Oct 31, 2018 |

Does organics recycling have to smell?

Organics collection at your home or business does not have to smell, but there is no doubt about it, it can.

Organics make up almost 35% of the waste stream.  This is a significant volume and contributor to household and business waste.  Avoiding the waste is of course the best place to start.   Are you ordering or purchasing food that you don’t need?  Ideally, we buy what we need consume it all and don’t discard any scraps, but this is not that realistic.  Everyone has table scraps, banana or orange peels at home and in their lunches at work. 

So how best do you deal with organics recycling and how can you avoid the smell?   Here are a few suggestions that may help:

  1. Use smaller collection bins at the source of the food scraps.  On the kitchen counter or underneath the sink or in a pull-out drawer.  It is our recommendation to keep the bin smaller – this makes it easier to keep clean and tidy.
  2. Empty the smaller collection bin frequently.  Daily is good but every other day should work as well.  Keeping the organics moving will avoid smell and fruit flies. 
  3. Clean out the smaller collection bin every time it is emptied.  Plain dish soap does the trick.  Some companies put in a paper or compostable liner in the small collection bins- we think this is a good idea.  We recommend a paper liner or paper material over a compostable bag liner.
  4. Ensure your contracted recycling company is picking up the centralized collection bins regularly.  We recommend a minimum of weekly service, but if the organics are well contained in a paper bag or liner in the centralized bin it may not be required to service weekly – every other week can work.
  5. Ask your contracted recycling company to provide a clean bin service – returning centralized bins to your place of business that are sanitized and clean.

We have two other suggestions that contribute to a successful organics collection program and helps avoid smells and the “yuck” factor. 

One, if you have food that has gone bad in the fridge, you can of course put it in your organics bin – but this may contribute to the smell as well.  Rather than putting it into the organics bin, it may be an option to flush it down the toilet.  For example, if yoghurt or milk is off, flushing it down the sanitary sewer (the toilet) is an option.  It is not recommended that non-fluid organic waste be flushed down the toilet. 

Secondly, if you have something in the fridge that has gone bad, for example a meat product, bread or cooked meal … freeze it and put it into the organics bin the day of the collection.  Anything that is frozen is far less smelly and really helps avoid fruit flies and any smells.

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