October 7, 2013 admin

What trash chute do you need?

People who work in large high-rise buildings face many challenges not experienced by those working in small, stand-alone offices. One of these challenges is finding a way to get the enormous quantities of office garbage generated daily from each individual unit in the building to the ground level for collection. A trash chute is an indispensable part of working in a large building, but chutes have other uses as well. Some of the most common uses of chutes are discussed below.


Chutes have been used for waste disposal for so long that the words “trash” and “chute” are inextricably linked. Since the first modern high-rise office buildings were constructed over a century ago, trash removal for the employees who occupy these large structures has been problematic. The problem of trash disposal has only been compounded over the years as the amount of trash increased exponentially due to excessive product packaging and a trend toward disposable products. A trash chute is an excellent way to provide convenience for occupants. A standard garbage chute is designed to have one or more openings per floor connected to a large metal tube that leads to the lowest level of the building where the trash is collected. Occupants are generally required to bag all garbage before placing it into the chute.


A study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently found that a majority of municipal waste is recyclable. Many cities now encourage or even require individuals to recycle a portion of their trash. Persuading the occupants of a large office to take part can be difficult due to the extra work required to carry recyclables to a central collection location. Chutes promote recycling by making this process easier. Chutes designed for recycling may be identical to those used for standard garbage collection, with all recyclables deposited into the same chute for sorting later. Some recycling chutes may be constructed with multiple adjacent chutes into which pre-sorted recyclables are placed. This allows different materials, such as newsprint, metal, plastic and office paper, to each fall into a separate collection container for transport to a recycling center.


A high-rise hotel or large hospital generates hundreds of pounds of linens every day, and all of these sheets, blankets and towels must be transported to the laundry for cleaning. A chute to manage linens can facilitate the work of a housekeeping staff in a large hotel or hospital. Connecting each floor directly to the laundry reduces the amount of time required to get the laundry collected, cleaned and ready for reuse. Like garbage, linens usually require bagging to prevent becoming lodged in the chute.


Another common, but less well-known, use for chutes is the removal of debris during building construction or extensive remodeling. Instead of removing debris from a large building by hand using a construction elevator, a trash chute allows gravity to assist in the removal process. A chute used for construction waste is usually temporary and generally must be larger and more sturdy than one used for standard household garbage or linens.

Appropriately designed trash and linen chutes are a necessity of working in today’s large, modern office buildings. By reducing the amount of work needed to get rid of trash and other items, chutes improve the lives of those who work in high-rise buildings.

Trash, recycling, and linen chutes are an innovation that helps to simplify one troublesome aspect of modern living, which, if overlooked, could lead to health and sanitation problems that extend far beyond the scope of a single building. 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.