As facilities take stock of their trash can liners, they are also beginning to pay closer attention to their receptacles.

“When managers are buying trash cans, they should make sure to buy ones that have recycled content in them,” urges Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group. “Also make sure they’re the right size, and durable. They’ll have lower environmental impacts because they won’t have to be replaced as frequently.”

Ashkin is also seeing facilities such as airports and municipal buildings using trash cans that compress garbage, thereby extending the time between pickups and reducing the number of trash liners used.

And in office buildings, Mark Petruzzi, senior vice president of outreach and strategic relations for Green Seal, is seeing companies downsizing trash cans in an effort to promote recycling.

“Some of the greener facilities are using a system where the trash container is the size of a cereal box, and the recycling bin is the size of a traditional trash can,” he says. “The trash container hangs over the edge of the recycling bin to encourage occupants to reduce their trash and increase recycling.”

These forms of behavior modification, along with occupant education, can augment facilities’ efforts to eliminate unnecessary liners, thereby supporting greener, more sustainable waste management programs. n