Trash Chute Tips and Tricks

Job sites in the construction industry can generate large amounts of trash and debris and quickly become cluttered. This is where a trash chute comes in.

High-rise buildings may also implement trash chutes so residents can easily send their trash to a dumpster on the ground. Trash chutes are great for safely, practically and conveniently disposing of trash and debris at work sites. As a contractor, you may want to incorporate a trash chute in your construction company’s process. This article covers the tips and tricks you need to know for using a trash chute and how to unclog it, along with maintenance and common problems you may encounter.

What Is a Trash Chute?

Also known as a garbage chute or a debris chute, a trash chute facilitates the removal of trash, concrete and discarded construction products via a long, flexible tube between the top of the building to a dumpster on the ground. Several sections join together, and workers use a top hopper to feed the trash into the tube. A longer trash chute often has a door at every floor level or in the middle of the structure, so workers can access these areas to clear blockages. 

The National Fire Protection Agency regulates the maintenance, design and installation of trash chutes. At International Equipment, we can also design trash chutes using our system scaffold and plywood if you would prefer an alternative to traditional chutes. Workers simply dump discarded items and trash into the chute and gravity does the rest.

How to Unclog a Trash Chute and Clean It

How to Unclog a Trash Chute and Clean It

To keep your trash chute functional, you may need to remove a blockage or unclog the chute. This is one of the most common problems that high-rise buildings face when using trash chutes. A blockage can occur when someone throws large piles of debris or trash into the chute that prevent waste from passing through and result in the accumulation of waste inside the chute. 

Typically, a blockage is caused by tenants or workers tossing inappropriate items into the tube, such as oversized cardboard, pizza boxes or large blocks of concrete. Any protruding material can block your trash chute and cause problems. Considering the design of a trash chute, unclogging the inside may be challenging without the necessary equipment. If you have a blocked trash chute, you can take a few steps to clear the system:

  • Inspect the trash chute: First, assess the trash chute to locate the blockage. Once you know where the blockage is, you can determine how to remove the waste.
  • Determine how to remove the waste: Next, figure out the best way to remove the trash. For example, you can try pushing the waste if you believe it won’t damage or tear the chute. Additionally, you can pull out the trash and rearrange it into smaller pieces before sending it back through the chute.
  • Clean the chute: After the blockage is removed, be sure to keep the chute cleaned to prevent problems in the future. Depending on how frequently your trash chute is used, you may want to clean it a few times a year. By deep cleaning the trash chute, you can reduce the odds of a disease outbreak and prevent pest infestations. To clean your trash chute, use a combination of degreasing cleaners, sanitizers and high-pressure water. 
  • Clean the trash room: Additionally, clear out the trash room located at the bottom of your garbage chute to prevent a breeding ground for pests from forming. 

In some cases, it can be difficult to determine the exact location of the blockage. In this situation, it’s best not to pull or push out any waste, as this could lead to complications. Instead, we recommend hiring a professional experienced in trash chute services. A professional can help remove the blockage in your chute and deliver the proper maintenance procedures to keep your chute working appropriately. A professional trash chute cleaner can also keep your system clean and safer.

Regular Maintenance

Proper, regular maintenance can prevent trash chute blockage. Maintenance includes activities intended to preserve the trash chute’s condition. Cleaning and sanitizing are the most effective, economical options for regularly maintaining a trash chute. If your trash chute is damaged, you may need to fix or replace some parts. If you are unsure how to maintain or repair your trash chute, consult a professional for assistance.

Regular Maintenance

Maintaining a trash chute helps prolong its life span, as it reduces the odds of the tube being damaged. Well-maintained trash chutes improve the air quality and deter rodents and pests. Every tenant should learn what they can and cannot throw down the trash chute to prevent blockages and foul odors. 

Additionally, be sure to maintain the doors of the trash chutes. There are doors on both ends that you should inspect regularly, especially the hinges and latches. Ensure the door creates a seal when closed to keep germs and odors in and prevent flame or smoke from spreading if a fire occurs.

Other Common Problems Encountered

Beyond blockages, common problems encountered with trash chutes include:

  • Wear and tear: Though a trash chute has a long life span, it can show signs of deterioration and damage as a result of normal wear and tear. Additionally, your trash chute may not function appropriately without proper maintenance. If your chute requires repairs due to wear and tear, you may want to enlist the help of a professional who can replace the chute lining.
  • Toxicity: Cleaning agents, liquid soap and disinfectants should not be disposed of down the trash chute. These chemicals could mix with others in the tube and create toxic fumes. Empty aerosol containers and cans are the only cleaning agents that can safely be disposed of down the receptacle. 

You may also encounter other common problems with a trash chute, such as:

  • Mold
  • Rodents
  • Bacteria 
  • Roaches
  • Bad odors
  • Mosquitoes

These problems tend to arise due to blockages in a trash chute. When blockages occur, the garbage that has built up in the chute could begin to rot. This rot could create an unpleasant odor. Beyond the odor, this built-up waste could also become a breeding ground for pests like rats and mosquitoes. Bacteria can also spread quickly from this rotting waste, and these issues could lead to the risk of infection.

Learn More About Our Trash Chute Offerings

If you need a reliable supplier of debris chute rentals, look no further than International Equipment. We are a leading provider of trash chutes and scaffolding equipment. Our extensive product knowledge lets us assist you with any project. From Chicago, we provide expert service, quality and safety. With our expertise, we can respond to jobs faster and react quickly to emergencies with accuracy and a positive attitude. 

Our experience enables us to customize and adapt our solutions to every job. With our assistance, you can rest assured that your project will meet the highest safety and quality standards. Contact us at International Equipment to learn more about our garbage chute offerings.

Learn More About Our Trash Chute Offerings