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What is composting?

Composting is the natural process of breaking down organic material, such as kitchen and yard waste, to produce a nutrient-rich, soil-like material. The process works with the help of micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi combined with air and moisture.

Why should I compost?
  • Composting turns kitchen and yard waste into usable resources - for free.
  • It benefits plants, trees and shrubs by returning valuable nutrients to the earth and increasing water retention of soil.
  • Composting reduces the amount of garbage sent to the landfill. Composting can reduce your household garbage by approximately one-half.
What materials can be composted?

Most organic materials, such as:

  • grass clippings
  • garden waste, flower clippings and leaves
  • weeds (before they flower)
  • fruit and vegetable scraps
  • tea leaves, tea bags, coffee grounds and filters
  • nutshells and eggshells
Do not compost:
  • weeds gone to seed
  • meat, fish and bones
  • nuts
  • animal or human waste
  • rhubarb leaves
  • diseased plants
  • dairy products
  • oils and fats
What can I do with the finished compost?

Finished compost is a free and natural alternative to store-bought chemicals and fertilizers and can be used in a number of environmentally friendly ways:

  • A natural fertilizer in flower and vegetable gardens
  • On the soil surface around trees and shrubs
  • For house plants and planter boxes
  • As lawn top dressing
  • To make compost "tea" to water flowers, vegetables, house plants or trouble spots on the lawn

How to compost

For detailed information on composting, contact the Green Action Centre composting information line or sign up for their free composting workshop.

Additional information

  • View our related grasscycling / mulching information. Just leave the grass clippings on the lawn after mowing. The clippings quickly dry out, decompose, and recycle nutrients back into the soil and make your lawn healthy and green. Every time you throw away one bag of grass clippings, you are throwing away about 1/4 pound of lawn fertilizer!
  • We will collect your yard waste once every two weeks from April to November, on the same day of the week that we empty your garbage and recycling carts. The start and end dates will depend on the weather. The yard waste will be composted into a reusable soil-like material and used to landscape finished landfill areas
  • Loose or bagged yard waste, including leaves and branches less than 100 millimetres (4 inches) in diameter, can be dropped off year-round at Brady Road Resource Management Facility (Brady Road Landfill). Tipping fees will not apply. However, should any load contain other materials, then fees will be applied on the entire load. Please use lane one when entering the landfill and staff will direct you to the leaf it with us yard waste compost drop off area across the road from the scale.
  • Information is also available by contacting 311.
  • Guidelines for Compost Quality
Last updated: June 24, 2019

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