Why Do Your Building's Garbage Chutes Smell So Bad?

The garbage chutes in your building give your tenants a quick and easy way to get rid of their rubbish; however, they can give you some headaches. For example, you may notice that some or all of your chutes are starting to smell, and your tenants are complaining more frequently that the smell is spreading across the building. Why are your chutes so smelly and what can you do about it?

Why Garbage Chutes Smell

Garbage chutes often smell if they aren't used correctly. For example, if food or waste residue comes into contact with the inside of a chute, it will degrade and give off nasty odours. While you have rules to keep your chutes as clean as possible, these rules only work if your tenants follow them.

So, for example, you can tell your tenants to only put bagged-up garbage down a chute and not to use them to get rid of liquids or messy food waste. However, if your tenants don't do the right thing, then the interiors of your chutes get dirty. Even if people stick to the rules, a break in a bag may accidentally smear garbage down along the inside of a chute.

In some cases, smells from a garbage chute are down to a maintenance issue rather than misuse. For example, if one of your chute doors is broken and doesn't shut fully, then the natural smell of waste disposal may start to spread around parts of your building.

How to Deal With Smelly Garbage Chutes

Your cleaners may be able to kill basic bad smells by cleaning down into as much of the chute as they can reach. If the smell is very bad or comes through every door in your system, then this may not work. This smell may originate from spills, leaks or stuck residue further down the system in an area your cleaners can't see or access. In this case, have your chute professionally cleaned. Garbage chute companies often offer a deep-clean as an additional service.

If your smell is down to a broken or ill-fitting door, then a repair or replacement part may contain the smell. Bear in mind that garbage chutes don't last forever and, if your chute keeps needing repairs or maintenance, or has a persistent smell that comes back after cleaning, then it may be time to talk to a garbage chute contractor about upgrading your system.