Why Trash Chutes are Necessary for the Sanitation of Large Commercial Structures

Why Trash Chutes are Necessary for the Sanitation of Large Commercial Structures

Posted November 11, 2013 by Lenora Hamilton


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Working in a large high-rise building presents a host of logistical challenges. Everything needed must be brought into the building at ground level and then carried up to where it is needed, while garbage and trash must be removed from the building on a daily basis. Americans generate over four pounds of trash a day. When this amount is multiplied by hundreds or even thousands of building occupants, the amount of garbage produced within a single building can be overwhelming. Trash chutes greatly facilitate the disposal of all that trash, helping to keep a building clean while improving life for the building’s occupants.

Convenient Trash Disposal

Trash chutes are an important fixture in most modern high-rise structures. A trash chute consists of a long metal tube that is attached to the interior structural supports of a building. The tube has at least one opening per floor where bags of garbage are deposited. The bagged garbage falls through the tube to the lowest level of the building. In most buildings, the chute opens directly into the garbage dumpster or roll-off container that is used to transport the garbage to the landfill. Some buildings have only one chute for all garbage, while more modern, environmentally-friendly buildings have several chutes to collect recyclables as well as trash.

Cleaner Buildings

Without the convenience of a trash chute, some people, unfortunately, neglect to dispose of their trash properly. Instead, stairwells, hallways and every out of the way corner become dumping grounds for trash. Garbage that is discarded improperly will eventually begin to decompose, creating both bad aesthetics and even a health hazard. Disease-carrying insects, rodents and stray animals may be attracted to the accumulated garbage. While a trash chute will not completely solve the problem of inappropriately dumped garbage, it does make trash disposal more convenient for busy residents and workers who are employed in the building. In addition to using a chute for garbage disposal, hospitals and hotels often utilize chutes for safe, sanitary management of laundry. Sheets and towels can contain a host of bacteria and viruses, and sending them directly to the laundry for cleaning helps prevent the spread of these germs.

Lighter Janitorial Workload

The owners of most large buildings have an on-staff cleaning crew or use the services of a private cleaning company to keep the premises neat and tidy. Trash chutes make the work of the cleaning crew easier by facilitating trash disposal. In the absence of a trash chute, garbage must be removed from the building bag by bag. This equates to more work for the janitorial staff, and more work translates to higher maintenance costs. Also, since trash chutes make garbage disposal easier for the building’s occupants, workers do not have to be paid to pick up as much accumulated trash left lying around the building or clean up the mess from leaking, decomposed garbage that was improperly discarded.

A trash chute for the use of high-rise building occupants is required in the building codes of most major cities, so a majority of new buildings are constructed with trash chutes. Older buildings can often be retrofitted with a chute if one does not already exist. Installing a trash chute system requires some up-front expense, but the chute makes it easier to keep a large building clean and sanitary and may even pay for itself with lower cleaning and maintenance costs over time. Wade Architectural Systems offers complete laundry and waste chute solutions from Wilkinson Hi-Rise, an industry leader in waste chute and compaction systems. Call us today at 800-950-4544.