Space Saving Flexibility

The Molok® Deep Collection™ system has a much smaller installation footprint — and much greater installation flexibility — than traditional waste management solutions

Traditional waste management solutions like dumpsters and carts take up a lot of space, but they do so in sneaky ways that aren’t always obvious; however, once you learn the truth, you’ll see wasted space everywhere you look.

The Molok® Deep Collection™ system, by contrast, is extremely efficient in how it uses real estate — in fact, a Molok® waste station often requires less than 10% of the surface area needed by forklifted dumpsters.

There are three main reasons for this enormous difference, quickly explained below.

Why does space-saving flexibility matter?

This post is about the mechanisms by which Molok® containers offer tremendous installation flexibility, rather than the reasons why such flexibility matters. We explore some of the benefits in Reclaim and Repurpose Valuable Space.

Molok® containers have much higher storage density

Storage density is capacity divided by footprint; that is, the amount of waste you can store in a container divided by how much surface real estate that container takes up.

Molok® containers provide much higher storage density than traditional solutions, primarily because while dumpsters, carts, and bins sit on/above the surface, Molok® containers are roughly two-thirds underground. So already, not accounting for any other factors, the Molok® approach has a major advantage (for example, a single M-5000 can replace a minimum of 55 x 120-L carts).

But the difference is actually even more pronounced, because the vertical storage within Molok® containers contributes to natural compaction that increases their capacity by anywhere from 1.25 to 3 times, depending upon the type of waste being stored.

The result is that, per square foot of real estate occupied just by the container, the Molok® Deep Collection™ system stores significantly more waste than traditional containers.

Molok® containers don’t require as much installation infrastructure

Huge concrete pads and fenced enclosures are just two of the infrastructure costs of traditional solutions. They’re so common that many property developers and real estate professionals just take for granted that they’re going to need to set aside some huge portion of surface area just to house the facility’s waste.

But that doesn’t have to be the case!

Molok® containers go down into the earth, so they don’t need a surface pad to keep them stable, and the ‘infrastructure’ they require essentially amounts to a protective sheath of backfill around the underground portion.

Plus, the design of Molok® containers means that fenced enclosures aren’t needed for any  technical reason (e.g., safety, cleanliness, pest control, etc.).

(It’s important to note that the governing authority (e.g., a city or municipality) might have a rule on the books requiring such enclosures around any/all waste containers, but it’s now become common for authorities to recognize that such regulations need not apply to Molok® units. In other words, those rules exist to address the inherent shortcomings of traditional waste management approaches, and aren’t necessary when Molok® containers are used.)

Because they don’t need large concrete pads, fenced enclosures, and other bulky infrastructure, Molok® containers can be installed in locations where space is tight or at a premium. As James Emary, Grounds Manager at Wilfrid Laurer University in Waterloo, Ontario, explains in this short video, “Because our campus is so small and there’s not a lot of space, Molok® just made sense for us as far as utilizing as little space as possible and still being able to collect properly.”

Molok® containers don’t require long access laneways

Dumpsters and carts are usually emptied via a forklift or mechanical arm attached to the collection vehicle. Because the collection vehicle needs to be immediately adjacent to the container being emptied, most haulers require at least 100 feet of approach space — that’s why so many dumpsters are located in parking lots or around the back of buildings.

This space comes at tremendous opportunity cost, as it has to stay clear and can’t be used for anything else. It’s worth noting that this enormous shortcoming also applies to the Molok® imitators who offer semi-underground forklifted (rather than crane-lifted) containers.

By contrast, Molok® containers are emptied via a hydraulic crane that extends up to 7m (nearly 23 feet) from the center of the collection vehicle. This means that not only can Molok® containers can be installed in tight spaces and even behind objects (e.g., shrubs, curbs, sidewalks, fences, etc.), but they also don’t require the 100 feet of approach space demanded by forklifted alternatives.

Other than ensuring safe vehicle access (e.g., no overhead wires or branches), the main installation requirements for Molok® containers are:

  • All Molok® containers must be a minimum of 300 mm (1 foot) from any wall or other structure (including other Molok® containers)
  • There must not be any underground utilities or services within 300mm (1 foot) of Molok® containers.

The result is tremendous installation flexibility and the potential to save an enormous amount of surface area. For example, a waste station of 8 standard 6-yard3 dumpsters requires 6,042 square feet of surface area (including the access laneway), but the same waste needs can be met by 5 x M-5000 units, which together require only 480 square feet — less than 8% of the space needed by the dumpsters!


All the waste and recycling needs of this residential complex are addressed with two M-3000 units, and the units themselves are tucked neatly into a small patch of grass outside the front door.

This church has Molok® containers for waste, organics, and recycling; again, the entire waste station takes up much less space than dumpsters or carts, and doesn’t require any dedicated infrastructure to enable collection.

These Molok® containers look like they’ve just grown up out of the ground! Note that the smaller M-1300 is located in the middle of the lawn, which would be impossible for a fork- or arm-lifted container.