Date: May 1989 (Revised April 1995)
Source: NDSU Extension Service Nutrition Specialists
Although American households produce an enormous amount of waste material, food represents only about 9 percent of the refuse. Regardless of content, however, proper garbage disposal is an important part of keeping your kitchen clean.
If you use paper or plastic bags, make sure there are no leaks or spill overs, because kitchen waste attracts insects and other pests and also creates odors. Clean garbage pails weekly with a disinfectant. Also clean the area where you keep garbage with a commercial cleanser, ammonia or chlorine bleach solution.
To eliminate messy trash baskets and garbage pails, many households have turned to waste disposers and compactor units. Disposal units work best with cold water, because this keeps all fat solidified as it goes down the drain, avoiding possible clogging.
Little work is required to keep waste or food disposal units clean and odor-free. Run the unit long enough with cold water during each food-grinding operation to clear out all waste. Never use drain cleaners in a disposal. Clean the disposal unit's scrub cap daily.
Do not use a compactor for food wastes. Odors develop during the natural decaying processes. Disinfectant sprays do not stop decomposition; they merely disguise the smell. Put only non-food wastes in the compactor. Wrap the material in paper towels or newspapers to keep the unit clean. Wipe up spills as they occur, and wash exterior and drawer interior regularly.
Contain and dispose of trash properly; otherwise insects and rodents will invade your kitchen.
Mice and rats are especially attracted to spilled food and loose-fitting garbage pail lids.
Flies and ants can be big insect problems in the home. Use various insecticides against them, but if you have pets, check the label first to be sure that the insecticide will not harm them. Pay special attention to storage areas, closets, shelves and under furniture.
The best defense against insects and rodents is to starve them by cutting off food supplies and clearing out areas where they are likely to meet and eat.
If you have further questions, please contact your county office of the NDSU Extension Service.
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For More Information Contact your North Dakota County Extension Office of the NDSU Extension Service for additional information or see our main NDSU Web Page for publications and articles on Agriculture, Horticulture, Youth and Family, Business and Community and Food and Nutrition at http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/