When winter rolls in with its blanket of snow and icy temperatures, managing trash removal becomes more challenging. In Cedar Rapids, where the winters can be particularly harsh, it’s crucial to adapt our trash removal strategies to ensure that our waste is disposed of efficiently and safely. Here are some practical tips to help you manage trash removal during these cold and snowy months.
1. Keep Bins Accessible
Snow and ice can make it difficult for waste removal services to access your bins. Here’s how you can keep them accessible:
- Clear a Path: Regularly shovel a path from your storage area to the curb. This not only makes it easier for you to take out the trash but also ensures that waste management personnel can safely and efficiently access your bins.
- Avoid Snow Banks: Placing bins behind or on top of snow banks can make them inaccessible. Always place bins in a cleared area.
- Visibility is Key: With shorter days and longer nights, visibility can be an issue. Consider placing a reflective marker near your bins so they are easily seen in low-light conditions.
2. Protect Your Bins from the Elements
The cold can make plastic brittle and prone to cracking. Protect your bins with these tips:
- Store Bins Properly: When not in use, store bins in a garage or shed. This protects them from the severe cold, which can weaken the plastic and lead to cracks.
- Be Mindful of Contents: Avoid pouring liquid waste into bins. In freezing temperatures, liquids can solidify and make the bin too heavy to move or cause damage to the bin itself.
3. Safe Disposal of Winter Specific Waste
Winter brings specific types of waste like rock salt bags, broken sleds, and holiday wrapping. Dispose of these appropriately:
- Recycle When Possible: Check local guidelines for recycling materials like cardboard and certain plastics used in winter-specific products.
- Dispose of Salt Bags Properly: Empty salt bags can often be recycled, but check with your local recycling center first.
- Broken Winter Gear: Items like broken sleds, which are often made of plastic or metal, should be disposed of according to local regulations. They might require special handling or be eligible for recycling.
4. Schedule and Timing
Winter weather can disrupt normal trash pickup schedules. Here’s how to stay on top of it:
- Stay Informed: Keep an eye on local announcements for any changes in trash pickup schedules due to severe weather.
- Set Reminders: With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget trash day. Setting reminders can help ensure you don’t miss it.
5. Consider the Weight of Your Trash
Snow and wet conditions can make trash heavier. Keep these pointers in mind:
- Avoid Overloading: Ensure that your trash bags are not too heavy to lift, especially when wet snow gets packed into them.
- Secure Your Trash: Windy winter conditions can scatter trash. Secure lids on bins and use sturdy bags to prevent litter.
6. Keep Safety in Mind
Navigating icy conditions while handling trash requires extra caution:
- Use Salt or Sand: Regularly apply salt or sand on the path to your trash bins to prevent slipping.
- Wear Proper Footwear: Shoes with good traction can prevent falls when carrying out the trash.
Let Us Help You!
Dealing with trash removal during the winter months in Cedar Rapids requires a bit more effort and planning. By keeping bins accessible, protecting them from the elements, staying informed about schedule changes, and being mindful of safety, you can ensure that your trash is handled efficiently and safely throughout the season. Remember, these small efforts contribute significantly to maintaining a clean and safe community during the winter months. Stay warm and safe!