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Why I Hated Trash Cans…Until Now

This is my first post on the blog.  I should probably write a great piece about how great our trash cans are, seeing as I am the Product Manager for what we call Home Waste.  But, I have to be honest – up until recently I have hated trash cans, and here is why:

Sylvania_backyard_1When I bought my first house back in Portland, OR close to 6 years ago I had a lot of yard work to catch up on.  The sellers had really let it go.  When they moved away they left two 32 Gallon Wheeled cans by the side of the house.  I decided to put them to work, carting yard debris from the back of the house to the front where the city’s yard debris container was located.

I spent a good two hours in the hot summer sun edging the lawn in the back, cutting it back 2-3 inches, 6 inches deep.  The trimmings were thick and dense, so once I filled the can up with them it probably weighed a good 80 pounds (which you should never do).  I started pulling the can across the grass, but with that much weight in the can it was slow going and the wheels started cutting into the grass.  Not half-away across the yard the can tipped over and spilled out.  I was not happy.

Sylvania_backyard_2I got down on my hands and knees, scooped all the trimmings back into the trash can, and then fought with it to get it standing upright again.  Another 20 feet, another tip, and I was back down trying to get the spill cleaned up and the can standing up.  I finally made it across the lawn and to the side of the house, and things got worse.  Instead of bark dust or just dirt between the deck and fence, the side of the house was covered in medium sized river rock.  This proved to be an even more unstable surface to “roll” the trash can over, so again it tipped twice more.  And river rock is much less fun to kneel on, let me tell you.

By this point I was furious and my wife can attest to the fact that I left that trash can, tipped over and spilling with lawn trimmings, for another two days before I finally cooled off enough to clean it up and finish the job.

From that experience forward I hated trash cans.  Now I work for Rubbermaid and manage the creation of new trash cans.  Everyday I sift through product design reviews, customer service reports, and work with engineers to optimize our plans moving forward.  The whole time I focus on how to make trash cans that really do make life a little easier.  I know a good trash can will never change the world or go so far as to make people truly happy, but at the very least a trash can shouldn’t ruin your day.  That’s my goal, anyway.

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  34. Jim Deitzel June 26, 2009 at 10:20 am #

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  35. KIm June 25, 2009 at 11:58 am #

    So Ryan, I have the 45 Gal Wheeled Trash Can and the whole wheel unit (wheels and axle) have come out of the molded track they where in. I can’t push the wheels and axle back in now. Both the trash can and the wheels are fine so I don’t want to throw it away. Yes there is no info on the Rubbermade website on how to fix this problem. I noticed other people have left remarks for the same wheeled can. How can this be saved? Item 1345. (Stupid garbage men)

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