Down In The "Dumpster" Because Your Restaurant Failed Its Last Health Inspection? Maybe It's Time To Make Some Changes

Posted on: 27 January 2016


You've worked hard to keep your restaurant clean, yet when the health inspectors visited, they found signs of pest infestations. Of course, you realize that this is a huge concern. Pests like cockroaches and rodents can spread diseases and contaminate your food. Although you've set traps in your food storage areas, you're still having a pest problem. So what could it be? The answer may lie with something that is outside your restaurant -- your dumpsters.

Check Your Dumpsters Out

A dumpster, in good condition and used properly, can effectively keep pests at bay. But if your current dumpster has holes and dents or is missing one or more of its covers, you may have inadvertently created a perfect breeding and feeding ground for all sorts of pests. Unfortunately, these pests aren't going to remain outside, especially if the weather turns colder or wet. They're going to seek shelter in a warm, dry place such as your restaurant. And in some areas, such as Chicago, you could face fines if rats from your dumpster become a nuisance to the neighborhood. 

So to prevent pests from turning your dumpster area into their own personal playground, you need to:

  • Always shut the lids to your dumpsters tightly. Check your dumpster to make sure that the lids are still fitting correctly and are intact. If you see gaps that could allow pests in, call your service to request a new dumpster. You should also request a new dumpster if yours is showing any signs of rust or has holes. If your service is slow in responding, you may want to check out other dumpster businesses to see if you might be able to find one that can offer better service and, possibly, lower prices. 
  • Bag all of your food waste before putting it in the dumpster. Rotting food attracts pests, so try to mask the scent by placing all of your garbage in plastic bags. 
  • Have your trash picked up on a regular basis. Is your trash overflowing or are their bags of waste piled up near your dumpster? Then you may need to request another trash pickup and/or a larger dumpster. 
  • Speak with your employees. They need to understand the importance of keeping the lids down on your dumpster and to never leave trash bags lying on the ground, either near your business or by the dumpsters. 
  • Secure your dumpster. If you are having problems with neighbors using your dumpsters and causing them to overflow, you may want to consider securing them with a lock. 
  • Clean out your dumpster on a regular basis. A smelly dumpster is going to attract more pests, so take the time to wash out your dumpster and to also clean debris that may have fallen under your unit, as well. 

In addition, you should consider hiring a pest management service that specializes in working with restaurants to place traps in and around your restaurant and the dumpster.  

Placement of Your Dumpsters

The placement of your dumpsters is also important for pest management. For example, your dumpster should:

  • Be placed on a concrete pad and/or have wheels so that rodents cannot burrow underneath your dumpster. 
  • Not be placed near tall grass or shrubbery. Rats like to make their burrows under bushes and plants.

Because a pest infestation could shut down your restaurant business, it is very important to be proactive and deal with any signs that you may have a problem immediately. Traps and proper dumpster maintenance can go a long way in keeping the pest population in the area around your restaurant in check.  For more information, contact a company like ESP Dumpsters & Waste Services