What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Smelly Garbage

We have been on a waste reduction goal for a few months now.  I am very pleased to announce that it is working.  On average, we have a bit less than a kitchen catcher garbage bag of curb side waste that will end up in the landfill.  We are working on reducing that further.  Part of the reduction in household waste is due to the installation of an Insinkerator food waste disposal last August but the rest is due to an increased awareness with respect to packaging that can't be recycled.

Kitchen waste tends to be smelly and while the food waste disposal takes care of most of this problem, it does not take care of all of it.  Smelly garbage is problematic on a few levels.  We spend extended periods of time away from our main home.  If we miss garbage day before leaving, that garbage can sit for a month or so attracting rodents while stinking up the garage.  Our last home was rural so stinky garbage attracted racoons, skunks, squirrels and birds.  Let me tell you, crows and grackles are horrid for ripping apart garbage bags if they get any hint of a smell.  This home is urban bordering on farmland so again, stinky garbage attracts the pests especially the birds and occasionally dogs.

We have virtually eliminated smelly garbage.  Now, we can leave for a month at a time knowing our garbage is not going to smell or attract critters.  It was actually easier than I thought it would be.    Here's a few things we have done to curb the smell garbage issue:

  • food waste disposal - The food waste disposal takes care of most of the food waste the compost can't handle due to volume.  I do a lot of home canning so the compost cannot always handle a large influx of produce waste that can become rather smelly during the warmer months.
  • bones and fat - Bones and fat can quickly become smelly during the warm months.  Larger bones and fat are not put down the food waste disposal.  Rather, large bones are given to a friend with a dog that really enjoys them.  Fat is scooped into a zipper style storage bag then discarded when full with the exception of bacon grease that is collected and used for cooking.  I also mix some of the fat with bird seed to feed the birds during the winter months.
  • zipper style storage bags - I have a lot of this style bag used mainly for on the boat and traveling with a few used for food storage.  I don't throw them out and they can't go into the recycle bin.  If I have kitchen waste (eg. meat wrappers, fat, bones) that I know will smell that can't go into the compost bin or food waste disposal, it goes into a used zipper style storage bag.  Now, odours can escape from these types of bags so I keep the bag in the freezer until garbage day.  If I miss a garbage day, the bag simply sits in the freezer until the next garbage day.  At best, I may have about a half a quart bag of waste that could smell each week so saving it until the bag is full isn't a huge problem.