Residential Sector Waste 

  

CBRM's Solid Waste By-Law:

View the CBRM Solid Waste Resource Management By-Law (PDF - 211 kb).

Solid Waste News and Updates:

Please visit the "Keeping You Informed" section of the web site located under Solid Waste in CBRM for notices regarding waste collection, facility closures notices or any posted up to date information.

CBRM Residence have:

  • A mandatory blue bag program for households and apartment units.
  • Blue Bags must be curbside and visible before 8:00 a.m. on collection day.
  • A maximum of 5 garbage bags per household can be placed out on collection day.
  • There is no limit to the amount of blue bags placed at curbside during blue bag collection day.
  • Boxes and bins used for garbage collection must be maintained and kept in good condition. Bins should be rodent and animal proof.

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in your garbage and recyclables being left at the curb. Garbage bags may be randomly checked for recyclables. Garbage bags containing recyclables may be tagged with a rejection sticker and left to be properly sorted by the homeowner. Remember it's important to Recycle Right!

Curbside Collection Service in CBRM

All curbside materials prepared for collection must be placed out curbside before 8:00 a.m. on the morning of your collection day.  Collection for Garbage and Green Cart materials takes place weekly in CBRM.  Collection for your Blue Bags takes place bi-weekly.  To find out your garbage day and/or blue bag week, click on Garbage Day-Blue Bag Week under "Residents" on the side bar located to the left on your screen.  Then simply enter your civic address (your house number) then select your street name and press submit.

Preparing Materials for Curbside Collection

Your materials should be placed curbside at the end oy your driveway in a location that will not interfere with the movement of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.  All materials must be clearly visible.

Green Cart

The serial number located on the front of the green cart should face the road when placing cart out for curbside collection.

Cart and the contents must not exceed 100kg (220 lbs).

Please do not overfill your cart.  The lid must be able to close.

Please do not place plastic, metal, sods, glass, ashes, branches larger than 1 inch in diameter etc. in your green cart.

If you choose to use a liner inside your mini bin/green cart for your organic waste, please make sure it containes the appropriate logo.

If you're green cart becomes damaged or goes missing, please contact the Solid Waste Management Hotline at 567-1337 for further information. 

Moving? Please remember that your green cart and mini kitchen bin is assigned to this property and should remain at the address for future owners.  If you move into a home or have recently built a brand new home and require a green cart please contact the Solid Waste Management Hotline at 567-1337.

Residents are reminded that green cart collection occurs weekly.

 

Garbage Collection

The maximum number of garbage bags a resident can place curbside each week on your collection day is 5.  Residents are permitted to use one optional dark bag per week if they would like however this one dark bag is included in the 5 bag limit for garbage:

 

Number of garbage bags placed curbside each week by a household:

 Garbage Bags:

 1 Garbage Bag each Week  

 1 Clear bag or 1 colored, tinted or dark garbage bag

 2 Garbage Bags each Week

 2 Clear garbage bags or 1 colored, tinted or dark garbage bag and 1 clear bag

 3 Garbage Bags each Week

 3 Clear garbage bags or 1 dark, colored or tinted garbage bag and 2 clear bags

 4 Garbage bags each Week

 4 Clear garbage bags or 1 dark, colored or tinted garbage bag and 3 clear bags

 5 Garbage Bags each Week

 5 Clear garbage bags or 1 dark, colored or tinted garbage bag and 4 clear bags

The contents of each garbage bag should not exceed 12 kg (25lbs).

 

Blue Bag Collection:

There is no limit to the number of blue bags a resident can place on their blue bag collection day.

Residents are reminded that only blue translucent bags should be used for the disposal of plastics, containers and paper products.  Blue bag materials placed out in clear translucent bags will be tagged and left curbside uncollected.

The contents of each blue bag should not exceed 12 Kg (25 lbs.).

Please do not place paper products in the same blue bag that is being used for containers and plastics.

If cardboard cannot fit inside your blue bag, please flatten and tie into bundles no greater than 2 feet by 3 feet by 8 inches.

