Compost!

Approximately 30% of residential waste going to our landfills is made up of kitchen and yard waste. In fact, in areas where there is no user pay garbage program in place, the organic materials account for as much as 63% of the waste system. We can divert this waste from entering landfills by using composters to return the nutrients back to the earth through the process of composting. Composting can be done at home to reduce your personal volume of trash, conserve water, increase plant growth, and replace the need for harsh chemicals.

What to compost
Types of Containers
Method
Questions
No Fuss Composting Recipe

WHAT TO COMPOST

DO ADD
Nitrogen-rich green materials such as:

  • fresh grass clippings
  • plant trimmings and remains
  • house plants and cut flowers
  • fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags,
    egg shells, coffee grounds (You can
    keep these in a covered plastic
    container in your kitchen until
    ready to add)

Carbon-rich brown materials such as:

  • dry leaves
  • straw
  • woodchips
  • sawdust (add in very thin layers)

DO NOT ADD

  • meat, bones, fish scraps
  • fatty foods including cheese, butter,
    oil, and salad dressing
  • dog and cat feces
  • diseased or insect-infested plants
  • pernicious weeds such as crab grass
  • weeds with mature seeds

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Types of Containers

Build your own drum composter.

This system is used to compost small amounts of yard and kitchen wastes in a short
period of time. Compost materials are simply tossed in and the barrel given a spin to mix it
up. The unit will cost $80-125 and construction requires basic carpentry skills
and tools. Instructions
here.

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METHOD

1. Place your container in a level spot on the earth where there is good water drainage.

2. Add organic materials:

3. Keep the pile moist but not dripping wet. Use a cover to keep the pile from becoming too wet from rainfall. If it does get too wet, turn and loosen it or add more dry materials such as leaves. If it gets too dry, water it with a watering can or hose.

4. Provide air to the pile by turning it with a pitchfork or shovel, by using an aerating tool, or by placing an air stack in the center of the pile. (Note: Specific instructions may accompany commercial bins.)

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YOU MAY BE ASKING....

How long will it take?

Anywhere from two months, if you follow all the tips outlined here, to two years, if you opt for the No-Fuss Composting Recipe.

Can you compost in winter?

Yes. Continue to add materials throughout the winter. The decomposition process will slow down, but the pile will become active again in the spring.

Will it smell?

A compost pile that is working well should not have an unpleasant odour. If it does, it may be that the materials are too wet or compacted. Turn the pile to let it dry out, or add dry materials such as leaves.

What is vermicomposting?

Vermicomposting is a method of composting food waste using worms. It can be done indoors year- around, or outdoors in the summer and indoors in the winter. If you live in an apartment, or you're tired of making trips to the backyard in the snow, this is a method to consider. For more information, go here.

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AVOID ATTRACTING
ANIMALS AND FLIES:

  • Use a container with a tight-fitting lid, hinged at one side and with a latch at the other.
  • When adding food waste, either dig it into the existing compost immediately or cover it well with soil.
  • Do Not Add meat scraps or fat.
  • Line the sides and bottom completely with heavy-duty wire mesh.

NO-FUSS
COMPOSTING RECIPE


If you want to compost yard waste only, and you're not in a hurry, try this....

Add yard waste to your bin as it is available over a period of several months or even years. Allow rainwater to moisten the pile. In one year to 18 months the material at the bottom and centre of the pile should be composted. The uncomposted materials at the top can be used to start a new batch.

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