How to Look After Your Bins in Summer

28th May 2024

By Graham Matthews

The summer months are meant to be enjoyed outside. It’s prime time for BBQs, sunbathing in the garden, and getting plenty of vitamin D before another dreary autumn arrives. However, more sunshine and warmer weather aren’t ideal for those plastic wheelie bins full of rubbish outside your home or business.

Higher humidity encourages bacterial growth that attracts pests, creates a nasty smell, and the sun can damage the actual bin. This ruins any BBQ, garden party, or chance to relax outside. Looking after your bins with a few simple actions helps you make the most out of the summer season.

Use these tips to stop your bin from smelling, prevent attracting pests, and protect your bins at home or work in the summer.

wheelie bin lids in summer sunshine.

Check for cracks

Regularly inspect your bins more over summer as sun damage can cause cracks and splits to develop. UV rays from the sun have high-energy photons that may break polymer bonds that make up the plastic material of most wheelie bins. More sunshine means most bins are exposed to more UV rays, which increases the risk of cracks developing.

Cracks and splits can grow quickly and mean waste spills out and any bad smells become even more prominent. It also creates an opening for rainwater and pests to get in, which can cause further problems. Bacteria and germs thrive in such warm crevices, which is less than ideal.

If you spot any cracks or splits you should stop using the bin and ask your local council or waste collection service for a replacement. Alternatively, you could try to repair any small cracks with a plastic welding gun or fibreglass repair strip. Only do this if you’re confident though – you don’t want to make it worse.

How to stop your bin 
smelling in summer

Warm bins are a hotbed of horrid smells in summer. Organic waste like food scraps decompose faster when it’s hot, which releases nasty odours. Even if your bins are stored away from your garden or any outside seating at your workplace, the stench can spread, especially if it’s windy.

Follow these simple steps for ideas of how to stop your bin smelling in summer:

  • Clean your bins – after your bins are emptied wash the inside out with water and some anti-bacterial solution and then rinse. This should get rid of bacteria and stop it from growing while also removing any foul smells.
  • Wash out recycling – used food and drink packaging like yoghurt pots, crisp packets, and margarine tubs can contain remnants of food that rot quickly in warm weather. Carefully clean out all recycling before putting it in your bin to remove contaminants and the chance of a bad smell developing fast.
  • Double bag any food waste – ideally you would compost any food waste where possible rather than throwing it out with general waste to avoid it going to landfill. Not everyone has a garden or compost bin though. When getting rid of food scraps in summer it’s best to double bag it to avoid decomposing food to fall out of split bags and release a foul odour.
  • Fill your bins at the best time – try to time it so you empty waste from any indoor bins into your bins outside as close to the collection day as possible. This avoids waste sitting in a hot bin outside for days and a bad smell developing.
  • Deodorise the bins – you can use a bin deodoriser or sprinkle bicarbonate of soda in the bottom of a dry bin to reduce the chance of a bad smell occurring. Laying down cardboard may also reduce the risk of your bin smelling in summer.
wheelie bins on a sunny street in summer.

Position your bins strategically in summer

Move your bins away from direct sunlight if possible. The UV rays can damage plastic bins over time while direct sunshine also causes the bin and its contents to warm up, adding to any bad smells developing. Put them in a shady spot alongside your house, near a shed, or behind a big tree.

If you can’t avoid direct sunlight completely, try to position them somewhere that gets less sun or only in the early morning when it should be cooler. Another option is to create some kind of shelter or shade by using a big old umbrella, tarpaulin, or sheets.

Secure your bins

The Great British weather can be unpredictable over summer – it’s not all sunshine and ice creams. After a sunny spell, there are normally a few thunderstorms and plenty of showers. It’s important you prepare for wind and secure your bins before they blow over and litter the street.

Putting wheelie bins in a dedicated unit is the best option as it should be sheltered from the rain, direct sunlight, and wind. These cost money though and not all homes and businesses have space for one. Instead, you can use a bit of bungee cord or a dedicated wheelie bin lock to secure them.

Prepare for bin collection schedule changes

Household bin collection times may be earlier during periods of extremely warm weather to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion. You should be informed by your local authority or council if they’re going to move your regular bin collections earlier. It’s best to put your bins out the night before to be safe and avoid missing a collection.

For any commercial bin collections, your provider should tell you about any changes due to summer weather. At Divert we can help with your commercial waste removal come rain or shine in Yorkshire and we divert all waste away from landfill. Get a free quote for commercial waste collections with free bins today (you only pay for collection) – call 0333 444 0118 or contact us online.

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