If your facility handles large amounts of waste, you’re probably all too familiar with the rank odors of a smelly waste disposal area. Dumpsters, trash compactors, trash chutes, trash rooms, loading docks, tanks, drip pads and other disposal implements can all develop malodorous scents that make working in those areas a challenge.

Fortunately, your business has a few tools at its disposal for managing waste odors. The guide below will offer several tips for keeping commercial waste odor under control and making your workplace a more appealing environment.

Managing Commercial Waste Odor

Figuring out how to manage commercial waste odor should be a high priority on any business’s to-do list. Why is it so essential to manage commercial waste odor effectively? Here are a few reasons:

  • Public health and safety: Managing waste odors is critical to maintaining a safe and healthy environment. Where you have malodorous waste, you likely have a proliferation of microorganisms that could spread disease.
  • Workplace quality: Very few employees want to work in an environment full of unpleasant smells. By controlling your commercial waste’s odor, you can make your employees happier at work. That happiness can very well translate into higher levels of engagement and productivity.
  • Brand image: Minimizing odors also helps you earn a sterling brand reputation. Though clients and guests in your facility won’t likely run to inspect your dumpsters or trash chute the moment they walk in the door, they may pass by those areas eventually — or your waste smells may be so potent that they waft into public spaces. If visitors get a whiff, they may think of your business as sloppy, unclean or unsafe. A fresh-smelling facility, on the other hand, presents a much more polished, trustworthy image.

Fortunately, by working with a professional waste management company like ERC, you can reap these benefits for your business.

8 Ways to Keep Commercial Waste Odor Under Control

Below are eight of our best tips for controlling commercial waste odor:

1. Use Scent Diffusers and Air Fresheners

In many cases, you’ll get better results by eliminating the source of foul smells than you will by attempting to mask them. However, if you’re having difficulty removing odors or the smells are too powerful to live with, you may want to try diffusing more pleasant scents through the air instead. Use an air freshener or any other type of scent diffuser to send sweet fragrances soaring through the air and soothe your employees’, clients’ and visitors’ senses.

One caveat here — some fragrances intended to be pleasant can irritate people’s noses and throats, cause allergic reactions or even trigger migraines. Or, they can smell too strong to be enjoyable, even if they’re a much better alternative to the reek of garbage. It might be a good idea to try out any potential fragrance on a small scale first before committing to something that could be unpleasant for your guests.

2. Employ Everyday Odor-Control Substances

Some substances are well known for their odor-minimizing properties. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Baking soda: Baking soda is renowned for its odor-control abilities. If you’ve ever placed a box of baking soda in your fridge to control food smells or sprinkled some into your garbage disposal or dishwasher, you know how effective it can be. Most bad smells come from strong acids, like rancid butter and stomach acid, or strong bases, like rotting fish. Baking soda’s chemistry allows it to act as a pH neutralizer. If you scatter some baking soda in your disposal areas, it should leave the spaces smelling cleaner and fresher.
  • Cat litter: Cat litter is also excellent at odor control — that’s why we use it in litter boxes. Cat litter often contains baking soda or activated charcoal mixed with an absorbent material like clay. If you scatter some cat litter in your waste disposal areas, you can reduce odors and absorb moisture all at the same time.
  • Special odor control products: For a little step up in your strategy, you might use common household odor-absorbing products or deodorizers. These products mask smells, reduce odors and give you an additional option to try if other choices have left you with lingering smells around your waste.

One caution here concerns rental equipment. If you’re renting a dumpster or other equipment from a disposal company, be sure to check with the company about what substances it permits in its dumpsters. You don’t want to put an odor-control material into a dumpster only to find out that it damages the metal and will cost you fines.

3. Use Commercial Garbage Odor Eliminator Granules

Sometimes, especially in the baking summer heat that makes typical waste smells even more putrid, you need more advanced solutions than everyday household products. Try commercial solutions like odor-control granules — they help resolve odors and keep your waste disposal area more pleasant to work in.

Odor-control granules are small pellets you can pour into spaces like your dumpster or trash compactor. Like many cat litters, they are often clay-based products, so they are highly absorbent. They can absorb unpleasant smells and make your waste disposal areas much less malodorous. These industrial odor neutralizers are ideal for situations in which you need to minimize an odor right away or have to deal with leaking and odor-causing liquid waste.

Some odor-control granules even contain citronella, so they enable you to keep flies, mosquitos and other insect pests out of your commercial waste. However, they generally cannot kill the microorganisms in your waste — they neutralize odors only.

4. Use Commercial Garbage Odor Eliminator Sprays

Odor-control sprays are usually even more effective than granules because they can actively digest waste instead of merely masking or absorbing odors. They are also often more costly, so you may need to evaluate your priorities and strike a balance between the odor control you need and the price your budget can handle.

Odor-control sprays often take the form of bioenzymatic solutions. Bioenzymatic sprays do more than freshen the air or absorb odors. They use good bacteria to produce enzymes that actively break down waste and use it as an energy source. Once the waste is broken down as far as possible, it will no longer produce offensive odors.

Bioenzymatic sprays are handy for dumpsters and trash compactors because these receptacles often contain tiny cracks and hard-to-clean crevices. Sprays can coat these cracks and crevices thoroughly to ensure the enzymes gain access to all the smelly spots requiring cleanup.

5. Convert Food Particles Into Liquefied Waste

Food waste makes up a high proportion of commercial waste streams — it accounts for 22% of all municipal solid waste. Handling food waste responsibly and effectively is critical, and it can help you address some of the worst of your business’s waste odors.

