Bin Health and Maintenance
Show your bin some love. Some simple habits can help relieve some of the gross factor with composting and help your bin last longer. Good bin maintenance includes:
1) Keep liquid out of your bin as best as possible
2) Line with compostable bags/paper bags, tying off helps
3) Rinse bin after being emptied and flip it over to fully dry
4) Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of the bin to reduce smell and absorb liquid
5) Keep the bin out of the sun
6) Freeze scraps until day of pickup
7) Put meat/fish into a newspaper and wrap up like a burrito
Black Earth is not responsible for the bin if lost, stolen or damaged. Please label your bin with your address. Replacement bins and parts can be ordered through the customer account shop.
Remedies for Specific Issues
FRUIT FLIES - Eliminate the flies' food and water source from your countertop by keeping fruit in the fridge and a lid on your countertop container. Empty your countertop container before it overflows or soils. Wash and dry the container before filling it up again. To catch fruit flies, fill up a mason jar with apple cider vinegar and a drop of dish soap. Secure plastic wrap over the top and poke small holes into the top. Leave it near your countertop container.
MAGGOTS - After your collection (don't worry if there are maggots, we still take it), rinse your bin out and put it upside down in the sun to fully dry. You can start filling your lined bin again the next day. Plan to repeat this as necessary after each pickup during the warmer months. Rinsing once often does the trick.
Maggots are a stage in the lifecycle of a fly. The female fly will lay eggs on your food waste and within a day the eggs will turn into maggots. The maggot stage is just 3-5 days while larvae transition into the pupae. After 2-4 weeks in the pupae state, dormant in a cocoon-like shell, they will turn back into flies. So, no flies...no maggots.
Make it Harder for Flies to Access Your Compost:
- Keep your countertop container covered and the lid latched on your curbside bin.
- Use countertop container liners and tie them off before putting them in your bin.
- Reduce moisture and odors by adding baking soda to the bottom of the bin, squeezing out liquids, and wrapping strong smelling fruit/meat/shellfish in newspaper.
- Freeze compost in the freezer until collection day (countertop container liners work well for freezing compost).
- Keep your bin out of the sun.
Deep Cleaning Your Bin:
Clean the bin with vinegar or dish soap to get rid of any smells or remaining larvae or pupae. Pouring boiling hot water over the maggots will also kill them instantly. Always let the bin fully dry.
ANIMALS - In some neighborhoods animals can try to get into the bins. While our lids do latch and keep out the majority of perpetrators, they do not lock, and there are some clever and determined animals out there. Some feisty squirrels have been known to eat through the plastic and some dexterous raccoons have opened the latch. Sprinkle some chili powder on the lid to discourage animals. Reinforcing the lid with an additional strap will prevent clever animals from opening it. You can construct your own with a bungee cord or clip or purchase a Strong Strap - Universal Garbage Can Lid Lock Utility Strap from Amazon.
Watch this video with tips and tricks to keep your bin odor and pest free.
Replacement Bins and Latches are Available in the Customer Account Shop
How To Install a Replacement Bin Latch