Brown bin: Tricks and tips for avoiding undesirable smells and animals

Last updated October 8, 2021
Reading time: 2 min

Does your brown bin give off a foul odour or attract fruit flies and animals, such as squirrels and racoons? Find out how to properly use your bin in order to avoid any inconveniences.

The collection and treatment of food waste helps reduce the environmental impact of materials destined for landfills, and it generates fertilizer for our soils (compost). The brown bin helps to protect the environment and is easier to manage than you might think.

How to avoid odours

  • Wrap your food waste in newspaper, brown wrapping paper or carton. Another option: Put it in paper bag or bundle it in paper. Any of these actions will ensure that organic matter doesn’t collect on the inside of the bin, or freeze at the bottom of the bin during the wintertime. Certified compostable plastic bag may be use, except in the borough of Lachine, L’Île-Bizard-Sainte-Geneviève, Pierrefonds-Roxboro and Saint-Laurent. Avoid adding liquids to the brown bin at all times.
  • Sprinkle a little baking soda or drop a charcoal briquette at the bottom of your bin.
  • Place the brown bin in front of your home for the weekly collection, even if it isn’t full.
  • Wrap delicate food items, such as meat and fish, in newspaper, and break them down into small quantities, if necessary. Combine moist materials with dry materials, which will absorb liquids from foods as well as reduce odours. 
  • In the summertime, keep food waste in the refrigerator or freezer, in a plastic container with a cover.
  • Always close the cover on your countertop bin and your brown bin. If your bin is damaged, please contact 311.
  • Keep your bins in the shade at all times.

How to clean the bin

Clean your bin regularly with ecological soap, baking soda, or vinegar.

How to keep insects and animals away

  • To keep fruit flies from propagating inside your countertop bin, cut a cork along the length and place it on the bin cover.
  • In order to deter rodents, line the edge of the brown bin cover with camphor-based ointment (such as Vicks VapoRub or Tiger Balm).
  • Place a heavy object on the brown bin cover.
  • Close the cover with a bungee cord. The day of the collection, remove the cord so that the bin can be emptied.

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