Trash Chute Smells: Why It Doesn’t Always Have To

Posted on Jun 23, 2022

Whether you are a resident in the apartment building or the maintenance team for a residential complex, one thing no one wants is a smelly trash chute. While there is a lot of maintenance that must take place annually to keep a commercial building, apartment complex, or condominium building in top shape, one piece everyone dreads dealing with is the trash chute. Most people picture a stinky mess, plugging their nose as they open the door to toss a bag quickly down. However, this does not have to be the case. A trash chute does not have to be a stinky, undesirable place. Here are our top tips for keeping the trash chute in your residential building in tip top shape – and scent! 

What is a trash chute?

Trash chutes are extremely common in high- and mid-rise buildings, such as apartments or condominiums, where many people live or work in a single building. These chutes are used to collect garbage and move it to one central location for pick up or removal. 

Trash chutes usually have a door or opening on each floor where residents can place their bags of trash. It is then dropped into the chute, where it drops into a dumpster for larger garbage pick up. Some larger buildings may have their own trash compactor or even incinerator at the bottom. This saves residents who may live on higher floors the time and energy of walking down multiple flights of stairs with a bag of trash each time they need to throw away a bag garbage. 

Additionally, carrying a bag of trash through the halls and elevator of a crowded building is not sanitary or attractive, whereas trash chutes are discrete and much more sanitary.

How to keep a trash chute from stinking

A foul-smelling trash chute or trash room can not only offend residents, but it can also be a health hazard. Even if the smell is behind closed doors, lingering odors can have a negative effect on the building’s residents and reputation. Here are some ways to keep your trash chute from smelling.

Keep on top of maintenance
One of the biggest ways to keep your trash chute from stinking is to stay on top of regular maintenance. This includes regularly emptying the trash collected at the base of the chute and having the chute cleaned and inspected frequently. 

Throw trash away in a sealed bag
Keeping trash sealed in a bag when it is thrown in the trash chute will keep items from sticking to the walls of the chute, where they may mold or create unwanted smells. 

Maintain the flap on the opening
Some unwanted scents will always be associated with the trash chute. After all, it is a highway for garbage, which can be stinky in nature. Keeping the doors or flaps on the chute’s opening well-maintained will help trap any unwanted scents until the garbage at the base of the chute is emptied. 

Follow all guidelines
Trash chutes get a lot of use, and if all residents follow the guidelines put in place by the building’s maintenance team, the chute will stay clean and sanitary a lot longer. Items to avoid putting down the chute include: 

  • Pizza boxes or other large, strange-shaped boxes that may get stuck 
  • Christmas trees, plants, or wreaths that may leak sap or other material on the inside of the chute 
  • Hangers, strands of lights, or other protruding objects that may clog the chute 
  • Cleaning products or chemicals that may make a mess along the wall of the chute
  • Cat little, dirty diapers, or household food wastes not secured in a small, tight bag

Empty garbage bin frequently
If you have control over the schedule, ensure that the garbage at the base of the chute is emptied on a regular basis. This is usually weekly or bi-weekly, depending on how many people use the chute.

Schedule regular cleanings
If you maintain the trash chute, be sure to stay on top of regular cleanings and routine maintenance. This will keep trash, gunk, and mold from accumulating in the chute, increasing the potential for bad smells. A professional cleaning company will wash and disinfect the chute. Contact Airpro Indoor Air Solutions today to schedule a cleaning and routine maintenance for your residential or commercial building. 

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