If your business produces a high volume of food waste, consider liquifying it so it won’t sit around in your garbage, rot and give off foul smells. Even if you tie your garbage bags as tightly as you can, odors may still waft out, or pests may scent rotten food with their highly sensitive senses of smell and rip the bags open.

Liquefying food waste can help your business address this challenge. You can often use special grinding equipment or an aerobic digester to pulverize food particles into a liquid before disposing of them into the sewer system where regulations permit. An aerobic digester uses water, oxygen and good bacteria to break down food waste, and it can process between 250 to 2,000 pounds of food waste every day.

If your business is a hotel, restaurant, hospital, university campus or any other entity that produces copious quantities of food waste, this technique can help you streamline your waste disposal processes and minimize odors.

6. Remove Waste Promptly

One of the best strategies you can use to control odors is to remove waste promptly before organic material can rot and other pungent smells can permeate the space. You may not be able to have your waste removed every day. Still, keeping a regular schedule is critical for maintaining safe, healthy, odor-free waste disposal areas around your facility. If you store waste in drums, schedule frequent drum waste disposal to avoid cracks and leaks in aging drums and remain in regulatory compliance.

7. Clean, Sanitize and Disinfect Regularly

Regular cleaning is essential for keeping odors under control, especially if your waste disposal area is indoors, like the trash room in a commercial business. Mopping down floors weekly, if not daily, is an excellent strategy for reducing spills and keeping funky smells to a minimum. Cleaning surfaces regularly with a sanitizing spray or disinfectant also helps you reduce the odors associated with microbial growth.

8. Seek Advice From Your Disposal Company

If you work with a professional waste disposal company like ERC for waste management services, consider asking the pros for their advice about minimizing commercial waste odors. They have years of experience dealing with waste and odor issues and can give you practical advice about addressing the problem. They can tell you how to remove existing odors most effectively, and they can also guide you toward a strategy for preventing odor accumulation in the future.

If you don’t already have it, they can also provide you with prompt, regular waste disposal services so reeking garbage won’t sit around for days, assaulting your senses.

Getting Rid of Dumpster Smells

Sometimes, you need solutions designed specifically for dumpster odor control. In that case, you can use a few dumpster-specific tips to address waste spills and particular outdoor challenges. Below are a few suggestions for how to get rid of dumpster smells:

1. Seal Waste Securely

If you throw much of your waste into a dumpster, consider investing in heavy-duty bags. Where throwing waste items directly into the dumpster allows them to send rancorous odors directly into passersby’s noses, durable bags help keep many of those unpleasant odors in.

Be sure to tie the bags tightly so no stinky smells can sneak out into the air. And be sure to use sturdy bags that can stand up to rough hauling, flinging and landing. Otherwise, the bags may break open and spill their contents all over the dumpster, creating a mess as well as releasing an unpleasant smell.

If you’re concerned about the potential adverse environmental impacts plastic bags can have, look for specially manufactured biodegradable bags. Or you can try throwing your waste into empty cardboard boxes instead of bags before disposing of it in the dumpster.

2. Maintain a Dry Environment

Mold and bacteria thrive in moist environments, and they are often the culprits in unpleasant commercial waste smells.

You’ll want to create a dry waste disposal environment to help rein those odors in. Start by keeping liquids out of your waste and waste disposal areas to begin with. Pour them down the drain where your local regulations permit. Keep your dumpsters closed most of the time to prevent rainwater and condensation from seeping in, and be sure they’re in good repair and don’t have any holes or cracks that could admit moisture.

You should also air your dumpsters out occasionally to allow any collected moisture and spills to dry. That way, they won’t stick around to become attractive breeding grounds for fungi and microorganisms.

3. Deter Pests

Pests frequently cause dumpster odors. Neighborhood scavengers like raccoons, mice and feral cats might climb into your dumpsters and rip the bags open in search of a tasty, odoriferous meal. Or flies might visit the dumpster and lay eggs in exposed waste, giving rise to maggots, which can give off a distinctly unpleasant ammonia-like odor.

One of the best ways to thwart these pests is to keep your dumpsters and the bags in them tightly sealed. To deter the larger scavengers, you can also try fencing off your dumpsters to make them more challenging to access.

4. Avoid Overfilling

You should also try your best not to overfill your dumpsters. Of course, at times, you may have so much garbage there’s nothing to do but heap it up. However, piling up bags of trash poses a few risks regarding waste odor control. One is that you’ll pile so many bags on top of one another that they’ll begin to tear and break, especially if you’re also slamming heavy dumpster lids down on the accumulated pile.

Another is that if you put too many bags in the dumpster, the doors won’t close properly. Then, any unpleasant smells will waft freely out into the neighborhood, wrinkling noses and sending people scurrying away.

Work With Environmental Recovery Corporation for Reliable Waste Management

To reduce odors in your business by investing in responsible waste management services, contact ERC.

We offer various dependable waste management services to help you meet your waste disposal and odor-control needs and keep your facility clean, safe and appealing. From sustainable waste transportation services to industrial waste disposal and recycling to liquid waste management, our waste solutions address your disposal challenges, keep your workplace smelling fresh and clean, and free you to get back to the work of supporting and growing your business.

Best of all, when you work with ERC, you’ll know you’re doing your part for the environment by handling your waste responsibly and sustainably. Our environmentally conscious, growth-oriented teams have the years of industry knowledge and expertise to help you tackle even your toughest waste challenges. And they are well versed in the ins and outs of local and federal disposal requirements, so they can keep you compliant and help you avoid fines.

Contact us today to schedule waste disposal services or learn more about what we can do for your business.