Making Green Less Grody: Reduce Green Bin Stink

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green_bin_programIt’s nice to know that more and more cities are getting on board with green bin programs (it might be called something different in your town – “community compost”, “green cart”, “wet recyclables” and “organic waste” collection or pick-up are a few terms floating out there. If you’re in the United States, the EPA’s website can show you what’s available in your city.). If you’re not down with the g-flow, I’ll give you a primer: Basically, just like garbage day, the city comes by and collects a special bin (or in some cases – a clear or clear green bag) that is filled with just organic waste – like scraps from the kitchen (vegetable peels, eggshells, old leftovers), garden waste (grass clippings, weeds) and soiled paper products (used napkins, cheese-crusted pizza boxes). Instead of going to the landfill with the rest of the garbage, the city mulches it into compost to make fertilizer. Nice, huh?

But, as usual, there’s a downside. Green bins and bags can fill up somewhat quickly and ooooooheeeee, they can STINK – especially in the summer months. Depending on the style of home you have, you might keep this bin outside (preferred), in your garage (if you must) or the mini version is somewhere inside your house (ugh). Regardless, keeping it as clean and stench-free as possible is something everyone’s gag reflex is aiming for. Here are some tips to reduce the odor:

  • • Hose / wash your bin after each collection day.
  • • Sprinkle your green bin or bag with baking soda or organic laundry detergent before you put anything in it. Add more of this natural deodorizer as you add more waste.
  • • If you can separate layers of wet organic waste (don’t pile tons of it on itself) with “clean” dry waste like grass clippings, leaves or old pizza boxes – do it!
  • • When tossing animal products away – like meat, fish, cheese or fat scraps – wrap them in newspaper first. Same goes for anything with a high stink potential. If you can avoid it, don’t place this layer on the top – it will be the first thing you and any neighborhood garbage diggers (dogs, raccoons) will smell.
  • • If you’re going through your fridge to clean it, try to time this around the organic waste pick-up day so that it’s not left in a bin for too long.
  • • Always ensure the green bin is closed tight and is somewhere shady and as cool as possible.
  • Keep on fighting the good fight – for the environment and the one against the great stink!

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    About Jen

    Jen (but never “Jenn”) Byck, aka the Fix'n Vixen, is a Toronto-based freelance writer and communication consultant who is undoubtedly home fixated (she is also TV fixated, really bad TV fixated and donut fixated). Her approach to home improvement has been rather trial and error, the latter of which is evidenced by the amount of spackle she buys on an annual basis.

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