Smelly balcony
April 1, 2024 9:33 AM   Subscribe

My condo has a relatively spacious, covered balcony that I'd like to use more often. Unfortunately, it faces onto an alleyway that we share with a number of restaurants, and in the summertime the smell of rotting food coming from the dumpsters is pretty awful. Is there anything I can do to make the space more tolerable, smell-wise?

I went and bought a bunch of fragrant vines (e.g. jasmine) in a fit of optimism this weekend, but I'm afraid it'll just make the air smell like rotting-food-and-jasmine, which I'm not exactly sure is an improvement. I plan to write a note to the city to suggest more frequent trash pickup on this block as well, but I'm not expecting much to come of that, either. Does anyone have any other suggestions?
posted by btfreek to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I plan to write a note to the city to suggest more frequent trash pickup on this block as well, but I'm not expecting much to come of that, either

See if you can recruit other neighbors into a joint effort. It must affect people who like to keep their windows open too, even if they don't have or use their balconies.

Have rats been a problem?
posted by trig at 9:39 AM on April 1 [6 favorites]


Maybe a couple fans blowing out could mitigate it some?
posted by XtineHutch at 10:43 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


I'd also try a big fan. If you leave your balcony door open, you could try blowing it from inside to your direction. You might have to play with location, direction, height, etc.

In the bigger picture: does your city do commercial-level composting? If not, perhaps you could propose a trial for an area dense with restaurants, and the pilot could be in your alley, with a contained, sealed food waste spot.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:45 AM on April 1 [4 favorites]


The restaurants will push back pretty hard and the city will listen to them rather than you if it's framed as a smell remediation issue.

If you can demonstrate that all this smelly food waste is causing a rat problem however, the city is much more likely to come down on your side.
posted by jamjam at 11:51 AM on April 1 [6 favorites]


Fan + incense will cover it.
posted by Toddles at 5:31 PM on April 1


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