How To Construct A Durable Concrete Pad For Your Household Waste Container

Posted on: 28 August 2015

Many homeowners keep their waste containers outside their homes, but this can cause problems in some instances. For example, household garbage containers can be difficult to move around, particularly if they large, and placing containers in the grass or on dirt can make maneuvering them even harder. In addition, heavy containers can damage landscaping and even cause depressions in the soil that lead to flooding. Not everyone has a garage or wants to keep their waste containers on their driveway, so a good alternative is to construct a dedicated waste container pad so it's easier for you and your waste removal company, like Progressive Waste Solutions of FL Inc., to remove waste from your home. It is a simple project that can be undertaken by almost anyone; below is what you need to do:

Tools and materials needed

  • Playground-quality sand
  • Ready-mix bagged cement
  • Five-gallon bucket
  • Garden hose
  • Cooking spray
  • Tamping tool
  • 2-by-4 pine lumber
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Power saw or crosscut saw
  • 10d-sized nails
  • Hammer
  • Carpentry box level
  • Shovel

Step-by-step procedure

1. Find an appropriate location - While you can build your waste container pad anywhere you wish, there are some locations that are probably more suitable for your needs than others. For example, keeping the concrete pad near your driveway will make moving the container easier by avoiding long runs over the grass or soil. In addition, try to avoid placing your pad directly under or near rain run-off from your roof; the flow of water can erode the base of the pad and cause cracking.

2. Measure your container and decide on a size for the pad - You need to determine the dimensions of the waste container so you know how large to make the concrete pad. Use a measuring tape to find the width and length of the base of the container, plus don't forget to include wheels, if your container uses them, when making your measurements. Then, when deciding how large to make the pad, add at least a foot in all directions to provide a larger, more-stable surface for the container.

For example, if your waste container is 2 feet by 2 feet at the bottom, then your pad should be at least 4 feet by 4 feet in size. A wheeled container may need an additional foot in one or more directions, so be sure to consider that factor when calculating the size.

3. Measure, cut and build a concrete form - After you have made a decision on how large to make your pad, you need to build a form from 2-by-4 pine lumber that will serve to shape the pad. Measure the length and width of the pad on the boards, and mark off the dimensions; be sure to add 3 inches on two of the parallel pieces to compensate for the board thickness when assembling the form. As an example, if you need to build two parallel sides of the pad that are 42 inches in length, add 3 inches to each board and cut your form pieces 45 inches long.

After cutting the boards, lay out the pieces on a large, flat surface such as your garage floor. Once you have them arranged to create a rectangle or square, measure the inside distances between boards to verify your dimensions are correct. Next, drive a couple of 10d nails into each end of the board to hold the form together. Spray the inside of the wooden forms with cooking spray to prevent them from adhering to the cement when poured.

4. Create the base for the pad - At your chosen location, remove the top two-to-three inches of sod and turf with your shovel, and pack the soil with your tamping tool. Place the form on top of the packed soil, and use a level to verify it is perfectly horizontal. Then, carefully pour sand into the form and pack it down to a level of 1-inch above the bottom of the 2-by-4 form. Verify the form is still level before proceeding to the next step.

5. Mix and pour concrete - After creating the base of the pad, add approximately a gallon of water to a five-gallon bucket, then begin pouring in ready-mix cement in a bag. Mix the contents thoroughly with a scrap piece of lumber, and continue pouring cement and adding water until the consistency is similar to applesauce.

Take the five-gallon bucket, and pour its contents into the form on top of the sand. If the contents aren't within a half-inch of the top of the form, you will need to mix more cement and immediately pour it into the form.

6. Work the concrete - Once the cement is poured, use a scrap piece of lumber to work the cement up and down to eliminate internal bubbles or air pockets. After mixing, slide a long piece of 2-by-4 lumber over the top of the slab to smooth any excess that might remain.

7. Allow the concrete to cure - When the cement is poured, you need to allow it to cure for 48 hours. Cover the concrete with a tarp during the curing stage to protect it from damage and also to control evaporation.

8. Remove the form - After the concrete has dried, you can remove the wooden form and dispose of it, if you wish. Keep your garbage container off the concrete pad for at least one week after finishing the pad.