June 22, 2010

Something’s Awfully Fishy…

Posted in musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:01 am by silversprung

We had a party the other weekend, and silversprung spouse grilled up two whole Rockfish for our guests. (We got the Rockfish from Ocean City Seafood, of course.)

The dinner was delicious and the fish was a hit. But that’s not where this story is going.

After all our guests left, silversprung spouse debated about what to do with the fish carcasses. “The trash doesn’t get picked up for another seven days,” SSspouse noted.

Well it was late at night, so SSspouse wrapped those babies in trash bags and put them in our outdoor garbage.

Two days later, the bugs began to descend.It was a hot week, especially for decaying animal carcasses! After two days in 90-plus degree weather, swarms of flies began to circle our trash bins. We’re talking plague-worthy swarms. I started to worry that animals would attack it at night. The next day, the smell took over. A combination of dead animal, fish skin, and trash smells combined to make the most putrid stink ever. Then, it baked in the hot sun until you could almost see stink lines rising from the lid. Oh wait, those were actual flies. Regardless, it was absolutely putrid.

We were certain our neighbors would step in to complain. A cab driver did a double-take when he rolled down his window in our driveway. He looked at us and paused to ask questions. Then decided against it and quickly rolled his window back up.

Finally, the trash pickup came. Our neighbors never complained and no animals that we know of attacked the can. But now we’re left with an extremely tainted garbage container. It is absolutely unbearable, even closed.

SSspouse tried to fix the situation. First SSspouse donned snorkeling goggles, then added plastic gloves, then grabbed a bottle of bleach. SSspouse dragged the can into the middle of the driveway, sprinkled some bleach in and aimed the hose to rinse the offending bin. The process was repeated several times (I’m sure to the delight, or horror, of our neighbors, who could have easily witnessed the snorkel mask-clad SSspouse’s procedure) but the smell didn’t budge.

So now we’re left with a disgusting can that sits in our driveway. What say you sprungers? Do we find a way to trash our otherwise perfectly fine trash bin? Or can you recommend a good solution?

By the way, a Silver Spring friend mentioned two things we could have done to avoid the situation entirely: 1. Store the offending fish carcass in a bag in the freezer until trash day. 2. Plant the fish in the garden. (We have too many animals around to consider that option, but the freezer will be our go-to next time.)



  1. JCphilatemap said,

    Take it from an old stinker: what you need is something to dissolve the fish oil. Try this mixture:

    1 quart white vinegar OR 3% hydrogen peroxide
    1/4 cup baking soda.
    1 tsp. Dawn dish detergent (works great on oil-soaked pelicans!)

    Best of luck!

  2. bachinski said,

    Maybe try to deodorize the can rather than just clean it. Baking soda, crushed charcoal, or coffee grounds/tea bags.

    If that doesn’t work, I’d be getting a new trash can.

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