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Southwest Orange Friday, Jun. 3, 2016 4 years ago

Horizon West resident creates solution to camouflage trash cans

Horizon West resident Chris Knowles has created a way to conceal Orange County’s new, larger trash cans in style.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

HORIZON WEST  Garbage isn’t pretty, and some people have decided that neither are the new, larger garbage cans provided by Orange County. With this in mind, Horizon West resident Chris Knowles came up with his own solution: If you can’t hide them in your garage, camouflage them in style.

Knowles, a photographer and videographer who works mainly in the local travel industry, watched as Orange County introduced the large, 96-gallon cans to homeowners in January. Walking around local neighborhoods, he saw that with the new cans came sizable storage issues.

“These are much bigger than the cans they used to have, and Orange County has now gone on to collecting one day a week, whereas it used to be two days a week, and that’s why they increased the size of the cans, to compensate for the loss of pickups,” Knowles said. 

He saw cans sitting on the sides of houses, in front of the garage and places other than inside the garage. Because the cans are bigger and sit in homeowners’ garages for a longer period of time before collection, he reasons that people may not necessarily want to store them in the garage for the sake of saving space. However, those who want to save space may be sacrificing aesthetics.

Knowles already takes photographs of local aesthetically pleasing landscapes, so he put his creative side to the test and developed a new solution that camouflages the cans — the CanSkirt. While the new cans were introduced in January, he was working on CanSkirt by February. In April, the prototypes came to life. 

Rather than build a fence or grow shrubs to shield the cans, Knowles said that this is a less expensive, instant solution.

“CanSkirt is a visually appealing, cost-effective alternative for storing garbage cans outside the home,” Knowles said. “Property managers, architectural review boards and HOAs have been searching for a neighbor-friendly solution.”

The CanSkirt comes in seven different patterns.


The CanSkirt is made of 12-ounce waterproof vinyl and has six eyelets that allow bungee cords to pass through and hold the skirt in place. Customers can choose a skirt that wraps around either a single can or two cans and also can choose any of seven patterns or landscape designs: stone wall, brick wall bush, stone wall hedge, white fence, viburnum bush, podocarpus hedge and pink azalea.

Using the bungee cords that come with each skirt, customers can hook the skirt through the eyelets onto the top knobs of the trash can. They also can choose to go for a fixed-storage option, which uses a wood board with hooks that attaches to the side of a house and holds both the cans and skirts in place. Knowles can assist with the installation of the fixed-storage option.

Under a pending patent, the single-can skirts cost $44.95 and the double-can skirts cost $49.99. Knowles currently is connecting with homeowners associations and neighborhood-management companies to tell them about this new solution.

“The challenge is there’s never been anything like it before, so it’s not in the code of conduct. It’s a brand-new solution. People don’t want them in the garage, but everyone wants an aesthetically pleasing design, so that’s why I came up with this concept.”— Chris Knowles, CanSkirt inventor

Additionally, homeowners associations that are interested in the skirts and want a uniform design that blends in with the neighborhood can also contact Knowles to discuss custom orders.

“Everybody wants them and wants their HOAs to approve it,” he said. “The challenge is there’s never been anything like it before, so it’s not in the code of conduct. It’s a brand-new solution. People don’t want them in the garage, but everyone wants an aesthetically pleasing design, so that’s why I came up with this concept.”

Since April, Knowles has been selling the skirts both online and at two local farmer’s markets — at Winter Garden on Saturdays and Lake Eola on Sundays. It has had substantial interest from the community, he said, and in June, he will add to the collection a line of lid covers for the cans, available in a green hedge pattern.

“The interest has been phenomenal; it’s magnificent,” he said. “I would say three-quarters of the people (I meet) comment on how good they look and what a great idea it is.”

To learn more about the CanSkirt and view a video tutorial on how to install it, visit


Contact Danielle Hendrix at [email protected].

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