We see time and time again the problem of communal refuse areas within shared developments being misused. This is usually within residential apartment blocks, although just as possible within business premises as well; it’s an issue that can suddenly escalate to critical and end up creating complications for those involved.
Take a recent example of an outside bin store area at a new-build residential development with apartment blocks. Within a week over a busy holiday period rubbish piled up so high that not only was it causing health and hygiene issues, but the usual bin collection by the local authority had stopped because they simply could not access the area.
So nothing else is being removed, more rubbish continues to pile up (and in actual fact can attract more when left untidy), and various residents and related contractors becoming concerned about how to find the culprit and quickly deal with the issue.
To effectively resolve, it’s often a team effort and in particular 5 different interests:
- Cleaners – We appreciate the role of cleaners, and the reality that they’re often the supplier attending site most frequently, and needing to provide a service that clearly has visible results. Although the general clear and upkeep of such refuse areas is often not within their usual remit, they can at least visually check and immediately report any emerging issues.
This can even include details of individuals seen causing the rubbish or contact details left on any packaging, all within effective data protection procedures, and they can help with any easy-wins such as moving large items away or simple collection of items in bin bags.
- Landscapers – Whoever is maintaining outside areas, usually a form of gardener or landscaper, is often the best supplier to maintain and clean the communal bin store areas, even if within internal areas like basement car parks. They’re used to getting their hands dirty so to speak, and can usually arrange suitable removal of rubbish through authorised means.
Therefore make sure they’re regularly checking as well as reacting to issues within these areas, can help report any potential culprits, and arrange any additional measures such as skips and drain clears.
- Refuse Collectors – This is often the local authority with residential properties, or private suppliers for commercial premises. Unfortunately they often only literally clear what bins they can easily access, excluding any piled-up rubbish, and needing room to move any bins on wheels to their vehicles.
In addition to making sure this can happen on set collection days, be ready for those times when they can’t, and any additional call-out clears needed by them or other suppliers, and any basis of amended charges to reflect a reduced service.
- Handymen – They’re worth their weight in gold to help problem solve, whether it’s quickly fixing a lock and hinge on a gate, installing signs and notices, or simply checking and helping co-ordinate matters.
Sometimes other contractors will try and muscle in on these roles for an additional source of business, but always make sure they have the correct skill set, response time, and fair rates before going ahead.
- Property & Facilities Managers – They’re the glue to effectively running a property, and where the buck often stops. They ideally should have good communication lines to each contractor, and clearly state where contractors need to work and communicate directly together, and being clear with Purchase Orders and requirements.
Little things like contractors helping to take photos on site of the messed-up area in question, and being easily able to update concerned residents and occupiers is key, often all within a tight timescale and budget.
The ideal situation for a nice clear bin store area is therefore to be ahead of the game and pro-active, and reduce the likelihood of rubbish even piling up in the first place. Effective communication to all occupiers and parties, regular checks, and a good team on standby to nip in the bud early on can work a treat.
However, when you’re left to react to a messy communal bin store area, maybe after a holiday period where residents are home with visitors and leaving more rubbish, then don’t panic. Deal quickly and effectively through a combined approach, and make sure it doesn’t escalate further, with the root cause then being identified and dealt with.
Easy Cleaners are local cleaners with an active blog of tips and tricks for commercial and domestic cleaning.More