Maggots in wheelie binThere's precious little less appetizing than festering rubbish and maggots, but one woman in Manchester found exactly that when she opened her bin lid - and promptly dialled 999. Although emergency operators might have more severe things to deal with than the single grossest sight any housewife can find on her property, dirty rubbish bins and hot summer months don't mix well, and unattended trash can attract all sorts of creepy crawlies with bothersome odours that can waft into neighbouring homes.

Luckily, there are easier ways to keep bins clean and tidy than calling the local authorities, or even more severe the police as in this case.

Maintenance Methods

A garden hose can work wonders on a waste disposal bin, but it's more important to routinely clean a bin than it is to rigorously wash, scrub and soap once a month. This is one of the rare cases where quantity trumps quality – rotted food, smelly odours and residual rubbish of any kind accumulates because most people do not give a moment's notice, much less maintenance, to their wheelie bin. Keeping the maggots away can be as simple as airing out a bin after each weekly binmen visit, but committed residents can fool-proof their bins by going the extra mile to rinse out the insides and make sure to pick loose any remaining rubbish that might have stuck itself to the interior plastic.

Unmaintained bins can caused problems for neighbouring houses as well, and the neighbours were actually the thing on the mind of a poor woman who phoned authorities because of the maggots in her bin, not the maggots themselves. “Hello 999?” she began, her voice jagged with worry and disgust. “I have maggots in my bin and I'm scared my neighbours will complain.”

Her concerns weren't unfounded. In many residential areas it's a noticeable offense to let unattended rubbish bins stink up the neighbourhood, which means that it's the imperative of every resident to keep their bin as well groomed as their garden. Although the daily emptying of rubbish is ideal, most people abide by the weekly binmen runs of their area and have precious few hours in between unloading the rubbish and dumping in new rubbish to clean their bins. Chemical cleaning wipes can help to speed up the process, while bicarbonate soda dumped onto the bottom of an empty bin will go a long way in absorbing the untoward odours that will be emanating from the rubbish throughout the week.

A lot of problems come down to improperly sized bags being shoved into much larger bins by people who are in too much of a hurry to pay mind to middling details, but the mental image of maggots churning through old pizza slices, bread and fruits in a miasma of horrible white sunless wormy bugs should be enough motivation to spend the extra seconds to secure a large enough bag to cover the bin. Most of the time trash festers when it falls out from the sides of small or flimsy bags; higher quality bin liners will stop this from happening, and cut down on the amount of time residents have to spend hosing down any accumulation of old food and peelings.