General Considerations

  1. Refuse containers are serviced by large, heavy trucks. These trucks must be driven to the location of the container. The customer bears full responsibility for the privately-owned lot and driveway strength. The City is not responsible for damage to pavement resulting from truck or container weight.
  2. It is highly recommended that contact be made with the Solid Waste supervisors prior to building the enclosure. They would like to help avoid future problems for the customer and for the solid waste workers. The MSO Solid Waste Customer Service phone number is 785-832-3032.
  3. Approach lanes to the container sites must provide 12 feet of unobstructed width and overhead clearance to 14 feet (21 feet for front load containers).
  4. It is the customer’s responsibility to remove snow and ice from within enclosures and from approaches to enclosures. This is a particular problem if the approach is not level.
  5. It is impossible to plan refuse collection service for a particular site on the assumption that the collection vehicle will arrive when traffic or parking lot loads are light. Leave safe maneuvering room around and approaching the container enclosure.
  6. Enclosures are designed for trash and recycling dumpsters ONLY. Plan for other appropriate locations for grease bins and other items.

Front-Load Containers

  1. Front-load trucks are not highly maneuverable. They are operated by one-person crews and have very limited visibility directly behind the truck. These limitations should be considered when selecting sites for containers to prevent property damage and injury. Front-load containers are not equipped with wheels; therefore, these containers cannot be moved except by use of the refuse collection truck or other heavy equipment.
  2. The container must sit on a hard surface. A minimum of four inches of concrete with wire mesh (44 pounds per 100 square feet) is recommended.
  3. The approach to the container site should provide a concrete pad six inches thick with wire mesh (44 pounds per 100 square feet) from the container front or enclosure entrance out to a distance of eight feet so that the front truck wheels are adequately supported during the dump process.
  4. The area over the container and for 20 feet in front of the container must be clear of overhead obstructions to a height of 21 feet.
  5. Gates, if provided, must be devised so that they can be latched in the closed position and so they can be secured in the fully open position while the collection vehicle is entering and leaving the enclosure entrance. Gates may be required if the enclosure is visible from the street.
  6. All enclosures must have a minimum of two “bumper posts” per container along the inside of the back wall to prevent the container from being pushed into the wall. The front-loading collection system imposes severe visibility limitations on the driver while he is connecting and disconnecting the container and while maneuvering the truck with the container on the pick-up forks. Operating in hours of darkness or adverse weather further aggravates this limitation. The “bumper posts” should be four-inch diameter heavy steel posts set in concrete at least four inches from the back wall. The height of each post should be a minimum of 24 inches.
  7. Containers that will not be in an enclosure but will be placed near a building wall or fence must be provided “bumper posts” as described above.

Rear-Load Containers

  1. Rear-load containers used by the City are equipped with four non-locking swivel casters so they can be moved with relative ease to the hook-up points at the back of the collection vehicle or to and from other points on the customer’s property as desired. This freedom of movement imposes certain constraints on the design of container sites, pads, and enclosures. Empty container weights vary from 350 pounds to over 600 pounds. When full, they may weigh more than 1,000 pounds. They must be moved into pick-up position by two crew members.
  2. Container pads must be level, or nearly so, to facilitate movement by the crew. The collection truck must be on a level or nearly level plane when connecting to the container due to the fixed height of the attachment point. Collection crews will not be able to lift containers to and from curb height, over bumper blocks, or pull them through soft dirt, mud, snow, ice, or gravel. Container pads or enclosure floors must have a hard surface. Four inches of asphalt, or its equivalent, is the minimum for effective, long-lasting service. The pad must be either at the same level as the collection vehicle or a shallow grade ramp from the surface of the pad to the lot or street level must be provided.
  3. Provisions must be made to prevent the container from moving from its intended site when unattended. Wind, animals, children, careless employees, or other factors may cause the container to roll and cause damage to other property or cause personal injury. Methods commonly used to confine the container include chains, bumper blocks, enclosures, etc. Placing a stick under a wheel is not sufficient. Customers are responsible for any damage or injuries resulting from the customer’s failure to provide proper container restraint methods.

Enclosure Specifications

A clear working area of 12 inches is needed on all sides of the container. Using the following dimensions will allow for the container plus the working space.

Inside dimensions:

  • Width: 14 feet minimum
  • Depth: 12 feet minimum
  • Height: 7 feet minimum

For each additional front load dumpster, add 10 feet of width to the enclosure. For each additional rear load dumpster, add six feet of width to the enclosure. Space is needed to let the crew get around the container to push them from the enclosure.

Enclosure entrance must be kept clear and unobstructed a minimum width of 12 feet.

Where gates are required on enclosures, a minimum width of 12 feet openings between gate posts is necessary.

Enclosure walls must be protected from impact with the container (see diagram).

  1. All front-load dumpster enclosures must have a minimum of two bumper posts per container along the inside of the back wall to prevent the container from being pushed into the wall.
  2. All rear-load dumpster enclosures must be protected from impact with the container by the provision of either:
    • Properly placed bumper blocks around the inside of the enclosure; OR
    • A striker board, or reinforcement boards around the inside of the enclosure, 2″ x 8″ minimum, centered 49.5″ above the enclosure floor.

Diagram Example of Enclosure Showing Protective Options (PDF)