We’ve all encountered a situation where we need to dispose of a bottle or can but have not finished drinking the liquid inside. With few choices besides dumping the water on the ground (which is not really a choice in indoor spaces) you are forced to throw away the entire bottle, liquids included, creating problems for custodial staff. If you are carrying a reusable bottle, you must find a washroom or sink in which to empty the liquids, pour the liquid into a trash bin, or else drink very quickly.
This experience is most prevalent in airports and transportation terminals where passengers are required to empty their liquids before passing through security. You will often see bins full of plastic bottles, many still with liquids inside, sitting in, on, or around the waste bin.
This act poses several issues. If a bottle still has liquid in it, it means that bottle cannot be properly recycled and will end up in the landfill. This is bad for the environment, as well as your facility’s sustainability efforts. If a person is carrying a personal re-usable bottle, they will simply pour the liquid into the trash bin. This bag full of liquid, if mixed with items such as organics in your bin, can create unpleasant odors. When mixed with other absorbent items such as paper or cardboard, the contents will expand and become more cumbersome to dispose of. Worse still, if the bag gets a hole in it, the leak can cause even more of a mess for maintenance staff to clean up.
Another disadvantage of having liquids in your waste containers is that it can make the bin heavier. Contractors that facilities hire to remove waste often charge by weight. Therefore, a heavy bin full of liquid will cost more money to remove.
An obvious solution is to offer somewhere that bottles can be emptied before they are thrown out. Unfortunately, most public waste and recycling bins are not conveniently placed beside a sink or drain. The solution? A portable liquid disposal bin that users can empty their bottles into anywhere in a public space, which can then be moved elsewhere and drained by maintenance staff.
When procuring a liquid disposal bin, consider finding one with the following features:
- A grate/screen at the top so that only liquids fall through, not bottles or other debris
- Front opening door for easy access by maintenance staff
- Wheels with locking castors so the bin can be moved from a collection area to a disposal drain
- A sturdy inner container with a valve at the bottom that easily drains and does not leak when sealed
- A window so that staff can monitor the level of liquid collected in the inner tank
- Clear graphics that show where and how to dispose of the liquids
- A handle or similar feature to make it easier to push from one place to the other. Liquid is heavy!
Liquid bins should be placed at the beginning and end of security lines to ensure people dispose of their liquids while moving through line. In other public spaces, consider placing a liquid bin in spaces where people often have drinks, such as concession areas. Always make sure to pair your liquid bin with other waste and recycling containers so that people can also dispose of their bottles or cans.
Whether you offer a single bin for all waste, or a multi-stream container to separate different materials for recycling will depend on the needs and demands of each individual facility. A movable unit will allow personnel to adjust the location of the units quickly and easily as needs evolve.
Arconas offers a wide range of waste and recycling bins, including an easy-to-use Liquid Disposal Bin. For more information about Arconas’ Liquid Disposal Bin, visit our product page here or contact us for a personal consultation.