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Do you know how to can it?

Trash Talk:

  • When trash collectors went on strike for 17 days in New York in 1981 the Big Apple was literally filled with trash.
  • Although garbage collectors in Greece are said to go on strike dozens of time every year, things came to a head in 2005 when 30,000 tons of trash left in the streets had to be sprayed with disinfectant because it began to rot, leading to riots in which protestors threw trash at police.
  • Naples, Italy was the scene of a trash strike that went on for an entire year in 2008. The standoff between city officials and the Mafia was so bad that the Italian military were summoned to clean up the mess!
  • In Toronto in 2009, a six-week strike created a smelly summer mess as Canadians were forced to use public parks as temporary municipal dumping grounds.

Waste management is a worldwide concern. As a private citizen, you, too, can suffer ill effects if you fail to properly and safely dispose of trash whether you live in a single family home, condo or apartment house. Here are a few handy tips to get you started:

How to Clean the Can

Easily one of the most germ-ridden items in your home is your garbage can. Often a source of bacteria and odor all too easily overlooked, most trash cans harbor debris, liquids and trash residue. So it needs to be cleaned thoroughly ad regularly. It’s a dirty job. But somebody’s got to do it.

  1. Protect yourself from germs. Rubber gloves will protect your hands from bacteria. A mask might filter out strong odors. Wear old clothing in case you want to ditch it.
  2. Empty the contents from the trash can. Check the bottom for rodents, spiders or insects which might have climbed in looking for a treat. This is particularly important with outdoor cans.
  3. Remove as much residue as possible by rinsing the can.
  4. Fill the can with hot water.
  5. Add bleach or ammonia. Mixing the two together will create toxic fumes. So don’t ever use both at the same time.
  6. Allow the can to soak for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Tip the can upside down to empty out the bleach-water or ammonia-water mixture.
  8. Use a sponge, brush or soft cloth to scrub surfaces and remove odors. And don’t forget to wipe under the rim.
  9. Clean the lid.
  10. Dry surfaces with a clean, soft cloth or allow it to air dry.
  11. Place the can in the sun to dry. Sunlight will destroy remaining bacteria and help remove lingering odors.
  12. Be sure the trash can is completely dry before sealing the lid or replacing the liner. Any lingering moisture will cause bacteria and mold to grow.
  13. Repeat monthly.
  14. To minimize the growth of bacteria and make future clean-ups a breeze, invest in metal cans which are more resistant to bacteria than wood or plastic.

If your commitment to clean goes beyond the desire to keep your trash cans clean, call the professionals at My Cleaning Lady, a domestic referral agency.  The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.