It can often seem like health and safety overkill these days, with warnings coming from all directions about the dos and don’ts of this and that. It can be annoying, but there is a point to some of it.

Take bins. People are increasingly aware of the importance and use of recycling and so are pretty good about putting things in the right recycling bin and putting out their rubbish bin for collection on the right day. But no matter how careful you are, bins are always going to be breeding grounds for bacteria, so it’s worth giving a bit of thought to making sure your bins are as hygienic as possible.

Of course, the simplest way to do this is to clean your bins regularly. This will not only cut down on bad smells that may occur from a build up of grime, but will help keep bacteria growth at bay and discourage any vermin that may otherwise have been attracted to the malodorous bin. You should clean your rubbish bin using water and detergent. If it’s a big bin, use a hose and long-handled brush.

Let the bin dry completely and then spray it with disinfectant to make sure it’s squeaky clean before using it again. If bin cleaning isn’t really your thing, there are even companies who will do it for you, whether you want your office bins or your domestic bins cleaned.

One simple way to keep your bins hygienic and cut down on how often you need to clean them is to use bin bags. Buy strong, good quality bin bags to reduce the chance of them ripping and leaking rubbish. They also help to contain the smell of the rubbish. If you’re worried about the environment and are concerned of using so many plastic bin bags, then you can also buy some great paper alternatives.

Paper bin liners are very hygienic – they do their main job, which is to stop waste coming into contact with the bin and they are also biodegradable and compostable. Go for a paper bin liner with ‘full wet strength’ and you can be sure it won’t leak. Also, as the paper is breathable, you’ll get less bad smells coming from your bin.

You should also make sure your bins have close-fitting lids. These not only help reduce odours, but they keep out flies which might be attracted to the bin, particularly in warmer weather.

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