Trash management in a warehouse can be costly and can generate unnecessary expenses.
That is because warehouse trash cans are expensive, large, heavy, and take up space on the warehouse floor. Forklifts and other powered industrial trucks must also navigate around trash cans, and many cans end up being hit, crushed, or broken by warehouse vehicles.
A better and more affordable alternative to traditional rubber trash cans is the racksack® trash receptacle. The rack sack hangs from an upright frame, optimizing space and keeping trash away from warehouse traffic. Learn more about racksack and how it can save your company money below.
WHAT IS A RACK SACK?
The rack sack is a reusable trash receptacle for industrial workplaces. It hangs from the upright frame using S hooks and is made from tough, waterproof polyester. The Rack Sack, made by Beaverswood in the UK, and sold in Canada and the US by Lean Inc is available in 14 standard text designs and five international designs, which can be used for almost any recyclable material. See it on the WarehouseIQ.com Store.
HOW DOES THE RACK SACK SAVE MONEY?
The Rack Sack offers unique features that solve many of the problems that come with traditional trash bins. These are discussed in greater detail below.
TRASH BINS TAKE UP WAREHOUSE SPACE
Warehouse space must be used efficiently and effectively to maximize productivity. Trash bins are often heavy, large, and sit on the floor. Money is spent maintaining the trash bins, but the warehouse space the containers take up also has value. Warehouses must determine if the value of the trash bin outweighs the cost of the space it uses.
Warehouse space has a value based on the lease cost of land. This can be calculated by the circumference of the opening of the trash can divided by two multiplied by itself (squared) and then multiplied by π (3.14159265).
Here is an example:
The 55-gallon Rubbermaid Brute Trash Can is 33” tall by 26” wide.
To calculate the square footage of this trash can, take 26” and divide it by 2 = 13”. Then multiply 13” by itself = 169. Now, multiply it by π (3.14159265) to get the number of square inches = 530.9. To get square feet, divide that number by 144”, which equals 3.68 square feet.
If the cost for warehouse space is $18 per square foot per year, then the storage of the trash bin is equal to 66.36 dollars per year in land use. Although this may not seem like a substantial amount, it adds up over time, and the space can be better used for something that turns a profit instead.
TRASH BIN PURCHASE IS COSTLY
Trash bins are often hit, crushed, or broken by forklifts and other material handling equipment. Therefore, warehouse managers must also invest in frequent replacements.
It is recommended to place a trash can at the end of each aisle, so that warehouse workers do not have too far to walk to dispose of trash. A 55-gallon trash can costs approximately $100 each. If a warehouse has more than ten aisles, then this represents over $1,000 worth of expenditure to purchase trash cans.
TRASH CANS NEED TO BE REPLACED REGULARLY
The life cycle of a trash can depends on how it is used and whether it is cleaned regularly. However, it is not unusual to replace a trash bin every five years.
Based on a $100 purchase price, a five-year replacement schedule will equal $20 multiplied by the number of trash cans in the building per year. If there are ten trash cans in the building, the replacement cost would be approximately $200 per year.
TRASH CANS ARE HEAVY AND HARD TO HANDLE
A 55-gallon trash bin can hold more than 55 gallons of refuse. Warehouse trash predominantly comprises stretch wrap, broken pallet pieces, cardboard, and twine. These are not heavy-weighted items, so a 55-gallon trash can will likely weigh no more than 100 lbs. when filled with trash.
Transporting 100 lbs. of trash in a 55-gallon trash can is not easy. The way the handles are placed makes it inconvenient to pick up. It requires a warehouse worker to bend over at the waist and lift an awkward load or drag the trash can behind them.
55-Gallon trash cans are low to the ground and hard to see
Standard 55-gallon trash cans are 33 inches tall (slightly less than 3 ft). A warehouse worker between 5 and 6 ft tall would have to look down to see a trash can. It may also be challenging to see if that trash can is not placed in the line of sight.
Putting signs or print words on rubber or plastic trash cans can be challenging, but this is vital to improving trash segregation. The words may also need to be in several languages. Without signs, there is a high likelihood of having trash placed in the wrong garbage, making recycling difficult.
THE TRUE COST OF A TRASH BIN
Calculating the cost of a trash bin involves looking at the replacement cost of a trash can and the land cost of storing it based on the square footage it consumes.
SAMPLE COST BREAKDOWN OF A WAREHOUSE TRASH CAN:
With a land cost of $66.36 per year and a replacement cost of $20 per year (based on a five-year life cycle), the final price of a 55-gallon trash bin would be approximately $86.36. This number would be multiplied by the number of trash cans in the facility. If there are ten trash cans in the warehouse, the annual cost to purchase rubber trash cans would be over $860 per year.
WHY IS THE RACK SACK BETTER THAN A 55-GALLON TRASH BIN?
The Rack Sack is suspended from the end frame of a racking system. Because it does not sit on the ground, it does not consume warehouse floor space. This reduces or eliminates the cost of storage. In addition, the Rack Sack is less likely to be struck and damaged by industrial trucks such as a forklift or an order picker, which minimizes replacement fees.
The Rack Sack carries 42 gallons of trash and has easy-to-read labeling, making trash segregation simple. It is made from waterproof polyester and weighs only 2 lbs. when empty. This makes it lighter to pick up and carry than a 55-gallon trash bin.
The Rack Sack also comes with various signage stenciled on the side. Options include:
- Blank, aluminum, wood & timber, building material, electrical, general waste, litterman symbol – no text, plastic only symbol – no text, and various other combinations.
The Rack Sack costs $49.50. Therefore, in addition to saving warehouses money on space and maintenance, it costs half the price of a 55-gallon trash bin. Because it is affordable, this also means that more can be purchased to collect trash around the warehouse.
Why would you want to have more trash receptacles around a warehouse?
Having more trash receptacles in a warehouse ensures that workers can dispose of waste efficiently and adequately.
For example, forklift operators often have a box cutter on hand to remove the stretch wrap from pallets. The operator will usually stow the stretch wrap on them until they find a place to dispose of it. Having additional trash receptacles around the facility allows operators to dispose of trash quickly and easily.
Clear labeling on the Rack Sack also ensures things are disposed of properly. For example, when the stretch wrap is left on the floor, there is the risk of it being picked up by material handling equipment. The stretch wrap can wrap itself around the underside of equipment and bind the motors. Removing this can be tricky and often involves hiring a technician to clean it out. And if it is not found in time, it can permanently damage the motor, catch fire, or stop the machine from working. In addition, forklift technicians can cost upwards of $130 per hour, so not disposing of trash properly can accrue additional, hefty fees. As such, multiple trash receptacles can improve efficiency and cleanliness, minimize needless walking, and may reduce repair costs for warehouse equipment.