There is a growing problem when residents dispose of large cardboard boxes in the trash chutes. Large boxes, even when broken down and flattened, can block the chutes creating a cardboard log jam. The resulting trash blockage then becomes a serious employee safety hazard. Trash bags and other waste builds up behind the stuck boxes until someone you know – Eric or Indian or Elena – climbs into the trash bin, reaches up into the chute, and manually releases the trash. Our employees can unblock the jammed trash chutes only by standing in the awful, smelly trash bins below the chutes and manipulating the trash column blockage. Many times the bins have broken glass which causes a greater safety hazard to our employees.
The safety hazard is compounded when untied trash bags and heavy objects are placed in the chute behind the stuck cardboard, only to shower the employees below with nasty trash and broken bottles when they release the blocked trash column.
Cardboard boxes, especially those which have not been broken down, take up available trash space much too fast. Our trash chutes are never going to get any wider, and they cannot deliver cardboard to the bins below without some cardboard snagging on the chutes’ sides before reaching the bin.
SOLUTION: Please, please…
- Tie your trash bags before throwing them down the chute.
- Bring heavy objects to one of the garage bins located at both ends of each garage.
- Break down and flatten your cardboard shipping container boxes before disposal.
- Carry the flattened cardboard directly to one of the garage bins.
- Avoid placing cardboard boxes, whether flattened or not, in the trash chutes.
POTENTIAL FUTURE SOLUTIONS:
Staff and Board Members have been seeking better solutions to the problem for some time. Potential fixes considered to date include constructing special bins located at ground level for flattened cardboard or hiring additional staff to collect cardboard from each floor. However, finding suitable storage spaces without creating unwanted eyesores is problematic. Further, hiring extra staff to handle cardboard would be costly and possibly result in a monthly assessment increase. Ever hopeful, we’ve even considered incentivizing responsible cardboard disposal with prizes! So far, we are stymied, and we welcome suggestions of best practices for cardboard box disposal you may know about from other apartment communities.
Until we find a workable solution, we are appealing to everyone to pitch in, do your part, and help control cardboard waste.
Board and Management