Composting at Home
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Composting at Home

A Grassroots Method for Composting at Home

How It's Done

Compost at home

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Composting Awareness Week

International Compost Awareness Week is an annual education campaign to encourage recycling of organic residuals and compost use for improved soil health and climate change mitigation.

When: May 6 - 12, 2018

Compost Council Canada is hosting events throughout the week.

Composting Council Research & Education Foundation has more information about ICAW.

Related Links

Communities in Bloom
Flower of the year

Compost Council of Canada

Get additional tips and information on how to compost and why it’s great for the environment.

Northern Roots Compost

The Municipality has its own composting initiative. We’ve been branching out as we look for additional ways to be sustainable, both environmentally and economically.

Visit our Northern Roots Compost page to find out how biosolids from the Wastewater Treatment Plant are recycled and reused to enrich the region.

Composting at home is an effective way to reduce household waste, keep organic material out of the landfill, and possibly even branch out in to a new hobby: gardening. By following a few simple steps, you’ll end up with a useful, completely organic resource that will enrich your soil. Your plants and flowers will love you.

Getting Started

First, you’ll need a compost box or bin. Compost bins are affordable and can be found at local hardware stores or garden centres.

You can also purchase a Green Cone compost bin at the landfill while supplies last:
Phone: 780-743-7947, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Place your compost bin outdoors in a convenient location. You’ll be adding material regularly, even in the winter, so keep it close to your kitchen. Don’t worry. There shouldn’t be any unpleasant odours. But if you do start to smell your compost, mix it well and add more browns (e.g., leaves), to dry it out.

How to Compost

It’s easy to compost. Most of the work is done by Mother Nature. But here are a few steps to speed up the process.

  • Chop it up: Chop up larger pieces. This will help them to compost faster.
  • Stir it up: When you add new material to your composter, be sure to stir it up.
  • Keep it aerated: Air helps to speed up the decomposition. Aeration should be done throughout the entire composting process.
  • Keep it damp: Moisture is also necessary, but not too much. Keep it as damp as a wrung-out sponge.
  • Keep it covered: In the container, cover your food waste with old leaves, brown yard waste or soil. This will add carbon and reduce odours and fruit flies. Also use a lid, cardboard or canvas to cover your compost container.

Ingredients for Compost

Compost is typically a balance of browns (from the garden) and greens (from the kitchen). Browns produce the carbon, while greens produce the nitrogen.

Kitchen Greens Kitchen Browns
Fruit and vegetable Scraps
Houseplant cuttings
Coffee grounds
Rice and pasta
Egg shells
Tea bags
Coffee filters
Breads and buns
Paper napkins and towels
Dryer lint
Yard Greens Yard Browns
Plant trimmings
Hedge clippings
Grass (small amounts)
Straw or hay
Small twigs
Wood chips
Dried grass and weeds

Don't Compost

  • Meat, fish or bones
  • Dairy products
  • Fat, oil or grease
  • Sauces
  • Ashes
  • Pet waste
  • Diseased plants
  • Mature weeds with seeds

Harvesting Your Compost

After a few months, you’ll notice compost beginning to develop at the bottom of your bin or box. Compost that is ready will look much like soil. Begin by removing small amounts of compost from the bottom of your bin.

Composting starts at the bottom and works its way up to the top, so the bottom will be compost while the top is still decomposing. You may want to screen out the compost from the unfinished material and place the unfinished material back in your bin so it can complete the process.