 

CBRM Solid Waste Collectors continue to monitor materials placed curbside for municipal collection.  When a collector notices problems with your garbage, organics and/or blue bag materials they will leave the bag(s) or un-emptied green cart behind with a bag tag. The tag will provide you with the reason why your materials were left uncollected.  The Waste Management Hotline number will also be clearly visible on the tag.  Residents are encouraged to phone the hotline at 567-1337 if they have any questions or require assistance with sorting.  An educator is available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day to answer inquiries.

 

 

Common Curbside Collection Reminders 

 

 Please view CBRM Sort Sheet 2013 -2014.pdf

 

 

  • Properties eligible for curbside collection are permitted to place a maximum of five regular sized, clear, translucent garbage bags curbside per week.¬† The Solid Waste Department will also permit residents to substitute one clear, translucent garbage bag with a green or black garbage bag.

 

  • Properties eligible for curbside collection are permitted to place an unlimited number of blue bags curbside on their areas bi-weekly collection day.¬†Residents are reminded that only blue translucent bags should be used for recyclables.¬† Clear, translucent bags containing recyclables will no longer be accepted for collection.¬†

 

  • Properties eligible for curbside collection are reminded that only one green cart will be emptied per week.¬†

 

  • Residents are reminded that recyclables placed curbside for collection must be clearly visible.¬† Recyclables must not be placed in a bin or covered with a blanket.

 

  • Garbage Bags, Blue Bags and your Green Cart placed out for curbside collection should be clearly visible and not obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

 

  • Recyclable materials and organic waste should not be disposed of in the garbage.¬† Recyclables should be placed in blue bags and organic waste should be placed inside a green cart. Recyclable materials and organic waste placed inside garbage bags will be tagged and left behind uncollected.

 

  • Recyclable materials should be sorted into two different blue bags.¬†One blue bag should be used for paper products such as cardboard, paper, receipts, folders, magazines, catalogues, etc.¬† The other blue bag should be used for containers and plastic items such as food containers, cans, bottles, jars, etc. (Please refer to CBRM‚Äôs Waste Separation Guide available online or phone the hotline at 567-1337 to receive a copy. Please remember, there is no limit to the number of blue bags that you can place curbside on your blue bag collection day.

  • Residents are asked to add only small amounts of leaf and yard waste to their green cart.¬† Excess leaf and yard materials can be taken to one of the Solid Waste Department‚Äôs four Leaf and Yard Drop-Off Sites.¬† The Leaf and Yard Drop-off site located on SPAR Road in Sydney is open year round Monday to Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Leaf and Yard Drop-off sites located in the communities of Glace Bay, New Waterford and North Sydney are open one day a week beginning mid-May and continuing until mid-November.¬†

  • Using bin liners to line your mini kitchen bin is optional. Soiled paper towels, napkins,¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† sheets¬†of newsprint, etc. can be used as an alternative to mini kitchen bin liners.¬†

                 

Common Curbside Collection Issues 

 

 

 

  • Plastic/glass containers, bottles, jars, or cans were not rinsed before placement inside your blue bag.

 

  • Clear translucent bags were used for the disposal of recyclables and paper products.¬† Your recyclables and paper products should be placed inside blue bags. Clear, translucent bags are used for your garbage materials.

 

  • A household placed too many garbage bags curbside for collection.¬†The maximum number of garbage bags that will be collected from a civic address each week is five. The extra bags will be tagged and left behind uncollected.

 

  • A household placed too many dark garbage bags curbside for collection. Residents Households are permitted to replace one clear translucent garbage bag with a green or black garbage bag each week.¬† Please remember, using a green or black colored bag for garbage is optional and not a requirement.¬†

  • Blue bags were placed curbside on the incorrect week.¬† Blue bag collection follows a bi-weekly schedule across the municipality.¬†If you are unsure of which week your blue bag collection takes place, you are encouraged to phone the Solid Waste Management Hotline.¬† Residents can also log onto the Solid Waste Management web page click on the heading Solid Waste to locate your Garbage Day and Blue Bag collection zone.¬† The municipality is divided into two color zones for blue bag collection.¬†The two colored zones alternate each week and are referred to as the White Zone and Grey Zone in the collection calendar.

 

  • Incorrect liner bags were placed inside your green cart.¬† Only bin liners containing one of the logos shown below are accepted in CBRM‚Äôs Green Cart Collection program.¬† Green carts containing incorrect liner bags will be tagged and left behind un-emptied.

