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Mar 8, 2009 03:35 PM

How do you de-funk stinky food waste?

I don't like air fresheners so that's out. The only two things I want people to smell when they come into my home is either good food cooking or clean.

I live in a condo where the only option is to store garbage inside your unit until garbage day comes along. We don't make much waste so food funk can be stored for up to two weeks. The offending bag is already in a closet as far away from civilization as possible. I've tried double-bagging, Glad Odour Shield bags, boxes of baking soda, and dumping baking soda directly into the green garbage bag. It's still an issue at least once a month.

If anyone has any suggestions, trust me, they'd be more than welcome. Eternally grateful in advance.


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  1. So this is garbage garbage, not organic waste destined for green bin pick up. As I understand it, the green bin program isn't available yet for multi-unit dwellings yet. Of course, you'd still have the same problem with storage but at least green bins get picked up every week. That's brutal to have to wait two weeks to get smelly garbage picked up.

    I have friends in a similar situation who tightly extra-bag the most offensive items and freeze them until pick-up. But they have extra freezer storage capacity.

    What about one of those really big insulated coolers, you know the kind you pack for picnics and going to a cottage. You wouldn't have to actually keep it cool, but it would seal well. You likely wouldn't want to use that cooler for anything else though, ever.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JamieK

      JamieK you're absolutely bang on as to all the reasons why I have to store inside. No, no green bin service in my neighbourhood yet. As much as I may have thought about illegally dumping my waste in a street bin, I'm just not that kinda gal. Come to think of it I do have a beater cooler hanging around my place. I'll give that a whirl. Thanks.

    2. Excuse me, you don't have a garbage disposer? ALL of my food waste goes down mine so animals don't attack my trash bins outside. I would never dream of keeping it inside. So down the garbage disposer it goes, then if it has an ordor, half a lemon to rehab the whole thing.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Caroline1

        They're prohibited in most parts of Toronto where Googs lives -
        "Garburator, also called garbage grinders, are prohibited in areas of the City served by combined sewers under the Sewer Use By-law (Municipal Code, Chapter 681-10,Section E). To find out if your building is on a combined sewer, call 416-338-8888.

        In addition, the City has studied the use of garburator and found them to be an expensive way to treat organic waste, both for owners and the City. More solids in the pipes lead to clogging and an increase in service calls, and more solids in the sewage system mean more blockages. The Green Bin Program, which is expected to be launched in apartments and condominiums as soon as adequate processing capacity is identified, will provide a much more effective way for managing organic waste."

        1. re: JamieK

          I had no idea. Thanks! But the restriction without an IMMEDIATE sanitary and odorless alternative sounds at the very least "unkind" to me, if not downright dangerous. Odor comes from active bacteria! Yucky!

          1. re: Caroline1

            Yes, there are challenges. For me and many others, who live in single-family houses, it's easy. We have a temporary small organic waste disposal bin in our kitchen, which gets dumped into a larger "green bin" every day or so. I have the convenience and advantage of then being able to store the green bin in our shed until pick-up morning every week. This is important as Toronto has a large population of very clever and huge fat raccoons.

            Anyway, I sympathize with Goog's problem and am still trying to think of possible solutions.

      2. You might want to try getting some kind of composter so that you can segregate the smelliest of your trash. Once the food scraps are out, your trash shouldn't smell at all.

        Here is a link to the the wikipedia article on Bokashi. It is supposed to be a fairly odorless, easy way to compost inside your house. It should give you great soil to grow some herbs indoors too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: megmosa

          Yeah, I've heard that Bokashi works great, although I haven't used it myself or even seen (smelled) it in action. Vermiculture (worm compost bin) would be a very green solutions, too.

        2. So garbage collection is once a week or once every 2? Curious what you meant by "up to two weeks." Sounds like your condo complex has a completely unsanitary policy. Almost nothing will neutralize that garbage funky smell...bleach, maybe sawdust. When I was in a similar position, I disposed of my trash elsewhere....The gas station, car wash, park, even the dumpsters at work. Garbage for 2 weeks in your place? I feel for you, Googs

          2 Replies
          1. re: BiscuitBoy

            I agree with the solution. We dump our garbage at the local gas station or convenient mart whenever we have to take a long trip before garbage days. They have garbage cans, which is for customers' garbage. As long as I am not dumping a dead body there's nothing illegal about it.

            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              It sounds absolutely disgusting to me! Doesn't your building HAVE to have a skip or some sort of communal garbage disposal if it doesn't have facilities for individual collection? We live in a condo, but there's a skip outside for the trash, emptied several times a week. I would have thought it would be illegal for them not to provide some sort of more sanitary option. If they don't my only suggestion would be a sealed stainless steel cannister for your stinkiest trash, preferably kept in the freezer.

            2. For food waste that I know is going to get ultra ripe by pick-up day, like chicken carcasses and fish parts, I double bag in plastic bags and stick them in the freezer. Then on pick up day they are in a garbage truck before they had a chance to thaw.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Veggo


                I hope that you mark these clearly. I would not want you to grab the wrong bag, when you plan on doing a nice chicken stew! E-e-e-uh! That would be a surprise. I'll send you some Sharpies®, just in case.