6 Pros and Cons of Centralizing Trash Removal


Centralizing trash removal has its pros and cons. Proponents and those who have benefited with centralized trash removal systems argue that the pros outweigh the cons. Critics argue that it isn’t very easy to centralize trash removal and the benefits are disputable. Without getting into opinionated views of either side, it is necessary to look at things objectively.

Companies had started centralizing trash removal in their offices early and late nineties. Many counties, cities and even states had followed suit. Is centralizing trash removal a viable move or it is more hype than substance in reality.

The Pros of Centralizing Trash Removal

1. Operations Are More Efficient.
Trash removal and management can become more organized and efficient with smart centralization. Having fewer trash removal points enables the workforce to be more efficient. They would spend less time on the ground and they would also have a much more convenient job. Imagine a workplace where every workstation has a trash bin. Then imagine another workplace having a trash bin for ten or fifteen odd employees.

There are companies that have a relatively larger trash bin for thirty or more employees. Considering a situation where there could be hundreds or thousands of employees working in a building, centralizing trash removal can cut down the need of trash bins by anywhere from ten times to fifty times. How much time would a custodial take to attend to five hundred trash bins and how much time would one take to empty ten or twenty relatively larger trash bins? The difference is huge. This can easily be broadened and a larger picture of a neighborhood, city or county can be imagined. The impact would be consequential.

2. Less Manpower Required.
The time spent on attending to the trash bins has a financial impact. A company or city administration will need more manpower to attend to individual trash bins whereas centralizing trash bins would require a tenth or fewer of the standard workforces. This would have a huge financial impact. Now, a city administration or a company may choose to reduce the manpower attending to trash removal and save money or the workforce can be deployed for other jobs, now that they have a lot of spare time. Increasing efficiency and cutting costs are two fundamental requisites for better administration or management. Centralizing trash removal can attend to both.

3. Reduces Waste.
It has been seen in several case studies that centralizing trash removal reduces the tonnage of garbage or waste. For some explained and certain unexplained reasons, centralized trash bins despite being larger don’t accumulate enough garbage as decentralized or individual trash removal systems used to accrue. This reduces the cost of haulage, tipping and the infrastructure needed. The environmental impact is also quite desirable. With such direct and indirect consequences, one can only infer that centralizing trash removal is a smart practice.

The Cons of Centralizing Trash Removal

1. Difficult to Function With High Populace.
The adaptability of centralizing trash removal system in every circumstance or scale has been put to question time and again. While its enforcement in workplaces and communities have been proven to be effective, the application on large areas or across cities and states have been proven to be a tad challenging. Every busy thoroughfare and downtown areas are not ideal candidates for the enforcement of such a system. Neighborhoods that have too many residents and even cities that have a sprawling area, much larger than smaller towns, don’t have the same benefit of centralized trash removal system. Individual trash removal is and possibly will remain a reality owing to the varying needs when you move from a micro scenario to a macro picture.

2. Difficult Process to Replicate.
There have been case studies in San Jose, Austin, Seattle, Porter and many other places where it has been proven that centralizing trash removal on smaller scales can be time saving, more efficient and a financial wise practice. But the same is not very easy to replicate on citywide or statewide basis. More experiments or trials are necessary to understand the ground reality and the true implications of such a practice when it comes to large and more populous cities.

3. Adverse Environmental Impact.
There is a possibility that centralizing trash removal may have an adverse environmental impact. By doing away with individual trash bins or being having a much sparsely spread out trash removal channels, one would be encouraged to litter. If not by choice then by compulsion, having limited trash removal points or replacing smaller trash bins with relatively larger but fewer ones will somehow compel people to pay less regard to cleanliness and the environmental impact of their littering. If this can be countered or managed somehow then the ecological impact of having less tonnage of waste or garbage is certainly encouraging. But that cannot come at the cost of unaccounted for waste or garbage that may just be littered here and there, with the possibility of going unnoticed.