Weighing down trash cans

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Hi, I live in a very windy area and my neighbors and I are having problems with trash cans getting knocked over because of the strong wind gusts, as well as the lids opening up.
I am trying to come up with a way of weighing down both the bottom and the lid of the trash cans so that:
1) The lid doesn't open up when trash is set out to be picked up. 2) The empty can doesn't blow away after the trash has been picked up.
I cannot simply tie weights to the cans because they will flail around when the trash cans are emptied by the mechanical arm of the trash truck. The weights also have to be able to stay secured even when the can is shaken upside down when it is emptied.
Also, the weights need to be easily attachable/removeable since it's only windy a few months out of the year, and I cannot seriously alter the trash cans since they are city property.
I was thinking of bolting on something that can hold the weights themselves, and when the weights are not needed, they can be removed while the thing that holds the weights stays permanently attached. I haven't found anything that would do the job for this.
Any other ideas?
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mike wrote:

It's a little hard since you cannot attach anything to it. Maybe if you created like a small box that your can could sit in that is box shaped with enough room for the mechanical arms to grip it. It'd probably have to be about 24-36 inches high. That would probably solve the blowing down the street problem. I'm not sure how to solve the lid flapping problem.
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A box might not be a bad idea. I might look into that. Thanks.
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If the trash cans blow around, despite your weights, and cause some damage (e.g. to a car) guess who's likely to be held liable?
I'd start by talking to City Hall and/or your local garbage collection company.
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I guess it wouldn't hurt to give them a call. The worst they can say is "it's not our problem".
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mike wrote:

About 2 years ago, my city (Houston) did something remarkable. Remarkable in that it's novel and it works.
They contracted with BF to pick up the trash. BF gave everybody a special, wheeled, 40-gallon dumpster/can.
Park the mini-dumpster on the curb on the appointed day and a truck-thingy comes by with grabber arms that snatch the can, dump its contets, and set it back on the curb.
It's a one-man crew and the little truck scoots down the street grabbing cans and emptying them. Quick like a bunny.
Couldn't be more pleased and that is remarkable for a city "service."
Now, in your case, be aware there are no secrets in the trash collecting business. Your city knows about the service Browning-Ferris has available. They choose not to implement it, probably because one of the city councilmen services the city's trucks.
PS The city save beacoup bucks, too.
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It's a lot bigger than 40 gallons and it is exactly these huge cans that can fly down the street empty in a brisk wind. The lids do fly open in a strong wind allowing crows/ravens, etc to get in and make a huge mess.
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Duct tape and bits of flat steel plate
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I was thinking of using rebar but flat metal plates would work much better I would think. Is there a better place than HD/Lowes to find something like this? I've seen metal stakes over in the building materials section but those might be a little to heavy to be attached with tape.
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Any welding shop. Cheaper than HD/Lowes and they can cut to exact size.
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mike wrote:

Depending on the neighborhood layout, you might consider consolidating with a few neighbors and building a little 3 sided fence enclosure to shield the cans from the wind, open on the street side and with enough clearance for the pickup arm.
Pete C.
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The layout of the neighboorhood doesn't lend itself well to that. It would have to be in someone's front yard pretty much.
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It would depend on your trash company, but where I grew up in West Texas, the garbage cans were sometimes buried and they were pulled up for disposal. Do they have any of that sort of arrangement in your area? Possibly they'd do that - it's just not how it's set up in your immediate neighborhood.
Banty
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There's nowhere to put the trash cans below ground here. It's a suburb. Lots of concrete and lawns. :)
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Build a giant cup-holder.
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mike wrote:

Use plastic bags. See below for another solution.
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We don't have trash bags as an option for our trash pickup, just the standard wheeled trash cans. When I lived in SLO, CA, they used to provide the option of trash bags, which would be perfect on days where its windy.
A "cup holder" might work too, but I don't know how long it would survive the trash trucks around here. They're not very gentle, quiet, or precise when it comes to picking up the trash cans. :)
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Sand bags?
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How about getting a shallow wide box, filling it with concrete and putting a bolt sticking out. You drill a hole in the trash can, set it on the concrete and attach it with nuts, take it off when you don't need it. Or, do the same with 4 coffee cans, one on each corner.
Or build a small 3 sided structure to hold the trash can. Cover it with climbing vines. You could use 4 sides and a top and tell every one you were bear proofing the can.
High tech approach, use an electromagnet like the kind that holds security gates shut. Have the on /off switch out where the Sanitation Workers (<--I don't know where you live. Around here we call them trash man) can activate the switch.
Remember, you get what you pay for. And my advice it free.
Eric

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Then the truck can't lift the can, and certainly not put it back..:)
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