what to compost

2 Apr

I am so glad that the ground, and my compost pile, has finally thawed. Time to get back on track…

A well cared for compost pile will reward you with a nutrient-rich, earth-smelling conditioner you can add to planters, window boxes, flower beds, shrub borders – or any other landscape site. You will also be rewarded by knowing that by reducing, reusing and recycling your waste, you are helping to conserve our precious environment. Landscape Ontario

Wondering what to compost? Here is a list from the region of waterloo’s *Green Bin Program.

Acceptable Items
Baked goods – e.g. bread, cakes, cookies, dough, pies
Butcher paper
Butter & margarine
Cat litter
Coffee cups (PAPER, no lids)
Coffee filters, grounds
Corn cobs, husks
Cotton balls
Dairy products – e.g. cheese, sour cream, yogurt
Dryer lint
Dryer sheets
Eggs, eggshells
Facial tissues
Fish, fish parts
Flour bags
Grains & rice
Gravy & sauces
Grease, lards, fats
Herbs & spices
Houseplant waste
Jams & jellies
Meat, meat products, bones
Muffin/baking cups (paper)
Nail clippings
Nuts & shells
Paper bags
Paper fast food packaging
Paper napkins
Paper plates
Parchment paper
Peanut butter
Pencil shavings
Pet bedding, droppings
Pizza boxes
Play dough (homemade)
Popsicle sticks
Popcorn bags (microwave)
Salad & dressings
Shredded paper
Snack foods
Sugar & sweetener packets
Sugar & syrups
Sugar bags
Tea bags (except Lipton pyramid tea bags)
Toothpicks (wood)
Vacuum bags (no plastic)
Vegetables – including waxed vegetables such as rutabaga
Wood ashes (cold)
Wood chips
Not Acceptable
Batteries, paint & other hazardous waste
Biodegradable plastic bags
Chewing gum
Cigarette butts & ashes
Cleaning sponges
Cutlery (metal, plastic)
Dental floss/tape, toothbrushes
Lipton Pyramid Tea (plastic mesh tea bag)
Metal – anything in part or as a whole is made of metal of any kind)
Plastic – plastic bags, biodegradable plastic bags, plastic containers, plastic wrap, etc.
Sanitary products – (personal)
Water softener salt
Waxed paper
Wood, treated wood
Recyclables – place in blue boxYard Waste – compost in back yard, set out during seasonal pickup, bring to transfer station

* The Green Bin Program was introduced to select areas of the Waterloo region as a way to save compostable materials from the landfills, and then transport the scraps to Thorold, as kitchener doesnt have the facilities to process the materials.

What? what facilities? Why not teach people how to compost in their OWN yard. Why use money to truck somewhere else, and then bring back? I would rather use this special airated bin to collect MY own kitchen scraps, and then use in MY own yard.

Even if you dont have a beautiful green bin you should continue to compost the traditional way… with a box bin or pile in a shady corner of the yard. Here are some solutions to some problems you may run into.

The compost has a bad odour Not enough air, or too wet Turn it
The centre of the pile is dry Not enough water Moisten materials while turning the pile
The compost is damp and warm in the middle but nowhere else Too small Collect more material and mix the old ingredients into a new pile
The heap is damp and sweet-smelling but still will not heat up Lack of nitrogen Mix in a nitrogen source (fresh grass clippings, fresh manure, bloodmeal, or commercial fertilizer high in nitrogen

Outdoor Composters are available at no charge at the following locations:

  • Waterloo Landfill, Administration Building, 925 Erb St. W., Gate 1, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Cambridge Landfill, 201 Savage Dr., Monday – Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Elmira Transfer Station, end of Howard Ave., Tuesday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

* One composting unit per household *


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