Keep Clean and Carry On
Some people find the concept of keeping their bin sparkling a daft one. After all, even if you’re the cleanest neat freak around, surely the wheelie is the one place you’re allowed to be a bit messy? And yet more and more of us are becoming increasingly dedicated to cleaning the bins outside our homes, and for very good reasons. Here are the top ones:
- Pong whiffy: Obvious really, to the point that we often don’t really think about it. A bin is designed to store waste materials and/or food scraps for at least a week and often a fortnight depending on your local council’s collection schedules, so a stink is bound to build up pretty quickly. However, by doing everything you can to keep odours to a minimum, you’re doing your nostrils and those of your neighbours a huge favour.
- Invisible baddies: Where there is decomposition, there are germs. This is especially evident in summertime due to higher temperatures and humidity. Who wants to have a container full of the Black Death outside their home? Stig of the Dump maybe, but he's a bit weird anyway.
- All creatures great and small: Insects and wild scavengers are dirty devils. They not only don’t mind smelly old rubbish, they ruddy love it! Flies are very likely to breed inside unclean bins, leaving larvae that will then transform into delightful squirming maggots. And then there are woodland animals the likes of foxes, rats, badgers and even the neighbourhood cats, all of which find the aroma of discarded food far more enticing than we do. Nobody enjoys discovering their bin toppled over when leaving for work in the morning, especially not if there's rotten egg and ripped tea bags everywhere.
So how do we stop the above from happening, or at least keep it to a bare minimum? Here are our top tips for a clean and happy bin (okay, a clean bin at least):
- Rinse out all recyclable materials first.
- Line the bottom of your food/compost bin with newspapers and replace periodically.
- Try to keep food scraps to a minimum by making smaller portions and using leftovers the next day.
- If necessary, double-bag food scraps to prevent seepage.
- Squeeze excess air from food scrap bags to reduce the likelihood of accelerated decomposition.
- Keep the bin’s lid firmly closed and out of direct sunlight.
- Clean your bin from time to time, using disinfectant to deter flies.
- If you do get maggots, wait until the bin has been emptied and then pour boiling water over them. This may sound harsh but you don’t want an infestation on your hands.
Stick to this routine, which is actually pretty straightfoward and easy to achieve, and you'll never have to worry about flea-infested ferrets laying seige to your back garden ever again.