Cooperative cleaning, also known as collaborative cleaning, is when building occupants are responsible for emptying their own waste and recycling into communal containers strategically located in common areas. Janitors then collect trash from these larger containers.

This program makes sense because occupants would be emptying trash cans when it’s convenient for them, such as on the way to the restroom break room or exit. They would be going to these places throughout the day anyway — why not bring their trash along as well?

Implementing cooperative cleaning is a huge cost savings for the customer because janitors are spending less time collecting trash. On average it takes one minute to empty one trash receptacle. So, in a large office facility, it would take a janitor nearly two hours to empty 100 cans. For that same facility with cooperative cleaning, janitors will be emptying only a handful of receptacles. They can spend that time cleaning other areas, resulting in less labor time and costs.