But with some help from the sun, that job got a little easier and became more eco-friendly.
Solar-powered trash compactors called "Big Belly" and attached recycling units are replacing traditional trash cans on campus.
A solar panel charges a 12-volt battery, which powers the compactor. Instead of emptying trash cans every day, workers empty the compactor about once a month.
"We are reducing the amount of garbage bags that we use which is a savings," said Gene Matthews, director of Facilities Services at Case Western Reserve University.
"And it's environmentally friendly because we're not using petroleum-based garbage bags.
"We are able to reassign labor to more important grounds work, things like planting flowers and mowing grass, plowing snow versus having to pull trash bags."
CWRU has twenty solar compactors and recycling units which Matthews said cost about $5,000 each.