Picture a family of excited vacationers, driving up to your beautiful Cape home, and the first thing they see is trash barrels and recycling bins, overflowing with debris left by the guest group that just left. Sometimes with the bonus of bags torn open with garbage spilling out, thanks to a visit by foraging raccoons or other critters. Yuck! Not to mention the arriving guests now have nowhere to put their trash until the next pick up day rolls around. Believe us, that does not make for happy campers.
We run into this problem more often that you can imagine and sometimes feel compelled to haul away trash and /or recyclables on turnover days to achieve the appropriate property first impression. True, some of the responsibility lies with the rental guests, who did not get the lion’s share of their disposables out in time for the final pick-up of their stay. But most, if not all of the problem can be prevented by simply providing adequate container capacity to handle the predictable volume in your Cape Cod summer vacation rental.
How much and how often?
That one big 95 gallon bin for trash is not enough, even with twice-a-week pick-ups, for most vacation homes sleeping eight or more. You need at least a second big bin, or a couple or three additional regular-size trash barrels with snug fitting covers, readily available at any home or hardware store.
The container space we see provided for recyclables is even more preposterously skimpy. That one little red or blue bin has about enough room for two empty milk gallon containers, a couple of wine bottles and the corrugated box that inflatable raft came in. Truth is, we observe that vacationers generate almost the same volume of recyclables as they do trash, yet recyclables are picked up only once a week vs. twice for trash. And the capacity provided for recyclables is typically that one plastic bin about the size of a clothes basket! No wonder we find plastic bottles blowing around the yard when we show up on turnover day to do our property prep!
Some disposal services provide a big bin for recyclables, same size as for trash. Still not enough for many guest groups and properties, especially given the only once-a-week pick up. We suggest four large bins, two each for trash and recyclables. Or the large bin plus at least two regular size trash barrels and covers for each function. Here’s the good news: your disposal service will probably cart away recyclables from any additional containers provided by the owner at no extra charge. Check with them and see. Just be sure to clearly label your extra bins “Trash” and “Mixed Recyclables” so your guests and your disposal service are clear on what’s what. Got questions? Talk to your disposal service. Need a reliable disposal service? Here are two that we confidently recommend: Nauset Disposal and Seaside Disposal.
You can’t anticipate and prevent all the problems that inevitably come up during the rental season, but here’s one big one that you can do something about!
Recycling Helps Recycle Guests.
You might be surprised how often we hear the frustration of rental guests when they stay at homes that do not offer recycling. They are in the habit of recycling, they feel it’s the right thing to do, and they feel very uncomfortable throwing recyclable items into the trash. So, if you don’t offer recycling at your rental property, we urge you to reconsider. Sure, it’s good for the planet, but you have another important motivation: making guests happy so they will book your property again next year.