After using certain foods e.g. fish, spinach the remaining trash/waste food starts to smell and my tiny flat starts smelling of fish etc. I cannot take the rubbish out daily and if I put them in plastic bags I notice the smell keeps coming out, maybe these bags are porous.

I'm thinking the best thing is to put them in plastic containers and take them out once a week. Any ideas? If I get those small plastic bags with air tight written on them will that be sufficient to contain any smells?

In the same light, when putting foods inside a fridge/freezer is there a specific type of bag one should use to ensure odours do not travel. I notice that some refrigerator bags are so thin they might not actually contain smells?

  • 2
    Why cant the rubbish be taken out daily, or at least when you cook something that will smell if left in the trash for a week? Maybe just tie it into a small plastic bag and drop it off on the way to work/school/etc. the next morning.
    – moscafj
    Nov 1, 2016 at 0:13
  • Might not be so practical for everyone e.g. disabled people. Nov 1, 2016 at 0:21
  • will freezer bags only go for a few days? if the bag doesn't breathe surely it can go for at least a week and indefinately if you freeze it? Nov 1, 2016 at 3:53
  • 1
    I don't know if you've tried any of this yet, but if you're talking about using plastic containers, are you planning on reusing them? If you don't, it could get expensive to deal with trash. If you do, I'd definitely be sure to store in fridge or freezer. Having once or twice accidentally left smelly leftover food in a sealed container at room temperature for a few days, you do NOT want to have to open it to try to empty and clean the container. Also, some foods can actually build up gases over time as they deteriorate and could pop the lid if left at room temp.
    – Athanasius
    Nov 1, 2016 at 4:38
  • 2
    I pop the food waste into the freezer, using separate plastic bags for protein (bones, skin, fat) and veg (which I compost). Excess grease goes into an empty tin can, and into the freezer. I never have an issue with odor, and simply add the refuse to the bin when it's time to take out the trash.
    – Giorgio
    Nov 1, 2016 at 15:17

3 Answers 3


I put potentially malodorous food scraps in the trash if I know I will have enough to take the trash out that day (I hate wasting trash bags, blame my OCD). If not, I will put scraps in freezer bags and leave them in the fridge temporarily. The difference between freezer bags and regular plastic bags is they are much thicker and tougher. If you get a good quality bag the zipper part seals air-tight and the plastic will not breathe. The key here is don't be cheap: You get what you pay for.

Freezer bags easily hold in odors for several days until you have enough for a load of trash to take out to the dumpster.

  • @Athanasius don't try to make sense of my OCD, that path leads to madness. I think I just hate wasting space more than anything. I generally just throw stuff in the trash until it starts to smell, then I take it out. But if I just changed the bag and have something like eggs or meat that I know will stink horribly, I will throw it into a ziploc bag instead.
    – user21524
    Nov 1, 2016 at 4:34
  • 1
    Sorry... just accidentally hit delete on my own comment. But I understand: we all have our regimens. :)
    – Athanasius
    Nov 1, 2016 at 4:41

As "politically and ecologically incorrect" as it sounds - before subjecting yourself to odor pollution and/or a hygiene hazard, consider cutting the specific smelly waste (not: all of your kitchen waste!) up and disposing it down the toilet.

Alternatively, soaking the smelly parts in bleach until disposal could help, but will potentially create another odor problem; also mind that bleach can dissolve plastic garbage bags.


I can't help with the fish, but there are plenty of compost pails that you can get for dealing with your vegetable scraps. (most assume that you're then taking it out to a larger compost pile, but you can also just dispose of it when it's time ... they usually have a tight lid or a carbon filter to reduce odors)

I have one that was listed as being 'odor free' ... and then I discovered that it requires 'biodegradable bags' ... which don't degrade at the heats that my compost pile gets to.


As another options, my former roommate bought a box of scented trash bags once. I can't remember the brand, but it looks like both Glad and Hefty make them. It mostly helped with any lingering odors when you didn't dispose of the trash before it started getting ... interesting. I didn't do any tests to see if it extended the time before smells started getting bad or not.

Also, beware of potatoes. They are one of the most foul smells if they go off.

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