When I started out in managing a short-term rental, I faced the major challenge of the trash and recycling cans in the garage being a mess. They were often very smelly, with liquids leaking from containers that had been tossed into the receptacles. After sitting for days, or even for a few hours in the garage during the hot summer months, the odor got out of hand.
To solve this issue, I first put signs in the garage above the bins to notify guests to put all trash and recycling into plastic garbage bags. I ordered a “Please Put All Trash In Plastic Bags” sign from Amazon.
If a sign isn’t available, it’s inexpensive to create one and it’s a one-time expense if created properly. I’ve used these sites in the past:
While the signs worked, for the most part, I still had situations where a guest or two would overlook the signs. I wanted to solve the issue once and for all.
The best solution I’ve found is to put trash can liners in the receptacle and secure with an industrial rubber band. This solution can be implemented by providing checklists to your cleaning company of choice to ensure liners are installed before each new guest checks in. (I’m very much a fan of checklists and will blog more about this topic in the future.)
Here is the process behind what we do at our property:
1) Firstly, determine which size trash & recycling receptacles you have. Usually, recycling cans are 64-65 gallons, while garbage cans are 95-96 gallons.
2) Purchase the correct size and thickness of receptacle liners. This will vary based on the size of your trash and recycling cans and you can get varying thicknesses. I settled on a 1.5 mil thickness because it seemed to be the best balance of both product cost and resulting thickness where the bags did not tear too easily.
3) Purchase the correct size rubber bands. This will vary based on the size of your trash and recycling receptacles.
The information below is in regard to the products I currently use and are non-affiliate links. I do not generate revenue in any way from sharing these recommendations and products.
Here are links to the liner bags I purchase:
Here are links to the rubber bands I purchase:
You’ll need to keep a stock of the liners. For each guest rental, the cost of this solution is under $2 for both bags for me. The rubber bands are re-usable and don’t require repurchasing. However, I recommend keeping some spares handy in case a rubber band breaks. This solution is well worth it for me to keep the garage smelling fresh and clean in general. This is something you can factor into the cleaning fee price you charge for your rental (along with your cleaning company average expenses + cleaning products, etc).
Between having the signs mounted in the garage, and the liners added to the rental trash and recycling bins, I’ve had no issues with smelly and messy cans in my garage for the last year!
Keeping the garage clean and fresh is important to me as a business and property owner. This is a great benefit for the guest check-in process. The last thing I would imagine anyone would want to come into when the check-in welcome area is a smelly garage.