Though it may seem obvious, one of the easiest ways for companies to improve employee happiness and morale is to maintain a clean, well-kept office environment. Research has even linked a clean office with increased productivity – as such, businesses have every incentive to keep workspaces tidy.
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a clean office is minimizing bad smells and the potential spread of germs from the food waste in office garbage cans. By using scented or odor-blocking trash bags, as well as providing appropriate garbage cans for different types of office trash, it is relatively easy to make sure that the office always looks clean and smells good.
How do odor-blocking and scented trash bags work?
Odor-blocking trash bags are lined with a layer of carbon to absorb odors, while scented trash bags incorporate scented particles into the plastic that the bag itself is made of. Some bags even use dual action technology, incorporating both scented particles and odor-absorbing carbon particles into the lining of the bag. While odor-absorbing and scented trash bags are certainly effective in eliminating bad smells, it is important to note that they are not able to prevent the spread of germs or kill bacteria from trash cans.
What size trash cans are appropriate around the office?~root~>
Different areas of an office require different types of trash cans. At employees’ desks or cubicles, small trash cans under 4 gallons typically work well. Employees should not dispose of food waste in these smaller desk side wastebaskets, as food waste creates an environment in a trash can where insects and other vectors can grow and spread germs. Instead, employees should throw away food waste in larger kitchen or communal trash cans.
In the kitchen and other communal spaces, larger trash cans are appropriate. Employees should dispose of food waste and all other trash with the potential to rot in these larger trash cans. Since they contain food waste – which has the potential not only to rot, but to create bad odors – these trash cans must be emptied at least every other day. For most offices, 13 gallon trash cans are sufficiently large.
Preventing the spread of bad odors and germs around the office~root~>
Here are some steps to take to prevent the spread of foul odors and germs from the office trash can:
Dispose of food waste in the correct place – not the cubicle garbage bin
Office administrators and managers should remind employees to dispose of all food waste in a kitchen garbage disposal or outside compost bin whenever possible since this is the most effective way to prevent flies and other vectors from making a home in the office garbage bin and to prevent bad smells from decomposing food waste.
Use the correct kitchen trash can and empty trash frequently
However, it is inevitable that some food waste will be disposed of in a larger breakroom or kitchen trash can, creating an excellent environment for possible flies and other vectors to make their home and possibly spread germs. Since foul odors are transmitted from the trash through the air, the best way to contain the spread of bad smells from larger communal and kitchen trash cans, and to prevent the growth of flies which spread germs, is to use trash cans with lids and empty the trash frequently.
Clean kitchen trash cans when dirty
Use an odor blocking or scented trash bag
Though using a lid on larger trash cans can help reduce odor, it is also helpful to use an odor blocking or scented garbage bag. Though a scented or odor blocking trash bag is not as important for smaller cubicle trash cans, they can still add a nice touch to your office environment.
Be mindful of what is put in a cubicle trash bin
Since cubicle trash cans are not typically used to dispose of food waste which has the potential to rot, it usually is not necessary to worry very much about germs spreading from them. As such, it is safe to reuse cubicle trash bags. However, the maintenance crew should still replace trash bags around once a month and clean the trash can itself as necessary.
Though it is almost always safe to reuse cubicle trash bags, employees who are sick should not do so. Since odor-controlling trash bags cannot prevent the spread of germs and colds in the office, employees who are disposing of used tissues in cubicle and deskside trash cans should have the trash bag replaced. Used tissues should be disposed of in a trash can as soon as possible. Furthermore, sick employees should stay home and not go to work.
Replace trash cans when worn out
Over time, trash cans will eventually get worn out and need to be replaced. When a trash can gets cracked or its lid stops working, it should be disposed of and replaced. Though they are more expensive, metal trash cans tend to be more durable than most plastic trash cans.