Disney’s Never-ending Battle Against Trash
Posted by David Moore on
With the launch of our new Disneyland-Inspired Waste Receptacles, we thought it would be fun to dig deeper into Disney’s history with trash and how all of the waste that is generated each day at Disney parks is handled in a way to keep the magic alive.
Creating the Right Look
Even before he opened his first park, Walt Disney was concerned about the impact that garbage might have on the overall experience for his guests. With mesh receptacles being the common form of trash cans available at the time, Disney got to work designing a new form of receptacle that would be better at keeping the garbage out of sight while also reducing the risk of creating unpleasant smells. It is this design that inspired the newly created trash receptacles being offered by Securr.
For Disney, creating a new receptacle wasn’t quite enough to help address his waste concerns. In fact, many people may not realize that park officials have strict guidelines in place to ensure that garbage receptacles throughout the park are no more than 30 feet apart. In this way, Disney hoped to keep the park spotless while also streamlining the cleaning process. Through his own observations, he noted that guests would carry their own garbage for up to 30 feet before simply throwing it on the ground and assuming a cast member would pick it up. By placing the receptacles 30 feet apart, the goal was to encourage guests to throw away their own trash. These guidelines have remained in place even after decades of trying to improve cleanup, as it seems to still be a good guideline to follow.
To further assist with keeping trash out of the sight of visitors, Disney has installed a complex system of “underground” tubing called the Automated Vacuum Assisted Collection (AVAC) system. These tubes, which were put in place in the late 1960s, pass over the heads of workers on what is actually the ground floor of the Magic Kingdom. Using a pneumatic system similar to that which is used at the drive-through window at some banks, the trash that is dumped into receptacles is transported through the tubes at speeds of around 60 miles per hour. As such, every time you throw away trash at Magic Kingdom, it ends up behind Splash Mountain.
Keeping the Park Clean
As another part of the park’s efforts to maintain a clean and pleasant appearance, Disney has launched the Custodial of Tomorrow program. Under this program, several cast members are required to hold iPhones as they walk around the parks. If a trash receptacle is full or if a bathroom is dirty, these cast members receive a test message about the necessary cleanup. Utilizing an innovative GPS system, the signal is only sent to the cast member who is closest to where the cleanup is needed. The system helps to get cast members to where cleanup is needed more quickly in the never-ending quest to keep the park as clean and pleasant as possible for visitors.