Keep It Clean!

I heard this composting business stinks and attract bugs, raccoons, coyotes and maybe even bears! Is this true??

Your yard debris bin will still get picked up every week, and has a nice heavy lid on it, just like your garbage cart. It would take a VERY motivated animal to get into it. Luckily, we don't currently have a bear problem in Lake Oswego. And coyotes have much easier pickings. Most importantly:

Your food waste is already going into a garbage can.

Moving it from your garbage can to your yard debris bin, which is still picked up weekly, will not attract additional pests or create additional odors. Always keep the lid closed to all your carts to keep animals out. Luckily for us, Lake Oswego is not the first municipality to offer curbside organics collection and thus we have many experiences from other cities that we can use to ensure our program is easy and worry free for residents. Here are a few tips:

For your kitchen pail:

  • Line it with newspaper or a paper bag that you can easily collect your scraps in and dump into the yard debris bin
  • Sprinkle baking soda in it to keep odors down
  • Coffee grounds REALLY absorb odor. If you're not a coffee drinker, pick up a free bag of grounds from Starbucks.
  • Keep it in your freezer
  • Empty more than once a week
  • Rinse it out in the sink, or clean in your dishwasher
  • A few drops of peppermint oil will mask any smell, and will keep fruit flies or ants away.

For your yard debris bin:

  • Layer leaves and other yard debris at the bottom of the cart
  • Sprinkle baking soda into the cart
  • Rinse out regularly. Please ensure that when you dump the water out of the cart, that it does not go into the storm drain. Remember, we are trying to keep food out of our sewer system!

I am physically unable to clean my cart. Can you help?

We know your yard debris cart is heavy and can be difficult to clean. They can get stinky. You may even see wiggly creatures in the bottom. Food or not, this is normal for a green cart. If hosing your cart out is difficult for you due to physical limitations, please call us and we will work with Republic Services to find a solution for you.