What NOT To Throw In A Trash Chute

Posted on Jul 15, 2022

Trash chutes are a simple, convenient way to move trash from an apartment, condominium, or office to the dumpster without trekking it down several flights of stairs or through other living areas. Trash chutes are long, horizontal chambers in most multi-level buildings with access points on each floor. Residents can drop trash in the chute on their floor, and it will be safely and discretely carried to the dumpster or trash compactor. However, there are some general guidelines for what should, and should NOT go down the trash chute.

What Not To Put Down The Trash Chute: 

While some apartment buildings, condominiums, or office complexes will have specific rules on how to use the trash chute, the list of what not to put down the trash chute is generally the same. By skipping the trash chute and putting these items directly in the dumpster or base-level garbage, it can keep the chute clean longer, prevent clogs and help prevent additional maintenance. Some items that should never be put down in a trash chute include: 

  • Pizza boxes or other large cardboard boxes that have not been broken down, as these will cause obstructions and could get food waste on the walls of the chute
  • Plants or Christmas trees, living or dead. They can leak sap inside the chute or get stuck 
  • Protruding objects such as hangers, or those that can easily get tangled, like strings of Christmas lights 
  • Loose garbage, like cans, packing boxes, or food waste, can attract pests or damage the trash compactor at the bottom of the chute
  • Flammable items, such as lit cigarettes, aerosol cans that are not empty, or other incendiary items
  • Loose dirty diapers or cat litter, as it will cause smells and is hard to clean 
  • Garbage bags larger than 13 gallons 
  • Loose cleaning products or liquid soap that may get stuck to the walls

What Is Allowed Down A Trash Chute?

The main purpose of a trash chute is to dispose of typical household or office garbage. It is unsanitary to carry bags of trash through residential areas, not to mention unsightly, so the trash chute provides a sanitary way to safely dispose of any garbage.

Any usual household garbage is allowed in a regular sized trash bag, usually about 13-gallon capacity or less. This could include paper products, food waste secured in a bag, bottles, and empty aerosol cans. All domestic waste should be bagged and tied tightly before putting the bag in the chute to prevent lost items or contaminants which may get stuck. 

Tips For Using A Trash Chute: 

  • Be mindful of the time of day you use the chute. Trash chutes can be noisy as the doors are opened and trash drops on several floors. Try to refrain from using the chute late at night or early morning to be courteous to your neighbors. 
  • Ensure your garbage goes all the way and down the chute. If you are concerned the trash chute may be stuck or appears too big for the chute, walk it down to the dumpster. Do not leave trash by the chute door. 
  • Break down cardboard and place it in designated recycling centers (if available.) 
  • Make sure all garbage is bagged and secured tightly so the trash easily slides down the chute and does not leave waste behind on the walls 
  • Use smaller garbage bags to help prevent clogs. Even if you force a large bag, such as a 30-gallon bag, through the trash chute door, it may still get stuck on the way down. Only use bags 13 gallons or smaller.
  • Take your trash out regularly to prevent smells or buildup. 

Schedule Regular Trash Chute Maintenance

If you are the building owner or maintenance, have the chute cleaned regularly and often by a professional cleaning service, such as Airpro Indoor Air Solutions. If you’re ready to schedule regular maintenance or cleaning for the trash chute in your building, contact Airpro Indoor Air Solutions today.

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