Backyard Composting

Composting is nature’s way of recycling kitchen scraps and yard waste into natural, nutrient-rich compost. The soil that is produced can be used to promote weed and erosion control, protect plant roots from sun/wind damage, conserve water, increase water retention in sandy soils, aid drainage in clay, and reduce soil diseases.

Two types of compost bins in a grassy area

Buy a Backyard Composter

  • Earth Machine Composters are available at any of the County's six waste facilities year-round for $50 (including HST).
  • Green Cone Digesters are available to order for $100 (including HST). To order, contact us.

How to Compost

Here are a few easy steps for composting at home:

  1. Locate a composting area 
    Find a location in your yard that is out of sight, but easy to access. This area should be on level ground with good drainage; preferably a soil or gravel base. Ensure your compost will not be against a building or hedge.
  2. Choose a form of containment 
    Material can be composted in an open pile, but using some form of containment will prevent your compost from blowing around. A simple enclosure made of scrap wood or chicken wire works well.
  3. Establish a Base
    When starting a new composter, start by adding a layer of coarse material (twigs or straw) to help with drainage and ventilation.
  4. Add your material in layers 
    You will need a good mix of dry, “brown”, carbon-rich material (eg. mulched leaves, branches, and twigs) and damp, “green”, nitrogen-rich material (eg. fruit/vegetables, grass clippings).
  5. Maintain your compost 
    Turn and water your compost regularly to encourage airflow, disperse heat, and maintain moisture. Compost should at least 15oC, and should be moist, not soggy! If too dry, add more green materials, if too wet take off the lid. 

You will know your compost is ready when it is black with an earthy smell. Then you are ready to spread the finished compost on your lawn, work it into loosened existing soil for your garden, or share with a friend. It’s that easy!

Black Compost bin in a backyard

Love Composting Like Us? Explore these other composting methods.