Top 10 “Enemies” of Outdoor Waste Containers

Commercial Zone Blog

February 28, 2020

Top 10 “Enemies” of Outdoor Waste Containers

Outdoor waste containers put up with a lot. Not only do they have the undesirable job of collecting our messiest trash, they also have to endure external abuses that cause damage and dings. Following is part one of a 2-part series listing the Top 10 things that can affect the life and appearance of waste containers.

Top 10 Enemies Hero


Most everyone loves sunshine. It elevates the mood, bronzes the skin and greens up the grass. While humans and other living things benefit from sunlight, those same rays can break down certain plastics used outdoors. That’s because sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which according to the United States Plastics Corp., “causes a photochemical effect within the polymer structure, which can lead to degradation of some sort to the material.” For those choosing outdoor waste containers that will be exposed to direct sunlight, it’s critical that the material used be formulated to withstand UV rays. PolyTec™ trash container sare built from graffiti-resistant polyethylene that won’t rust, dent or chip to withstand the harshest environments.


Unlike plastics, metals are not broken down by the UV rays from the sun. While UV rays won’t get them, the sun’s heat might. Temperature changes can create problems in inferior waste containers, even if they’re metal. Heat causes metals to expand; cold causes those same metals to constrict. That expansion and contraction of the metal puts stress on welded connection points and can lead to breakdown of the structure. Direct sunlight is no match for StoneTec® receptacles – the natural stone finish is unaffected by heat or cold, and feature a unique satin finish that makes every piece easy to maintain for a lifetime of beauty.


Keeping sidewalks and parking lots free of ice is important for the safety of guests and employees. The same chloride-based ice melt products that are efficient for creating safer walking surfaces could also be eating away at uncoated or poorly coated metal waste containers. The chloride in the ice melt product interacts with the metal to create an electrochemical reaction that causes oxidation, which leads to rust. If metal containers are preferred in areas prone to ice, consider corrosion-resistant stainless steel, like those in the Precision Series®.


Damage from things like lawnmowers, string trimmers, snow shovels and snow blowers is common with outdoor waste containers. Even if employees and crews are instructed to avoid striking items outside, it’s virtually impossible to ensure the receptacles won’t be damaged by maintenance equipment.


Indoor smoking bans are taking their toll on outdoor waste containers. Customers often use the sides and tops of these receptacles to extinguish their cigarettes, which can leave burn marks and more on plastic units. Since it’s not practical to post a guard alongside the waste container to make sure it’s not used to snuff out a lighted cigarette, the next best thing is to add a container built for that purpose, like the Smoker’s Outpost®. These units feature a patented oxygen-restricting design that extinguishes cigarettes quickly without sand or water. And, the Smoker’s Outpost helps keep cigarette butts off the concrete and burn marks off the waste container.

Every Commercial Zone waste container is built with durable materials tested and proved to withstand the environment for which it was designed. They’re also built to look and function great.

COMING NEXT: The Complete List, Waste Container “Enemies” 6-10