 

  • Needles were viewed inside your garbage, blue bags or inside your green cart.¬† Residents are reminded that Needles, Lancets & Syringes DO NOT get placed in with your curbside materials.¬† These items must be placed safely inside your Safe Sharps Container available free of charge at any local pharmacy or the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) Supply Centre.¬† When your container is filled, return it to any local pharmacy or local CDA Supply Centre for an empty container. Needles, Lancets or Syringes viewed inside Garbage or Blue Bags will be tagged and left behind uncollected.¬†Green carts containing these items will be tagged and left un-emptied.

  

 Leaf and Yard Waste Disposal in CBRM

 

The Solid Waste Department would like to remind residents that large volumes of leaf and yard debris will not becollected curbside. 

CBRM Solid Waste asks that only small amounts of leaf and yard debris be placed in the green cart with your other organic waste for disposal.  Large amounts of grass clippings, leaves, twigs & tree branches, sods and other large debris can be brought to one of four disposal sites that are available in CBRM.  CBRM Solid Waste operates three depots that are open one day a week from mid-May to mid-November.  The sites are located in Glace Bay, New Waterford and North Sydney.  The site located on SPAR Road in Sydney is open Year-Round. 

 

Leaf and Yard Waste Drop-Off Sites:

 

The Solid Waste Department would like to remind residents that the Seasonal Leaf and Yard Drop-Off depots that operate one-day a-week in CBRM are now open. Residents are encouraged to bring their leaf and yard waste to one of the depots listed below. 

 

Leaf and Yard Drop-off Sites Seasonal Schedule: 

 

 

Community

Depot Location

Day

Hours of Operation

North Sydney

Drop Off Station on King Street.

Thursday’s Only

1:00 p.m. ‚Äď 6:00 p.m.

Glace Bay

Public Works Yard on West Ave.

Saturday’s Only

9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.

New Waterford

Public Works Yard on Ling Street.

Saturday’s Only

9:00 a.m. ‚Äď 3:00 p.m.

 

Waste Management Leaf and Yard Drop-Off Location: Open Year-Round

 

Community

Depot Location

Days

Hours of Operation

Sydney

Waste Management Facility, SPAR Road

Monday - Saturday

8:00 a.m. ‚Äst 4:00 p.m.

 

For more information on leaf and yard disposal, residents are encouraged to contact the Solid Waste Hotline at 567-1337. Educators are available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to answer questions. 

CBRM Solid Waste Department will accept leaf and yard waste the following ways:

·      Small amounts placed inside your green cart with your other organic waste materials.

·      Taken by resident to one of the three seasonal drop-off sites or the year round site

       that are located in CBRM. 

  

CBRM Solid Waste Department WILL NOT ACCEPT leaf and yard waste in the following ways:

·    CBRM Solid Waste will not collect large amounts of leaf and yard waste that is    overflowing inside green carts. 

·    Green carts that are too heavy or cannot properly close once the leaf and yard waste have been added will be tagged and left un-emptied curbside.

·    Small twigs and branches must not be sticking outside the green cart.

·    Leaf and yard waste contained in plastic or brown bags placed next to green cart will be tagged and left behind un-emptied for the resident to remove.

·    Sods cannot be placed inside a green cart for disposal.  Green carts containing sods will be tagged and left uncollected curbside. Sods can be disposed of at one of the Leaf and Yard Waste Drop-Off sites.

Leaf and Yard Waste includes ONLY the following items:

 

·      Grass clippings and leaves

·      Hedge clippings

·      Small tree branches (less than 1 inch in diameter)

·      Sods (sods must not be placed in the green cart for disposal- please take to one of the drop-off sites.)

·      No large trees or limbs greater than 1 inch in size will be accepted at the drop off sites located in the communities of North Sydney, Glace Bay and New Waterford.  These materials must be brought to the Solid Waste Management site located on SPAR Road.

 

Suggestions to Reduce your Yard Waste:

 

·    Residents can grass cycle by mulching grass clippings and leave them on the lawn.  Grass

     clippings on the lawn return nutrients to the soil.

