Keeping Your Trash Can Clean All Summer Long

Posted by Vivian McNeil on

The days of summer bring with it lots of outdoor fun like swimming in the pool, running through the sprinkler, picnics in the backyard, family bbq’s, and of course tons of trash. Especially with the limited places to go due to COVID-19, our backyards are getting lots of use, and at the end of the day an outdoor cleanup is necessary. 

Just last week our family had its first socially distant bbq. The kids got to go into a well chlorinated pool and the adults sat around talking within a safe distance. It was nice to see everyone again and it was great for the kids to socialize with their first cousins. It started with pizza for lunch and ended off with smores roasted over the fire pit.

Once everyone went home it was now time to begin the cleanup. Crushed cheese in between the deck slats from the pizza and freeze pop wrappers stuck to the bottom of a trash can were just a couple of the sticky items which were part of the cleanup. After an hour or so it was my turn to carry the garbage bags to the front and deposit them in our 96-gallon trash container

As soon as I lifted the lid there was a putrid smell and maggot larvae breeding at the very bottom. This was a few days after I hosed down the trash receptacle and poured Mr Clean®, and let it sit at the bottom. It seemed like it would be impossible to get these trash cans to stay clean throughout the summer.

About a year ago a friend of mine told me about how he had started a service which would clean out the garbage cans once a week, with a truck that hosted a high powered pressure washer which used hot water for the cleaning process. It sounded like a nice idea but be it that I am already paying for local trash pickup who needed that added expense? 

The following day, I was in my local grocery store passing through the aisle with plastic trash bags. I saw the usual brands Glad, Hefty, and Simplehuman. Then I came across something rather unusual to be well-stocked on a grocery store shelf, 100-gallon black trash bags. The image on the outside of the box showed my type of trash receptacle with this trash bag inside.

This was brilliant, just one big garbage bag for all the disgusting small kitchen trash bags to be thrown into. The day of garbage pickup I would tie up the big trash bag and the garbage disposal company would take care of the rest.

I was very happy to finally have a solution in keeping my trash receptacles clean be it since I got nauseous every time I opened the lid, only to find an odor-world of flies and maggots. Once the trash was picked up and the receptacle was empty, I began the final cleaning with soap and water. Thereafter I let the can dry and began to insert the bag into the 96-gallon trash receptacle. These are really deep bags and there is plenty of extra bag to wrap three quarters of the way down on the outside of the container. Once the bag is settled it's recommended to tie the bag on the side, giving it a snug fit with little to no slippage after a heavy kitchen size trash bag is dropped inside. The last thing you want is for this huge trash bag to fall in, leaving the container exposed to the elements.

Knowing Where To Tie The Knot Is Key

When you insert the 100-gallon black garbage bag into your trash receptacle, it's important that the knot tie will hold in place as the bags pile up. At the same time you're going to need to make sure that you have access to opening and closing the lid. This means that you're probably going to have the extra bag hanging over the front but not the back. Therefore you’ve got to get a little creative about how to tie your bag down so that it does not slip and allow the trash to fall under the bag. In addition, you don't want to tie a permanent knot because you're going to need to untie it the night before pickup and only then tie the permanent knot.

  • Pull the extra plastic very tight and make an overhand knot
  • Use two thick rubber bands and wrap around the side until secure
  • Try using the Trash Bag Cinch and pull the extra bag through it
  • Push the extra bag through back holes and pull back around

Everyone has their own technique on how to keep a trash bag from slipping. Some learnt it from their parents while others learnt it from bussing tables at a local diner. The point is, that the trash bag can’t slip or else the trash receptacle will get soiled and give off a horrible odor. The same applies to the 100-gallon trash bag. You must keep it held in place so the trash can be contained neatly. Once the bin is three-quarters of the way, it’s pretty much safe and secure.

Garbage Day Is Tie Them Up Day

Now that your trash is neatly contained, whatever leaks out of the bag will be caught by the trash liner. In addition, the squirrels and raccoons who rummage through your trash and tend to rip the bag open will have their mess contained as well. No more chicken bones at the bottom of the trash receptacle. Everything is now neatly contained and will be tied up and hauled away on garbage day. Just make sure to securely knot the bag from both flaps so that when it’s hauled away it comes easily out of the container. It may take a drop more effort on behalf of the sanitation engineer who loads it into the garbage truck but that is not your problem. If you're from my neck of the woods, our garbage trucks simply lift the bin with a robotic arm and dump it into the front bin. When the bin at the front of the truck is full, it dumps it into the top of the truck and then begins the process again.

Did The Trash Receptacle Stay Clean?

Now it’s time for the test. In the past, when I retrieved my waste bin from the street, I peeked inside and was welcomed with an awful site. Wrappers, chicken bones, yogurt cups, and yesterday's lunch floating in an inch of murky brown liquid that stunk to high heavens. All that effort in cleaning out the can and lining it properly is for this moment when the can is emptied along with the 100-gallon trash bag

Eureka, it’s absolutely clean! Not a drop of trash on site at the bottom of the bin. There was a remnant of some little dirt particles but the trash receptacle looked pretty much the way I left it prior to inserting the trash liner. Best of all was an odor free trash bin. After I brought back the cans from the street I began to line the next 100-gallon trash bag.

Final Words

I really don't like reading product reviews and I am especially hesitant to provide one. This is because everyone has their own experience. While I was excited to finally have a solution for keeping my outdoor trash receptacle clean others may find other complexities, like keeping the trash liner from falling into the bin. In my personal opinion, I tend to look away from those small nuances and look at the overall benefit of having a trash can liner. I used to dread taking out the garbage and now it's a pleasant chore which is mess-free. 

Each season brings its own challenge with throwing out the trash. In the winter, there may be a layer of snow or ice weighing down the lid while in the summer it’s the awful stench of trash. The 100-gallon trash liner addresses the summer trash stench and is an excellent solution for containing the elements. I will give you my personal experience which happened just today. With the kids playing outside, going in and out of the pool, snacking, eating ices, and wrapped up with a BBQ, the trash in the garbage was quite a mix. Ice cream sandwich wrappers, ketchup on buns, empty snack bags, and half eaten ices which melted. As I took the bag out of the smaller receptacle I can see the accumulation of lots of liquid which had an orange tinge. While I was walking towards the outdoor trash bin and the bag began to leak. Luckily my trash liner was set in place and the liquid was contained. These trash liners come in a variety of sizes and are a rather small investment. These liners keep your trash can clean and can also extend the lifetime of the bin by avoiding the harmful liquid from sitting at the bottom of the bin. It works for me and I hope that it can work for you too.

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