Wealden District Council
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Wheelie Bin Hygiene Tips

Wheelie bin hygiene benefits

Wheeled bins significantly reduce the ability of flies to get into bins and to lay eggs (forming maggots). Where the bin lid is kept closed it will stop smells and this helps to prevent attracting flies and vermin. Maggots can appear within 8-12 hours of eggs being laid by flies in warm weather and have always been present in weekly collected general waste.

Tips for improving bin hygiene

  • Rinse out plastic packaging, tins and cans containing food waste at the end of your daily washing up to minimise smells. It is the liquid at the base of a wheelie bin that attracts flies so to avoid this build up you can also lay a piece of newspaper at the bottom of your waste bin.
  • Tie all waste securely in plastic bags and double bag items such as meat, fish, nappies and pet waste (faeces).
  • Solids from disposable nappies should be emptied into the toilet before being double bagged and put in the bin.
  • Do not leave cooked food waste exposed in the kitchen where it could attract flies. Maggots will only appear if flies have been able to settle on uncovered food and lay their eggs.
  • Do not leave dog/cat food out uncovered – again because flies can lay their eggs in it.
  • Squeeze the air out of bags used to contain food waste before they are tied and put in the bin (the lack of air should slow down general decomposition, reduce smells and slow the development of maggots).
  • Keep the lid of the wheeled bin closed at all times.
  • Regularly clean the inside of the bin with a strong disinfectant or dilute bleach to kill odours, bacteria or flies.
  • If possible, store the wheeled bin out of direct sunlight (slowing general decomposition, reducing smells and slowing the development of maggots).
  • You might want to consider obtaining a food digester or a kitchen composter to dispose of ALL your food waste including meat, fish, bones and dairy products. Wealden and East Sussex County Council have special offers on compost bins, kitchen composters and wormeries . 

Contact information for bin cleaning companies

The Government funded organisation WRAP (Waste and Resources Material Program) has published a WRAP study of health effects of alternate weekly collections , which in summary proposes that the risk for householders with alternate weekly collections is little changed from that experienced with weekly collections.