When it comes to garbage, many people fill up their standard bins and pay their trash-hauling bills without considering the alternatives. And waste-hauling companies aren't rushing to tell their customers how they can reduce their trash bills. Besides, those unsightly open-top bins sitting out in back of most campuses seem to have been a permanent fixture since the beginning of time. For these reasons, trash management is an often-overlooked expenditure when M&O department heads look to reduce operating costs.
The reality is that schools generate enormous amounts of trash. This includes cardboard, paper and huge amounts of food waste. And open-top trash bins create a headache for the maintenance and operations crew. Bad odors from cafeteria waste are unpleasant for employees and students. Discarded garbage attracts rodents, bees and flies. Neighbors and employees who bring their household garbage to unsecured school garbage bins exacerbate the problem.
For many campuses, these trash problems are accepted as inevitable. Moreover, some assume that trash costs will be constant. But one way to cut a school's trash bill dramatically is to reduce the number of times a waste hauler visits the campus. Simply put, garbage companies are trucking companies. They make their money charging for the number of trips they make — the more trips they make, the more money they can charge.