·    Do not over-water your lawn.  A healthy lawn only requires approximately 1.25 to 2 cm    (1/2  inch to 1 inch) of water per week.   This will encourage deep root growth and help   prevent disease and stress injury to your lawn.

·    Build or purchase a backyard composter so excess leaf and yard waste can be placed here.  Over time the leaves, grass clippings and other yard debris is turned into an excellent soil enhancer.

·    Grass clippings are 80% water.  Leaving grass clippings on the lawn will prevent excessive moisture loss and return water to the soil.

·    Grass clipping could also be used as mulch in your flower and vegetable gardens.  Pile grass in a mound and when the grass clippings turn brown spread out and use as a mulch in your gardens.

 

Grass Cycling

Grass cycling is nature’s way of recycling.  Grass cycling is when you leave your grass clippings on the lawn instead of raking them up or capturing then in a grass catcher attached to mowers. You are instead, leaving the grass clippings on the lawn so that nature can return the nutrients stored inside the clippings back to the soil.

How to Grass Cycle: 

          

·      Use any type of mower to grass cycle.

·      Leave clippings on the lawn as you mow.

·      Mow frequently, about every 4-5 days during peak growing season. 

·      Keep your mower blade sharps and at a height of 6 to 7.5 cm (2.5 to 3 inches)

·      Mow your lawn only when the grass is dry.  This will avoid the clumping that can often occur when mowing wet grass.

 

Grass Cycling Benefits:

 

      ·      Keeps moisture in the soil and prevents sun damage

·      Provides nutrients and fertilizes lawn

·      Saves time as there is no need to empty a mower bag and/or rake your lawn.

·      Saves money because you do not require garbage bags to store you grass clippings          until you can
transport them to a disposal site.

 

 

Common Questions about Leaf and Yard Waste in CBRM 

 

 Should a resident place their leaf and yard waste inside their green cart?

 

Small amounts of leaves or grass clippings can be placed inside your green cart with your food waste for emptying each week.  Residents who have large amounts of leaf and yard debris are encouraged to take these materials to one of the leaf and yard drop off sites that are available in CBRM.

 

Will leaves and/or grass clippings placed in bags next to the green cart get collected curbside?

 

No. Bagged leaves and/or grass clipping placed next to a residents green cart for curbside collection will not get collected.  The bags containing leaf and yard debris will be tagged and left uncollected for the resident to remove from the curb. CBRM Solid Waste does not provide a collection service for leaf and yard waste.  Only small amounts of leaf and yard debris will be collected if placed inside the green cart.

 

What is a resident supposed to do with their leaves, grass clippings and other yard debris?

 

Large amounts of grass clippings, leaves, twigs & tree branches, sods and other large debris can be brought to one of  the four leaf and yard drop off sites that are available in CBRM. CBRM Solid Waste operates three depots that are open one day a week from mid-May to mid-November.  The sites are located in Glace Bay, New Waterford and North Sydney.  The site located on SPAR Road in Sydney is open year-round. The schedule for the depots is located above.

 

Can I place my sods inside the green cart for curbside collection?

 

Sods cannot be placed inside your green cart for disposal.  Residents who no longer have a use for their sods and wish to dispose of them should bring them to one of the four leaf and yard drop off sites that are available in CBRM.  Green carts that contain sods will be tagged and left un-emptied curbside. 

 

Can clear garbage bags be used to transport leaves and grass clippings to one of the leaf and yard drop off sites?

 

Yes, a resident can place their leaves and grass clippings inside clear garbage bags before taking them to one of the four leaf and yard drop off sites that operate in CBRM.  Residents will be required to empty the leaves and/or grass clipping from the clear garbage bags and dispose of the bags properly.

 

What is Grass Cycling?

 

Grass cycling is when you leave your grass clippings on your lawn instead of raking them up and/or relying on a grass catcher attached to mowers to capture them.  You are instead, leaving the grass clippings on the lawn so that nature can return the nutrients stored inside the clippings back to the soil.

 

Will Grass Cycling ruin the look of my lawn and/or make it look messy?

 

Grass clippings left on the lawn settle quickly between the growing blades of grass. They shelter the roots from the sun and conserve moisture.  As clippings break down, they release moisture and nutrients into the soil. Grass clippings can help keep your lawn healthy and green.

