4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Underground Waste Containers

We have been conditioned to accept that traditional dumpsters are the one and only way to collect waste, especially at high-density sites.

We have accepted that these dumpsters will be in various states of disrepair. We are resigned to paying large amounts for their maintenance and frequent pickups. And we have given up on trying to save space, as their footprint requires ample clearance and large enclosures.

Waste collection has been a stagnant industry for some time. Small changes in technology and scheduling have provided incremental improvements, but it wasn’t until recently that we witnessed a true waste collection revolution.

With a history dating back to the 1980s in Europe, underground waste containers are the future of waste collection. If you’re looking for a progressive, future-proof method of collecting waste from high-density properties like parks, schools, apartment buildings, and more, this is it.

There are many reasons why you should consider an alternative waste container, four of which we’ve outlined below.

  • They are more efficient than traditional waste containers


A traditional dumpster can hold 4cy (cubic yards) of waste at any given time. A typical underground waste container, however, can hold up to 6cy—significantly more than most of the current waste management solutions across North America.

This larger space is one of the most obvious reasons why underground waste containers are more efficient than traditional methods of waste collection. Since end users can add more waste to the container at one time, they need to be emptied less frequently. And fewer pickups means money saved.

However, the larger capacity is not the only reason why underground waste containers are changing the way we collect waste. Their simple yet ingenious design maximizes on the amount of waste that can be compacted into each unit.

As the natural pull of gravity compacts the waste downward, end users can add significantly more waste to a single underground container than they can to a traditional dumpster. Thus, storage is not only increased due to the larger size of underground waste containers, but also because the waste itself is compact and efficiently stored.

  • They are aesthetically appealing


A dumpster is a dumpster is a dumpster. There isn’t much they provide in the way of looks. Typically green or black (or, in many cases, green or black with rusty brown spots), they are such eyesores that many end users simply try to ignore them.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. An emerging trend in underground waste collection is to create not just a more efficient system, but a more eye-catching system as well.

Although designs vary, the typical underground waste container is cylindrical and made from concrete, plastics, and long-lasting metals. On their own, they are manufactured to look good, and many can be customized with wood, metal, or plastic exteriors based on the needs of the property owner. However, some manufacturers go above and beyond to create an aesthetically appealing experience.

Some underground waste containers enable their above-ground components to be clad in a variety of fully customizable wraps. This means that property owners can create waste systems that blend in with the landscaping, or display advertisements or messages to their users.

  • They reduce odor and deter pests


Storing waste underground has many added benefits besides a larger capacity and a more visually appealing experience. With the majority of the waste underground, these systems create a naturally pest- and bacteria-resistant environment.

The fact that the waste is underground and inaccessible, combined with tightly locking lids, acts as pest deterrence, helping to create a clean environment that discourages animals and insects from gathering.

And by storing waste underground, the system prevents not only pests from accumulating, but bacteria as well. The colder temperatures underground deter bacteria from forming and thriving. And as an added bonus, this is achieved in a natural, environmentally friendly manner—no chemicals or other damaging solutions are necessary.

Ultimately, for the end user, underground waste solutions will emit lower odor and attract fewer pests, and their experience will be a positive one.

  • They can be installed practically anywhere


Traditional dumpsters have a host of requirements when it comes to placement on a property. In many areas, it is also a requirement that they have a large enclosure—which can help a bit in masking their appearance but doesn’t help when planning a property’s layout.

Underground waste containers eliminate nearly all of these placement restrictions, allowing for property owners to place them practically anywhere. Unlike traditional dumpsters, pickup is not limited to a straight-on approach. An underground system reduces the need for that 90’ clearance in front for truck pickup.

When an underground waste container is full, it is serviced by a truck that can lift out the internal bag vertically. This zero-clearance requirement enables property owners to situate the system wherever it is most convenient for them and their users.

The ability to be installed on tight sites and in hard-to-reach places can free up property space for other uses. By installing the system next to a building or interspersed within the landscaping, property owners can achieve more parking spaces or a better flow for users.


Underground waste containers offer so many benefits to property owners, those who service them, and their end users that it’s no wonder they’re growing in popularity. They are a truly revolutionary approach to waste management, changing the face of an industry that has resisted significant change for years. And while change always comes with growing pains, this is an essential step toward a more efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly waste management solution. MSW_bug_web

  • Trisha Holm.

    I would like more information on this if I could. Possible some pictures of what the trucks and containers look like? If you could that would be wonderful thank-you

  • Trisha Holm.

    Also I am wondering a little on the pricing of the equipment needed to go through with this change in our trash company. Any information you can provide me/us would be greatly appreciated.

    Trisha M. Holm
    A-1 Sanitation & Recycling
    38435 133rd St
    Aberdeen, SD 57401

  • jeff radics.

    this article would be complete if it included a video of an underground waste container being emptied by whatever equipment it takes to do the job

  • Stephanie Hardy.

    How are the underground waste containers cleaned out? Where does the leachate go or how is it contained/treated? Thank you!

  • John Dougherty.

    interesting concept. A picture or drawing would be really helpful


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