Garbage odour | Common Property | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Garbage odour
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smelly
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09/01/2018 - 4:40 pm
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Odour from garbage room (NSW)

The bins at our apartment block are kept on the ground floor in a closed room.

The room can smell quite bad and seems to penetrate up into my unit through piping/cupboards in the kitchen.

Since the odour originates on common property – due to little cleaning etc, is it the responsibility of the owners corporation to investigate the leakage and bring the cleanliness and hygiene in the room up to a better standard?

Do owners corporation have a duty of care in these cases?

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Lady Penelope
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09/01/2018 - 7:01 pm
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The bin area in the basement is common property and is the OC ‘s responsibility to maintain.

A couple of questions: Do you have an onsite Manager? If so, is cleaning the garbage area part of their contractual duties?

If no on site Manager then does your scheme employ a cleaning company to hose out the bins and the floor of the garbage area? If not then perhaps you should write to the Committee and suggest that the bins and the bin area be cleaned and disinfected and/or hosed out on a weekly or 2 weekly basis. I once owned a Lot in a scheme where a bin cleaning company was employed to clean each and every Lot’s bin once a week – we did not ever have an odour problem.

Is there a waste management plan for your building? 

Is any vent from the bin room located close to your Lot?

Are the bins located in an area that has been designated for bins or have the bins simply been located in an area for convenience?

Generally, as part of a DA, the bin area should be approved, and storage of waste comes with certain conditions such as:

(1) The floor being graded and drained to an approved drainage outlet connected to the sewer and having a smooth, even surface, coved at all
intersections with walls;
(2) The walls being cement rendered to a smooth, even surface and coved at all intersections;
(3)  Cold water being provided in the room with the outlet located in a position
so that it cannot be damaged and a hose fitted with a nozzle being connected to the outlet;
(4)  The room shall be adequately ventilated (either natural or mechanical) in
accordance with the Building Code of Australia.
 

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smelly
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09/01/2018 - 8:56 pm
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Thanks Penelope

We do have a service that comes and hoses the bins after the rubbish truck has been, and they sweep and tidy the room so that is good.

I think the room in general is concrete and dirty, needs a good chemical power hose.

There is a vent on the one side, not near my kitchen but the room is quite old with cracks etc.

I noticed pipes going up into the next floor, with a huge gap around them, should I ask for a builder to check this and maybe any gaps can be sealed?

There is no mechanical deodoriser in the room, just the one breeze block vent. 

How do I suggest buying something like this to help, is it an expensive option they may have been avoiding?

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Lady Penelope
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09/01/2018 - 9:52 pm
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It could be a good idea to write to the committee and explain your problem. You could suggest the options of filling the gaps (expandable foam filler is relatively cheap) and having the concrete floors pressure cleaned and deodorized and ultimately sealed.

There should be a spray that you can buy to spray onto the concrete that eliminates the odour from the porous surface. A commercial cleaning company may have some recommendations. I have heard of a product called OdorBan but am not sure where you can buy it from.

After the odour has been eliminated then it might be wise to have the concrete sealed. 

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smelly
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10/01/2018 - 3:01 pm
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Thanks again Penelope

I will write and explain.

I really think the odour is coming through from a gap/space in the ceiling, which shouldn’t be there.

However the area is in need of a whole overhaul.

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