 

CBRM House Hold Special Waste Program 

Household Special Wastes are substances containing ingredients that are harmful to the environment if disposed of improperly. CBRM residents have a permanent location to drop off Household Special Waste items.

CBRM Household Special Waste Depot located at 345 Gulf Crescent in the Sydport Industrial Park is open year round to provide residents with a safe and convenient way to dispose of these special waste materials.  Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Residents who have questions about Household Special Waste Materials should phone the Solid Waste Hotline at 567-1337.

Household Special Waste materials are any materials that are marked as Poisonous, Corrosive, Explosive or Flammable.   Containers still containing these materials should not be placed in the garbage.  Placing these types of materials curbside for collection can be dangerous to collectors and staff who have to collect and handle these materials.  If you have unwanted or unused household special waste materials that you have to get rid of and you are a resident of the CBRM, please take them to CBRM's Household Special Waste Depot Free of Charge.

The Household Special Waste Depot will accept:

 Paint Thinners

 Furniture Polish

 Batteries

 Antifreeze

 Floor & Furniture Waxes

 Aerosol Sprays

 Herbicides

 Pool Chemicals

 Cleaning Solvents

 Pesticides

 Wood Preservatives

 Oven Cleansers

 Paint Strippers

 Drain Cleaners

 

 

The Household Special Waste Depot will not accept:

 

 Petroleum Products

 Bio-Medical Waste

 Unidentifiable Materials

 Gas/Oil Mixes

 Asbestos

 Radioactive Waste

 Material's containing PCB's

Commercial, Industrial or Institutional Waste

Explosives including ammunition and fireworks etc.

 

CBRM's Solid Waste Department operates a permanent Household Special Waste Depot that is available to all residents of the CBRM.  The HSW depot is located at 345 Gulf Crescent in Sydport.  The depot operates Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Institutions, Commercial Businesses and Industries that have Hazardous Waste materials that require disposal are asked to contact the Solid Waste Management Hotline at 567-1337 or refer to your local Yellow Pages TM for disposal options.

 

The Journey of a Blue Bag...

Every day you rinse and separate your recyclable items into two blue bags so they are ready for collection day. Have you ever wondered what happens next? It is here the journey of a blue bag begins. Collection trucks are divided into two compartments; blue bags with paper products and blue bags containing plastic and container products. The two waste streams are taken to the local Municipal Recovery Facility located in Sydport.  Paper products and containers plastic blue bags are unloaded onto two separate tipping floors.

Sort Sheet CBRM 2013 -2014.pdf to download a printable copy of the sorting sheet

The next step in a blue bag's journey is the climb up one or two conveyor belts that carry bags to the second story sorting area. The first sorting line is used to sort containers including milk cartons, plastic containers, aluminum cans and glass jars. Staff separate different types of containers and toss them into shoots that empty into large bunkers below. The fiber sorting line is used to sort paper products. Office paper and cardboard are placed into separate bunkers from newsprint, magazines and box board.

When bunkers are full, a loader is used to push recyclables onto another conveyor belt. This conveyor belt delivers these materials to a machine called a bailer. From here, bails are stored by product type and shipped by tractor trailer to begin their journey to markets around the world. Products made from recycled materials include: carpet, t-shirts, plastic lumber, insulation, and new packaging.

As you can see, it's extremely important to Recycle Right. Paper products and containers must be placed in separate blue bags and all materials must be clean and dry. Please remember, Don't Just Recycle, Recycle Right.

 

Electronic Recycling Program in Nova Scotia

ACES (Atlantic Canada Electronics Stewardship) has received a new name. Effective July 2nd, 2013 ACES will no longer be used to describe Nova Scotia’s Electronic Recycling Program.  Atlantic Canada’s Electronic Recycling Program will now be known as EPRA Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island’s program will be known as EPRA Prince Edward Island. 

