Mike Eller, President, Populist Cleaning Co


I’m in and out of many different kinds of facilities on a regular basis. Some are buildings that we service and some are not. In my travels I often pick up tips that can be helpful to use in other places.
I observed one of the most interesting policies to date, just recently. I visited a 500,000 square foot office building that had a total of 4 floors with about 200 people on each floor. This company has a policy of no trash cans at individual desks – cubicles or offices! No trash cans! No trash! Well not quite…..they have 6 larger trash receptacles strategically placed throughout common areas of each floor. So that’s 24 trash receptacles instead of 500.
Yes, quite progressive I would say in as much as we service some 80 facilities, and I have not seen this policy implemented before.
Additionally, several of our customers have a strict policy of no food or drink in individual wastebaskets. Their staff must take food and drink trash to the kitchen and dispose of it there.

Pros of an office wide no-food policy outside of break rooms:

  • reduced cost for trash liners
  • sell or donate your trash receptacles
  • less time and money spent on paying your cleaning vendor to empty all the cans
  • less eating at desks-which of course has multiple benefits (less eating and sitting , fewer possible creatures and foul odors)
  • encourages staff to get up and walk to the common area trash receptacles
  • less chance of a leaky trash liner dripping liquid on carpet – all of which contributes to the over all sanitation of the work place
  • encourages cleaner habits throughout your work force facility

Cons of an office wide no-food policy outside of break rooms:

  • I can’t eat at my desk
  • I have to walk to the trash can….umm are these really so bad?
  • I can’t think of any more!!
Some might say “well that’s ok for a large building, but we have a small office,” or “that would never fly in this building.” Certainly there would be some challenges to implementing such policies, but with careful thought, consideration, presentation and execution, this type of change could go a long way toward improving the cleanliness of a facility, creating responsible habits and instilling a culture of productivity.
We’d be happy to help you initiate change that can benefit you in ways that are obvious and sometimes not so obvious.