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The Different Odours That Come From Your Rubbish

Dec 14, 2018

If you’ve ever travelled past a landfill site or a composting facility, it’s impossible not to notice the nasty odours emitting from them. It’s hard to believe that usually, pleasant-smelling things like apples, flowers and even water can create such a stench.

Even in your household or office bin, there are foul smells that are emitted due to the waste produced. Each odour is a result of certain biological and chemical waste decompositions. Want to know what causes those smells? Here’s how the odours are developed at landfills and how these smells are reduced.

  • Compost and organic waste

Garden waste collected from residential areas is delivered to transfer stations to remove any litter in it before it’s mulched and consolidated. This mulched organic waste can give off odours if it decomposes before being sent to a compost facility. Once it arrives at the composting facility, the process of turning the waste into nutrient-rich organic products involves mixing and turning, which also causes odours to be discharged. At the same time, carbon dioxide and organic sulphides are released as a natural by-product of organic waste decomposes without oxygen.

  • Household waste odours

Household waste disposed of is the most common foul odour – and it develops quickly. At landfills, when new waste is added daily and present waste is being exposed to the air, it causes it to decay faster. One odour management technique used at landfill sites is to cover a day’s waste with a layer of compressed soil over it to reduce its exposure to oxygen – and the resultant smell. Should you be experiencing similar issues with the odour at home or in your office, here’s a quick solution before sending your waste off through a removal company.

  • Landfill gas odours

It’s estimated that there are more than 500 different types of gas released by landfills. Most of these gases are odourless ones, such as methane and carbon dioxide. It’s the sulphide gases present that are responsible for the foul smell.

Anaerobic leachate

Another source of landfill odours is leachate, a liquid that drains from a landfill site. This liquid is created in two ways: it either exists already in the landfill or is created once rainwater mixes with the waste. This liquid is highly odorous with a sewage-like smell.

If you’re looking for more information on waste management in Melbourne or need help removing large amounts of rubbish in your house or office, contact WM Waste Management today.

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