EPRA stands for Electronic Products Recycling Association.  EPRA  is a not-for-profit, industry-led organization that oversees a government-approved electronic products recycling program for all residents and business in Nova Scotia. The new name reflects the associations focus on building national synergies as well as connecting with consumers and businesses in Nova Scotia and also in Prince Edward Island.   Day-to-day management of the Nova Scotia and PEI programs, along with current environmental handling fees (EHF) and consumer access to Drop-off centres remain unchanged.  Consumers and businesses can call or email EPRA for more information at:

Toll-free-helpline:  1-877-462-8907
Email:  

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


The Provincial website site for EPRA Nova Scotia is www.recycleMYelectronics.ca/ns
The Provincial website for EPRA Prince Edward Island is www.recycleMYelectronics.ca/pei

To locate  a Drop-off Centre near you or for more information about electronics recycling in Nova Scotia, please visit www.recycleMYelectronics.ca/ns   or call 1-877-462-8907

 

CBRM's Solid Waste By-Law

View the CBRM Solid Waste Resource Management By-Law (PDF - 211 kb).

Illegal Dumping is Everyone's Problem

To those who enjoy nature, there is nothing more distressing than seeing an otherwise beautiful landscape spoiled by illegally dumped trash.  Abandoned piles of household garbage or yard waste, discarded appliances, old barrels, used tires and demolition debris can threaten the health of humans, wildlife and the environment.

If you see illegal dumping, please contact:

local Nova Scotia Environment Office or the afterhours Environmental Emergency Number at:

1-800-565-1633. Nova Scotia Environment, 295 Charlotte Street, Sydney, N.S. (902) 563-2100

Nova Scotia Department of Environment

Bylaw Enforcement Division of the CBRM 563-5202 or the Solid Waste Management Hotline at 567-1337.

Please do your part by not turning a blind eye to illegal dumping.

Click here (PDF - 190 kb) to download a printable copy of the sorting sheet.

What is Composting?

Composting is a natural process that breaks down food, lawn and garden materials into dark, earthy soil-like material called "compost". This end product is an excellent soil conditioner for plants, gardens and lawns. By returning nutrients back into the soil, composting reduces the need for expensive chemical fertilizers.

Are You Ready to Start Backyard Composting?

Purchase an earth machine backyard composter!

Your municipality has affordable backyard composters for purchase. They are easy to set up and maintain. Call CBRM's Waste Management Hotline for more information 567-1337.

Nailing together old wood pallets can make a simple composting unit. Other creative composters can be made from old barrels or large garbage cans with the bottoms cut out and holes drilled in the side. Stacked cinder blocks or snow fencing can also be used to contain the compost pile.

What Goes in My Backyard Composter?

Greens Browns
Bread/Cereal Box Board (cereal shoe, tissue, cracker)
Coffee Grounds/Filters Cardboard
Baked Goods Egg Carton
Egg Shells

Dryer Lint

Floor Sweepings Frozen Food Boxes
Fruit Scraps Kleenex
Hair Lint
Pasta Newspaper(shredded)
Peanut Shells and Other Nuts

Paper

Popcorn Paper Towels
Rice and Other Grains Paper Plates and Cups (no styrofoam)
Tea Bags Soiled Food Napkins
Tea Leaves Sugar, Flour and Potato Bags
Vegetable Scraps Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Rolls
Fresh Grass Clippings Vacuum Cleaner Lint
Hedge Trimmings

Wood

Seaweed Dried Grass Clippings
Weeds(not seeded) Dried Leaves
Soil Straw/Hay

 

Do not place the following items in your backyard composter

Bones Eggs Mayonnaise and Diseased Plant
Meat (except shells) Salad Dressing Material
Poultry Fish Syrup Pet Waste
Butter (including shellfish) Glass Pine Needled
Candy Grease, Fat and Oils
Waxed Paper Rhubarb Stems
Dairy Products Lard and Shortening Freezer Paper (natural insecticide)
(including cheese) Peanut Butter Wrapping Toxic Substances

What are Greens and Browns?

Greens: Materials like vegetable and fruit peelings, tea bags, coffee grains and filters provide nitrogen. For compost to work properly, you must have both greens and browns in reasonable amounts. Occasionally stir your compost pile. Do not leave greens, such as kitchen scraps on top of your compost pile. It is best to keep these materials covered by browns where they will break down quicker.

Browns: Materials like newspaper, dryer-lint, paper and paper towels provide carbon. Begin your compost pile with a layer of browns. A base of branches and twigs will help circulate your pile. You should always finish your pile with a layer of browns. Keep a garbage bag of old leaves or old shredded newspaper beside your compost container to have a ready supply of browns.

