Tips for reducing smells from caddy and green waste bin

Cleaning a food caddy

Food odours and smells are common.

You might be concerned about your food caddy or green waste bin getting smelly from food scraps, but there are ways to minimise smells so you can recycle with confidence.

For your caddy

  • Let hot food cool down before putting it in your caddy.
  • Keep your caddy closed and out of direct sunlight.
  • Sprinkle bi-carbonate (baking) soda on top of food waste.
  • Empty your caddy every 2 to 3 days and rinse it after each use. For a more thorough clean, you can use dish detergent or put it in your dishwasher.
  • Freeze meat, bones and other smelly food in an airtight container and empty straight into your green waste bin the night before collection.
  • Line your caddy with paper towel (1 or 2 sheets will do) or compostable liners certified to AS4736 standards – look for this logo:

Australian Standard for compostability AS4736 logo

For your green waste bin

  • Put your green waste bin out for collection each week, even if it isn’t full.
  • Keep your green waste bin in the shade.
  • Do not overfill your bin - make sure you can close the lid properly.
  • Line your green waste bin with garden prunings - this will stop food sticking to the bottom of the bin.
  • Layer food waste in between garden prunings.
  • Wash your bin out from time to time.

If you are still concerned with smells, you can recycle food that is less likely to cause smells, such as fruit and vegetable peelings, bread, tea bags and eggshells. Smelly foods such as meat, bones and cooked leftovers can still go in your general waste bin.

How to deter insects and rodents

Overripe, rotting or decayed fruit and vegetables can attract fruit flies and other insects to your caddy or green waste bin. These are some more tips to stop insects and rodents from becoming a problem:

  • If you have ripened fruit or vegetables, eat these first or put them in the fridge until you can use them.
  • Clean up any spills or mess around your caddy or green waste bin.
  • Wrap rotten food in paper towel and put straight into your green waste bin or freeze in a separate container and put in your green waste bin the night before collection.
  • Spray lavender or mint around the base of your green waste bin - rats and mice don’t like this smell.