your event is perhaps the most important thing on the list. Having a good read on the type of people who will be attending your event can save you headaches down the road as well as giving you insight into how you might structure the flow of the crowd on the day of the event. Here’s a sample questionnaire to help you start:
- Why is the average attendee at my event?
- What is their level of knowledge about the event?
- A trade show might have a relatively informed audience that is milling around to see a bunch of products, while a concert needs a clear path to the stage.
- What frustrates my attendees?
- Not being able to find the bathroom, not enough breathing room, byzantine navigation?
- How makes my crowd feel safe?
- What are amenities that will take my crowd’s experience to the next level.
4) How Will You Communicate?
Unfortunately, as you plan, you might fall into the “ideal world” trap, which generally means believing that you’ll be able to control everything once the event starts. Crowds are big and difficult to control, and one of the primary things you have to think about is how you’re going to direct and communicate with it once the event is in full swing. So, how many signs are you going to have? What kind will they be? Are you going to give maps to attendees, and does your map accurately reflect where everything is? Remember: not everyone navigates the world in the same way, and there’s no such thing as over communicating as far as crowd control is concerned.
There’s another part to this as well--your staff and volunteers. They’re going to be an enormous part of keeping your crowd managed. Ticket-takers, help desk staff, cleaning staff--they’re all going to be a part of keeping your crowd safe and happy, so make sure not to skimp on keeping them informed and helping them stay in contact with you and one another so things can be kept under control.
Ensuring that your volunteers and staff are all trained in the best crowd management and control techniques is another important component. Have you built out a plan describing who the point people are, complete with an emergency evacuation plan as well as plenty of diagrams and scenarios? Not yet? Don’t worry, we’ll have a post on that coming soon to help you make sure that everything is well-designed and thoughtful for your staff.
5) Keeping It Safe
Making sure you’re following any local and federal safety laws is essential. You want your crowd to be safe and comfortable. This also means being attentive to folks with disabilities and people who might need additional accommodation at your event.
Remembering that problems in the safety plan or anything else in the crowd management strategy can create enormous problems and snowball quickly. Planning a quality event requires diligence, planning, and attention to detail, but there’s nothing better than a well-designed event. We can help, and we provide barriers, bollards, and more to help you make sure that your crowd management strategy is effective and safe. For your crowd management solutions, browse our products or be in touch!
Mandatory vs Voluntary Recycling?: What Works, What Doesn’t
As industry leaders develop new and better ways to handle recyclable materials, many states and cities are debating the best way to deal with this potentially valuable resource. States like California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts (among others) have implemented mandatory recycling laws that require waste companies to sort and out and prevent the burial of recyclable materials in landfills. Mandatory recycling has some clear benefits, but is also complex, and has support and detractors across political parties.'
Other states are considering measures as well, and we’re taking this opportunity to educate about the pros and cons of both plans, as well as offering products that help with the sorting process, on the commercial and individual level.
States with mandatory recycling:
Source: Recycling Today
What is Voluntary Recycling?
Voluntary recycling programs are ones that individual citizens choose to participate in, and which there are no penalties for non-participation. Some cities have city-sponsored recycling programs, while others rely on for-profit companies to literally take out the trash.
Voluntary recycling initiatives have seen enormous success over the years, with the number of recyclable materials entering landfills decreasing every year. In fact, over a fifteen year period from 1990 to 2005, over 9 million tons of trash found other uses instead of ending up in the landfill. (The good news is we’ve gotten better at recycling!)
Additionally, voluntary recycling programs are often run by companies that can ensure their profitability. Recycling can be an expensive operation, and forcing communities that cannot afford a mandatory recycling program to comply can often be costly, with much of those costs being passed onto the consumer. (And rural trash collection already poses its own challenges.)
The Downside of Voluntary Recycling: More Waste
The downside of voluntary recycling is fairly obvious: fewer recyclables end up seeing reuse. With voluntary recycling programs, it is up to the discretion of recycling companies what kind of materials they will take, and in many places, certain types of recyclable materials (like glass) are not recycled at all.
What is Mandatory Recycling?
Mandatory Recycling programs are ones which require individuals living within the area affected by the program or mandatory recycling laws to recycle or face fines or other penalties.
The principle behind mandatory recycling law is to create a more efficient, cost-effective, and earth-friendly system for disposal of materials. In states that utilize mandatory recycling, waste companies are required to keep to strict quotas of recyclable materials that enter landfills. Typically, trash collectors will keep track of where and when individuals are improperly recycling and will give notice and later levy fines.
Mandatory Recycling Cons: Less Choice, Potentially More Cost
While the net reduction in waste results in more efficient recycling process, many anti-mandatory recycling advocates say that the inspection and monitoring of trash results in less personal freedom and is a violation of privacy.
In some cases, mandatory recycling can also end up becoming an expensive proposition, costing $100 more per ton than the traditional processes in a landfill, but this is dependent on the structuring of the program and the types of material recycled.
Which to choose?
As with any hot-button issue, there are strong arguments for both options. We’ll likely continue to see debate for the immediate future, as there are pros and cons for both mandatory and volunteer recycling programs. You can see a list of mandatory programs here.
However, for your home or your business, we offer a variety of recycling receptacles so you can make sure that everything is well organized, whatever program your area offers.