If you consider your garbage and recycling containers to be eyesores—whether they’re cans, dumpsters, or other types of waste containers—the best way to cover them up is with a wood trash enclosure. Wood trash enclosures are a smart and elegant solution for keeping trash out of sight while protecting it from vermin, vandalism, and more. If you’d like to keep your trash “private,” here’s how to choose the right wooden trash enclosure.
Find the Right Space
First, consider where you want to keep your cans or dumpster until trash day. You might already have a spot for them right now—somewhere between the house and street or alley where they rest until pick-up day. This might still work, but first, decide whether it’s the best spot for a fenced-in area. Make sure it allows for easy access for the collectors or permits you to easily add trash and retrieve and transport the receptacle to the curb (or wherever). You should ensure it’s built on your property as well, otherwise, you may find yourself facing a warning or fine from your hometown or words from an annoyed neighbor! Of course, the biggest selling point of trash enclosures is their beauty. If the trash must be kept in a hidden and out-of-the-way spot, consider whether it’s worth setting up an elaborate enclosure where no one can see it.
Measure, Measure, Measure
Before purchasing or building a wood trash enclosure, measure everything: the space it will occupy and the containers themselves. Consider length, width, depth, and the room required to open any doors or lids in front, on top, or in back. If the trash is picked up by a garbage collection service, make sure there’s enough room for the truck and employees to maneuver around and retrieve your trash. It may well be that your local government already has a set of stipulations for trash enclosures. Consult with the building or similar department to see if they can provide you with any data that will help you to pick or build an enclosure. Another aspect to consider is that an enclosure shouldn’t just be treated like a box you can pick up and put down over the trash. It needs to be secured to the ground, so it can’t be dislodged, blown over, or otherwise moved. You may need to put down concrete pilings, so check the ground’s quality and note how hard it will be to dig and pour.
When deciding how to choose the right wooden trash enclosure, keep materials in mind. For the purposes of this blog, we’re addressing wood trash enclosures, but there are other materials available, each with its pros and cons. Chain link fences are protective but barely hide the trash, which defeats the purpose of the device. Vinyl can look sharp but is subject to damage, while metal containers provide beauty and protection but are pricier and harder to build. Finally, concrete can provide a great deal of protection but is even more expensive than metal. Wood, on the other hand, looks gorgeous, provides protection, and it remains the most affordable alternative even though it requires periodic maintenance and upkeep. Cedar is an excellent choice because it resists moisture and stands up to all weather when treated. Cedar is also more easily customized to your needs.
Keep Critters in Mind
Beyond attractiveness, one of the other big things people look for in trash enclosures is defense against vermin and other animals looking for a free meal. Be sure that your cans and dumpsters stay shut and prevent odors from getting out and attracting the attention of opossums, raccoons, rats, mice, squirrels, dogs, deer, bears, or whatever your local garbage pest is. A pleasantly scented wood can cover up the smell of trash, but even so, make sure the cans can be sealed or even locked into the enclosures until collection day. Naturally, some materials are more easily damaged or chewed through than others, but if you keep the scent of garbage trapped, you’ll attract far fewer varmints.
It All Adds Up
No doubt, the economics of building a trash enclosure have occurred to you. Crunch the numbers to evaluate how secure a container you need. With less-frequent trash pick-ups, because you’re located farther from “civilization,” it may be more important to protect your trash from even larger animals. If you don’t generate much trash, you may not need a large enclosure. Materials, of course, can dictate costs. Talk about your needs with us and we’ll quote you the best price we can!
Keep It Clean
Trash enclosures are great for keeping trash out of sight, but that doesn’t mean they should be kept out of mind. Keep on top of any nastiness that can leave your trash enclosure smelling foul or looking bad. When trash falls from the cans and into the enclosure, pick it up and dispose of it before it settles and potentially stains or sticks to the wood. Sop up grease and water with paper towels or newspapers and use a solution of water and baking soda or vinegar to scrub out the smell and stain. Make sure you get all the water, however, and don’t allow it to set or pool around the corners and edges to prevent rot. Check your enclosure for damage or stains whenever you throw away trash and schedule a monthly clean-up using the above techniques. When you do clean take extra precautions by wearing a mask and rubber gloves. Garbage tends to breed more bacteria and other badness, especially during the hotter and stickier months. Plus, your nose will appreciate your consideration. Add a spritz or three of disinfectant afterward as well. Nothing too delicious smelling though!
If you need a few more ideas about the best design or material for your wood trash enclosure, feel free to contact us to ask questions or receive a consultation. We may already have the perfect one for you and your backyard, alley, or other areas around your home. You can reach us through our site or call us at (646) 933-0736, or Toll-Free at (888) 982-0435.