Ergonomics done right.®
June 23rd, 2015

Product Review: SmartcanMax™

Emptying a trash can represents a hazard in many environments due to the varying weight of the trash bag when full and the vacuum and pressure present between the bag and the sides of a traditional trash can. A University of California study of custodial, housekeeping and environmental service positions was published in 2011. Fifteen schools experienced 761 incident claims from custodial injuries in 2010 with an actuarial estimated direct cost of $7.1M. Employee trash/recycle handling represented the number one at-risk activity.

SmartcanMax™ is a patented, innovative 23-gallon waste receptacle that eliminates lifting the trash bag out of a receptacle. The user ties the trash bag  SmartMax_wfunnelclosed, depresses a foot release pedal on the base and removes the 7lb body of the can off the trash bag which remains at the user’s feet, allowing for lateral trash bag removal. It reduces the amount of heavy lifting that is required with liner removal from the average garbage can which can place significant stress on the user’s back, neck, arms and shoulders.

Ergonomic Benefits and Features:

  • Eliminates lifting heavy trash liners out of and up and over the lip of a typical garbage can – normally 29″ in height.
  • Next generation SmartcanMax™ will have handles to grip and lift. This will ease in the removal of the body of the can.
  • Easy to clean bottom base and body to collect excess material – use of hazardous chemicals to clean waste receptacle not necessary.
  • Minimizes suction of garbage bags, thus reducing the force needed to remove the bag.
  • Optimal for dry product uses where no liquid by-product is produced, however, should a bag liner contain liquids and leak, the SmartcanMax™ base can hold three gallons of liquid.

Potential Limitations:

  • The user must still lift the body of the garbage can above the height of the filled bag liner at the user’s feet.
  • Foot release pedals that allow removal of the can body are small and may be difficult to depress.
  • “How to Use” instructions are not visible, so the user may not know how to operate and set up.
  • The user must completely remove the body of the can (7lbs) to access the bag but unlike a bag of trash the user can predict how much weight is being lifted.

In summary, the SmartcanMax™ is a unique design that reduces the lifting height and the aforementioned risks associated with handling bags of trash. The current design still requires lifting the body of the can. This may introduce problems if the bag is broken or contains liquids. The trash can is very easy to disassemble and clean.