Written by Dale Richardson - Updated: June 23, 2023
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Green bins reduce the waste that goes to landfills. But they tend to reek. Here’s how you can solve the stench for good.
Green bins have a habit of smelling bad. Most remedies focus on the cause of odours, which includes humidity, bacteria, decomposition, and adding too much meat. Getting rid of green bin smells can be as simple as sprinkling baking soda, leaving the bin open, and cleaning the bin between collections.
A smelly green bin is not just awful for your nose. It can also pose a health hazard. Learn how to keep your green bin hygienic and free of odours.
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One word? Bacteria.
Green bins contain biodegradable materials like food, boxes, bones, and meat. When such materials are kept in a warm, enclosed plastic container like a bin, decomposition can speed up. Bacteria thrive in humid conditions and as they multiply, they cause a bad smell to come from the green bin.
If you are currently facing this nose-wrenching problem, the way forward is to deal with the things that make those bacterial goobers so comfy.
On collection day, your green bin will most likely be standing out in the sun. But during the rest of the time, find a better spot. Choose a shady area that stays cool, preferably for most of the day. This will slow down the decomposition of organic waste and also make the bacteria more sluggish.
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To make your bin smell better, it might help to open the lid. The odours will leave the container and stop bugging you. However, do not leave your bin open under the following circumstances:
Bacteria love a humid environment. That is why it is important to keep the green bin cool and also dry. There is a slight problem, though. Organic and biodegradable waste can be difficult to keep dry. Meat is squishy, there are tea bags, and decomposing peels get mushy. While none of these is a waterfall, they all add moisture to the green bin.
Here are the best tips to reduce the amount of wetness that end up in your green bin.
One of the worst offenders is meat. Red meat and fish get particularly stinky when they are kept inside a green bin. Indeed, there is really nothing quite as stomach-lurching as smelling rotting meat. Worse, they attract flies, maggots, and scavenger animals to visit your garden.
This does not mean you must now stop placing meat inside your green bin. That would defeat the purpose of these environmentally-friendly tools. Nope. There is actually a great solution to the problem. Do not place your meat and bone scraps immediately inside the green bin. Rather stick them in the freezer. When collection day rolls around, simply take the meat or fish from the freezer and put them in the green bin.
Remember not to freeze your meat or fish in plastic bags. These cannot go into a green bin. A better choice would be a biodegradable bag or keep the scraps in a plastic container that allows you to tip the meat into the green bin.
Great. Another chore. But you won’t regret it. Giving your green bin a good once-over is a powerful way to get odours and to keep them away for good. Make it a rule to rinse your green bin on the day of the collection after it has been emptied.
Here are some of the best tips to clean your green bin.
The faster you get rid of your organic waste, the better. It does not matter that the bin is three-quarters empty. Do not keep your bin until it is full - unless you normally fill a bin up by the time it is collection day. If not, the waste will rot for two or three weeks. Letting any small amount go - and thoroughly cleaning the bin afterwards - are perhaps the two most important rules to prevent odours.
Keep it green! If you want to go to the store and purchase a deodourant, make sure that it is organic. But there are several “home remedies” you can try and since you probably already have them in the home, they won’t cost you a thing.
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