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Backyard Composting

What is backyard composting?

Backyard composting is a process of breaking down various organic materials, such as: fruit and vegetable scraps, grass trimmings, and leaves from your home. The process of composting takes place in your backyard composter and can take anywhere from three months to up to a year. For the best results, take the time to read through the information linked below on how to use your composter. Compost can be used in your garden or on your lawn as a fertilizer to help your plants and grass grow. 


What are some benefits of composting?

  • Less household waste: Composting can save you about 20 to 30 percent of your household waste, so if you find that you have an overflowing garbage bin or spend a lot of money on garbage bags, composting could be a solution for you. It can save you money on garbage bags, and you may also find that you change out your kitchen garbage bags less.
  • Excellent natural fertilizer: Compost has many nutrients to help plants grow and can be a great soil enhancer. Making your own compost can save you money by reducing your need for purchasing fertilizers.
  • Reducing your carbon footprint: When organic waste is decomposed in a landfill, it generates methane gas, which contributes to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Reducing greenhouse gases is important to reduce the effects of climate change.

How much does the City sell composters for?

$48

What are the dimensions of the composter?

33" diameter by 33" height
 

Note that the composter can be broken down into two sections at the seam (midway of the composter) for transport.
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How can I get a composter?

Visit 4th floor of City Hall to pay in person, or call 403-320-3076 to pay by phone using credit or debit. You can also put the charge onto your utility account bill if you have your customer account number.
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Composters can be picked up at any of the three Yard Waste Sites after payment. Sites are open 7 days a week, 9am to 7pm, between April 1 and November 30.

Where can I learn how to use my composter?

​The Earth Machine is the brand of composter that the City sells. Click here to visit The Earth Machine website.   
 
Click here for Alberta Environment's Backyard Composting brochure with useful information on getting started and maintaining your compost.

What else do I need to get started?

Backyard composting can be very simple (a pile and pitch-fork will do) but many people prefer to use accessories that help make the process more efficient and tidy. For your convenience, Waste & Recycling Services also sells the following accessories:

Compost turner ($15) - To turn compost, simply plunge the tool vertically into the compost pile and pull up. Find out more here.






Kitchen catcher ($5) - Many people keep a bucket on the counter or under the sink to deposit fruit and vegetable scraps until they make a trip to the composter. The SureClose kitchen catcher is specially designed for the job. Read about it here.  
 
​***These accessories are 'pick-up only' unless you are already having a composter delivered.

How can I compost larger amounts of yard waste?

Take your bagged leaves, small branches, garden waste and pumpkins to the Yard Waste Sites or the Waste and Recycling Center.