Here in Michigan, it can get a little on the windy side, particularly during certain months of the year, and that can make for challenges with trash collection. Here are some things it helps to remember when the wind starts gusting.
Tip #1 Bag All Your Trash
This is honestly the one step you can take that will make the most difference to keeping your neighborhood clean on a windy day. Why? Well, it’s pretty simple. Loose trash in your cart will easily blow out when the lid gets lifted. Bagged trash is far less likely to blow out of the cart on a windy day and when it is being emptied.
(A bonus is that bagging your trash also means loose trash won’t stick to the bottom of your cart when it is emptied.)
So, does it make sense to bag everything? Not always. If you’re putting a bulky item like a toaster or a blender in your cart for disposal, putting it in a bag might not work very well. On the other hand, we would have to get some pretty monster gusts to blow a toaster out of your cart.
Tip #2 Don’t Overfill
Overfilling trash and recycling carts means cart lids don’t close all the way. And when your lid is ajar, it’s a lot easier for the wind to catch it, blow it open and blow things out of your cart. To help ensure lids stay closed and items or bags aren’t easily lifted by a strong gust of wind or knocked out of the cart, try to put only those items in your cart that fit. That may not always be possible, but most of the time it should be. If your service includes extra bags outside of the cart, be sure to put those bags next to the cart on a windy day, rather than piling them in a full cart and leaving the lid propped up.
Tip #3 Place Heavier Items on Top
Putting lighter items or bags in the bottom of your cart and placing heavier bags or items on top of those will add some security. Weighing items down will help ensure they don’t get blown or knocked out of the cart.
Tip #4 Put Your Cart Back
Keeping your cart in the safety of your garage or carport or up near your house will help protect it from the wind. You don’t want to wait until you think your trash will be collected to put it out at the street, because you could miss the truck. (Remember, you have a collection day, not a collection time, and your truck could come at any point during the day. Find out more here.) However, you should bring your cart back in from the street as soon as you can after it’s emptied. An empty cart will blow over or blow away with a strong gust of wind and putting it back quickly will help lessen the chance of that happening.
Tip #5 Give Your Driver a Break
We always try to do our best to make sure we’re picking up trash that flies out of your cart. We also do what we can to ensure your cart is put back upright and in a position that’s not blocking your driveway. But it’s important to remember that your drivers are human and wind can be a challenging force. If you come home on a windy day and find your cart on its side in your driveway or in the street, you can probably assume your driver didn’t leave it that way. And if you have a bunch of loose paper or other scraps in your cart, they may get away from us when we’re emptying the cart. Please be patient with your drivers and know they’re doing the best they can.