FAQ’s Explained: Rats, Pests, and Smells, Oh My!

By: Sara Mack, Marketing Manager

One of the most common questions we get from people considering a composting service or hearing about Compost Crew for the first time is whether collecting food scraps will attract pests to your bucket. 

Luckily, we can confidently say that this negative perception of composting is a misconception. The process of separating out food scraps from the regular waste stream requires a shift for people who are new to the world of composting. This being said, regardless of whether or not you compost your organic waste, everyone has to put their food scraps somewhere. 

First, let’s look at the “mainstream” path for food waste: throwing it away with the rest of your household trash, and sending it to the landfill. 

In this “traditional” setup, garbage is stored in kitchen bins that are often open-lidded, therefore necessitating frequent bag changes and trips to take out the trash when the food starts to smell. Additionally, exterior trash cans or a building’s dumpsters are unlikely to have latching lids, which make them vulnerable to pests. 

Now, let’s consider composting.  Speaking specifically to the Compost Crew system, all of our bins have lids that seal completely. This system is one of the key reasons that separating out food scraps actually has the potential to decrease the amount of stink coming from the food waste that is already being collected in your kitchen. When food scraps are extracted from the rest of the waste stream, household trash decreases in quantity and becomes less stinky instantly!

In addition to decreasing smells in the kitchen, utilizing bins that are securely sealed ensures that, as long as they are closed properly, they will not attract the attention of any critters, even when left outside for pickup. 

Although the decomposition of food scraps does accelerate in warmer weather, even in the summer there are ways to slow the process and avoid the aroma associated with the organic matter breaking down. The most efficient of these strategies is to chill your food scraps. Putting your compost in bags or tupperware containers in the freezer until just before pick-up day is a way to minimize the odors, and thus reduce the allure to pests. 

Food scrap collection looks different for everyone, but the good news is that the process of composting almost certainly will not increase the risk of pests in your home. If you’re looking for some additional help to create a strategy for collecting your food scraps, feel free to reach out with your questions, and be sure to check out the rest of our FAQs at this link!