Family Owned & Operated Since 1995! | Serving the Chicagoland Area & Northwest Indiana

6 Tips for Dealing With Foul Commercial Dumpster Smells

|Written by

Dealing With Dumpster Smell— Chicago, IL — Tri-State Disposal

Dumpster odors mainly come from decomposing matter. However, other things can contribute to the smell as well. Foul-smelling commercial dumpsters can invite pests, become a public nuisance, and generally make life worse for the people forced to encounter them. Here are some tips to mitigate, remove, or prevent the terrible smells coming from your dumpsters.

  1. Seal Your Garbage Before Dumping It

An easy solution to a lot of dumpster odors is to seal your garbage before you place it into the dumpster. Make sure your garbage goes into a bag and close that bag tightly.

You may want to consider upgrading your garbage bags if you use thin or cheaply made bags. If the garbage bags easily rip or tear, then those foul odors will come out and attract all the insects, rodents, and other pests to your trash. Thin bags can also leak more smell, which can attract those pests and they, in turn, will have an easy time ripping open the bags.

Don’t assume certain types of garbage require a bag while other types of garbage don’t. You should get into the habit of bagging all garbage, even things like cardboard, whenever possible. Decomposing organic matter isn’t just limited to food and plant material. Some wet paper can just as easily start to smell.

  1. Let Foul Air Out of Your Dumpsters

Airing out your commercial dumpster can help remove foul odors. A dumpster can hold in moisture and the microorganisms that like a wet environment. With some fresh air to dry out some of the interiors, you can also eliminate the smells caused by the wet interior.

However, don’t keep the lid completely open all day long. Make sure it is closed if there is a possibility of precipitation or if the air is damp. If you have a commercial dumpster with a side door or opening, then leaving them open for a bit during a sunny day can often help to evaporate the moisture.

This process may cause the smell to strengthen at first, but as the container dries, the smell problem will lessen. Once you have a dried-out container, try to keep it that way.

In addition to airing out the dumpster, avoid dumping liquids into the trash at all, even if the liquid is in a bad — the bag can leak it into the dumpster.

  1. Consider Alternatives to Dumping Food

Some businesses have no choice but to dump food or food scraps regularly. Even when tightly sealed, many pests can smell discarded food from a long way off.

If your business only produces a small amount of food waste, you can consider composting it. This compost can go to use in other ways. For example, if you produce a good amount of it, you can even sell the compost.

Of course, this tip isn’t viable if you deal mostly with food and organic waste. Just make sure to bag it up and use a speedy dumpster service that won’t let the waste linger for too long.

  1. Clean Your Dumpsters Regularly

The cleaning method you choose will depend on the types of garbage you regularly dispose of, the size of your dumpsters, and the number of dumpsters you use. However, pressure washing your dumpster can rid it of most of the detritus that collects inside of it.

You also want to deal with the buildup of gunk and microorganisms in your dumpsters. To do that, you can use a bleach solution or something that includes bleach, soap, and vinegar.

  1. Use a Product to Deodorize Your Dumpsters

Several chemicals, enzymes, filters, and odor maskers on the market are designed to combat smelly dumpsters. And some chemicals and products exist as a form of treatment to help keep a dumpster dry or deodorize it.

Some of the more common agents include bleach, lime powder, baking soda, and clay cat litter. Bleach can eliminate odor-causing bacteria, while lime powder, baking soda, or clay cat litter can absorb odors and moisture.

If you use an agent for cleaning or deodorizing your dumpsters, make sure you or your staff follow all safety instructions closely. Some commercial cleaning agents contain chemicals and compositions that aren’t suitable for all applications. If pests are a source of your dumpster’s odors, you can also purchase products for dumpsters that deal with them as well.

  1. Choose a Reputable Commercial Waste Management Service

You can mitigate a lot of the potential smell issues through a reputable dumpster rental and waste management service. Scheduled pickup and delivery of dumpsters can ensure smell issues don’t grow out of control.

Tri-State Disposal offers commercial and industrial waste management solutions as well as dumpster rental services. Contact us to learn more about how our services can help keep your dumpsters from becoming too smelly.

Recent Posts


A Brief History of Recycling in America

Recycling is not a modern-day invention. Its roots stretch back much further than most realize, intertwining with America's history in surprising ways. At Tri-State Disposal we're not just about managing waste; we're about embracing and contributing to recycling's rich history. When Did Recycling Start in the United States? Recycling in America began out of necessity rather than environmental consciousness. During the pre-industrial era, the scarcity of resources made recycling a common practice. People repurposed clothes, tools, and even food scraps...

Read More

Reduce Food Waste with These Clever Recipes

In today's environmentally conscious society, individuals are consistently seeking out effective and affordable methods to minimize their impact on the environment. That is why food waste solutions and recipes that utilize the entire ingredient have become increasingly popular. Not only are zero food waste recipes a good way to save money, but they can also bring innovative ideas to your kitchen. Great Recipes to Reduce Waste Stocks: Whenever you have leftover bones, meat, or vegetable parts, creating a stock is...

Read More

How Does Dumpster Rental Work: Your Ultimate Guide

Whether you’re tackling construction cleanup or a home renovation, you’ll need a roll-off dumpster rental for any junk removal project. But does renting a dumpster work? Read this guide to learn the ins and outs of dumpster rentals in the simplest ways possible. (more…)

Read More