The Nose Knows

How the Molok® Deep Collection™ system effectively controls odors — and why that matters

There’s nothing quite like the pungent stench of garbage on a warm summer day. Even just reading that sentence might cause your nose to wrinkle up, perhaps as some visceral memory (“Ah, yes, the dumpster outside that seafood restaurant truly did stink!”) jumps to the forefront.

But waste containers don’t have to be ‘nosesores’ — we’ve just been fooled by traditional approaches into thinking stink is unavoidable.

Nothing to smell here, folks

Garbage and other waste releases foul odors as organic matter within it begin to rot, compounds react, and bacteria feast. One biproduct of all this activity is an airborne miasma of noxious and unpleasant chemicals (e.g., hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, ammonia, etc.) that millions of years of evolution have taught us to avoid.

Traditional waste containers — especially surface ones like dumpsters and carts — are the perfect climate for stink production: they’re warm (especially if exposed to sunlight), they have good supplies of oxygen to aid in chemical reactions, and that oxygen can reach into all the nooks and crannies.

But Molok® Deep Collection™ containers are very different environments. To begin with, the waste is underground, where temperatures are consistent and generally much cooler than in the surrounding air (except in winter in cold-weather climates). This lower temperature provides less energy to the biochemical reactions responsible for stink.

Next, Molok® containers all store waste in vertical shafts with a low cross-sectional area. This design means that the older waste is capped by layers of fresher waste, with the freshest (and least smelly) waste on top. In addition to physically trapping odors deep within the waste column, the significant compaction that results due to gravity has the added effect of creating an anaerobic environment by squeezing out air pockets.

Finally, the Molok® lids are tight-fitting and self-closing, which means that they very effectively contain any odors that are produced within the container.

So to summarize: because Molok® containers are cooler and have low oxygen levels, decomposition and other chemical processes that produce foul smells are largely inhibited; layers of fresher waste cap older waste; and the container’s lid effectively seals any smells that still manage to be produced.

But don’t take our word for it…

As part of a two-year study conducted with Molok® containers in use at their facility in Vaughn, Ontario, the Earth Rangers validated the odor-reducing qualities and even concluded that “the Molok® container outperformed our temperature-controlled waste room in slowing decomposition by keeping waste and organics at lower temperatures and reducing odors.”

🡪 Learn more in Crazy, Cool, Leading Edge Science

Why does controlling odors matter?

There are two major benefits to having waste containers that don’t stink. 

First, preventing odors lowers the costs — both obvious and hidden — associated with waste management. 

Less-frequent collections means lower collection costs, but there’s a trade-off: the longer waste sits around, the smellier it gets. This means that infrequent collections are only really practical in solutions that don’t suffer from stink. Sure, you can have an infrequent collection schedule with a dumpster, but the longer the time between collections, the more stink you’ll have to deal with.

And stink doesn’t just offend the nostrils, it also attracts pests. Insects, rodents, raccoons, and even bears follow their noses (or antennae) to the all-you-can-eat buffet presented by dumpsters and carts, creating safety issues and often leading to hidden waste management expenses like pest control and clean-up costs.

Second, the ugly appearance and offensive smell of traditional waste management solutions are why they’re usually banished to alleys and back entrances — so the other major benefit of having waste containers that don’t stink is that you can install them practically anywhere you like.

For example, this school enjoys the benefits of a clean, convenient, and high-capacity waste station that’s accessible to everyone.

Likewise, this collection of Molok® waste station is at the front door of a residential complex, something that just wouldn’t be advisable with dumpsters or carts.

This Milestone’s location has a Molok® waste station by the side/service entrance — have you ever seen a collection of dumpsters look as clean?

Nothing can ruin a patio lunch quite like the smell of lunches past; fortunately, that’s not an issue thanks to the Molok® containers at this Kelseys location.