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Bag it, bin it and rinse: Get that clean and refreshing feeling

September 12, 2019
Feature Stories

The thought of food scraps – meat and chicken bones, leftover stews and pasta noodles mixing together in a green bin conjures up a messy and smelly picture in the minds of many. It can even deter them from using the green bin at all.

Erasing the yuck

If you count yourself among these individuals, using plastic bags to keep your green bin tidy might be a great option. That and regularly cleaning will help put your mind at ease.

This past July, the City’s Green Bin Program introduced a new option: allowing the use of plastic bags. You don’t need to go out and buy plastic bags. You can reuse ones you have around your home, such as:

  • Grocery and retail bags
  • Milk bags
  • Bread bags

Try using paper bags too. It is just as clean and easy to use.


Cleaning tips

Regular cleaning of your green bin – along with your garbage can and blue bin – will also help keep them fresh.

  • Rinse your green bin with a garden hose from time to time, especially if you don’t line your bin with paper.
  • Rinse your green bin and garbage can with lemon juice, vinegar, dish soap or baking soda to reduce odours and prevent bugs.
  • Give your blue bin a rinse from time to time, as it may be sticky from residual liquids.
  • Keeping your meat or fish scraps in the freezer until collection day, to help reduce odours.

Here’s a short video on cleaning, which profiles some other packaging options for your green bin.

Weekly pickup

Why keep messy garbage for two weeks? You can take advantage of weekly green-bin collection to get rid of food waste every week. And that’s the waste that smells most.

And that way, it will only be dry waste sitting in your garbage cans and bags waiting for the bi-weekly garbage pickup.

Tax benefit

There’s also a financial benefit for you as a City taxpayer. The more organic materials, like food scraps, that the City can process into compost, the more we extend the life of our current landfill sites. And that will help save millions of taxpayer dollars that would be needed to develop a new landfill.


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