Getting Started...

Make a nutrient rich bottom layer in your composter; begin composting with a layer of soil combined with leaves and other year trimmings.  Alternate layers of your organic waste; brows then greens. A complete layer of each type is crucial but not always necessary. Keep in mind that too much yard waste slows down the compost process; too much kitchen waste gives off an ammonia odour, so try to balance these ingredients when possible.

During the summer months the compost should be aired out at least three times a week. This is done by removing the lid on your composter and turning the pile more than once a week or you will slow down the decomposition.  Remember your compost should be as damp as a squeezed out sponge. If your compost is too dry, add water. If your compost is too wet add some shredded paper, soil or leaves.

 How to Collect Your Material

The easiest way to collect kitchen materials is with a plastic container. This container should have a lid to eliminate odours. A two or four liter plastic ice cream container works great and is best kept on the counter or under the sink. As you accumulate your materials, place it in the container and when it is full; add to your compost pile or bin.

Yard materials can be added to the compost as they are produced provided they are not in excessive quantities. If you have excessive amounts of yard material, simply store in a dry spot and add as required.

The Four Seasons of Composting

Spring: Spring the time for a fresh start. If you are just beginning to compost make sure you place your composter in a shady area near your home. Start by placing a layer of brown materials and a handful of soil. If you've composted last year wait for compost material to thaw, then turn pile while mixing in some browns. Use the finished compost and start a new pile with the remainder

Summer: Summer is the height of composting activity. This is the best time to increase compost material. To keep your compost in good condition, just layer and stir. Cover each layer of greens with a layer of brown such as dry leaves, grass, peat moss or other browns and poke or stir contents.

Fall: Harvest your finished compost and use as mulch in your flowerbeds, vegetable garden or around the base of trees and shrubs. Fall is the beginning of yearly composting, much to the homeowners surprise. The main reason for this is the autumn leaf drop, which can supply you with a ready source of browns throughout the following year. Don't forget to set leaves aside in a dry spot to add to your compost during the winter.

Winter: Although the winter season sees a marked drop in composting activity, materials still go through a freeze-thaw cycle, which reduces their water content and volume. Keep your composter going through the winter by adding kitchen waste. To avoid a sloppy springtime surprises, use wood chips or newsprint to absorb the excess water in order to prevent matting.

 

Composting: Trouble Shooting Problems

Problem Probable cause Solution
Bad Odour Too many greens Add browns to mix. Turn pile and top with soil.
Smells like rotten eggs Not enough air Turn pile for several days until odour is gone. Top with soil or leaves.
Pile is not composting Too dry) Moisten with water until damp.
Flies around pile Exposed food
Bury food or cover with a layer of browns.
Unwelcome animal visitors (raccoons, dogs, rodents etc.) Exposed food or wrong items added Remove any meats, fats or dairy products. Bury food scraps and cover with soil.

 

Uses for Compost

Compost is an excellent, all-purpose soil amendment, improving the fertility, structure, aeration, and moisture-holding capacity of the soil. Compost added to your garden will provide needed nutrients and condition the soil. Compost can be added to the garden by mixing the materials into the top 6 inches of soil. It can also be used around lawns, trees, shrubs, vegetables and flowers. Compost can be used as potting soil for flowers, plants and for transplant mixes.

 

When is My Compost Ready?

Your compost is ready to use when most of all of the organic material is unrecognizable. The compost should have a dark, crumbly appearance. The quality of the compost that comes out of a backyard composter is often quite coarse. Many people like to screen the compost prior to using it. This removes the larger chunks which can be placed back in the composter for further decomposition.

Composting Tips

Place composter on level ground convenient to your house or garden.
Cut your food scraps into small pieces.
If your pile continues to be wet, remove the top of the composter.
Turn or mix your pile gently every 4 to 5 days to allow circulation.
A shady location is ideal in the summer time in order to prevent excess drying of pile.
Save excess leaves in the fall and place them in a dry spot near your composter.
Do not put plastic wrap in your composter! Plastic contaminates the finished product!

For more information on composting phone (902) 567-1337 or visit the following websites: