Ecogestures

Home composters

In addition to the Town's weekly organic waste collection, Kirkland residents can now purchase a household composter for as little as $25 at the Public Works Department (25 Claude-Jodoin) and make their own compost!

How do I compost?

Compost is made from different organic materials placed into an environment suitable for decomposition: kitchen waste (such as fruit and vegetable scraps), dry materials and yard waste (ashes, wood chips, grass clippings, dead leaves). Materials are divided into two categories: “Green” and “Brown” also known as “Wet” and “Dry”. The first category is rich in nitrogen and the second in carbon. It is important to breakdown the materials you put into your composter in smaller pieces to speed up the process,.

STEPS

1- Place the composter in a well-drained sunny location that is accessible year-round. Removing the grass underneath the composter allows microorganisms in the ground to be in direct contact with the compost.
2- After installing the composter, cover the bottom with a layer of twigs. This allows air to circulate and encourages proper drainage.
3- Alternate a mix of wet (kitchen waste) and dry waste (garden refuse) - always 50 % of wet and 50 % of dry residues.
4- If possible, add “finished” compost, garden soil or a compost starter to your pile (available at most garden centres). This speeds up the composting start-up process.
5- Mix the contents of the compost every two weeks or every time you add new materials. You can also add a shovelful of soil every now and then to introduce microorganisms.
6- The fermentation and decomposition process usually takes one year, depending on the residues put in and the effort invested. The compost is ready to use when it is dark in colour, crumbly and has an “earthy” smell. Sort through the compost to eliminate substances that have not completely decomposed and put them back in the composter.

Materials that are acceptable for your composter

Wet materials:
Vegetable and fruit peels (including citrus fruit and banana skins), soup and salad leftovers (in small quantities so as not to soak the compost), wild mushrooms, green garden residues, grass clippings (in small quantities).

Dry materials:
Coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, cereal, bread, pasta, egg and nut shells, peach pits, wood chips, sawdust and twigs, animal hair or fur, corn cobs and stalks, dry fiber material cut into small pieces, dry tree leaves, hay, paper, newspapers and cardboard. Note that some wet materials can be dried in the sun to become dry materials.

NOT to use*
Meat, fish and bone, dairy products, grease and oils, cheese, plastic, metal, seed-bearing weeds and diseased plants, harmful plants(ragweed, poison ivy, bindweed and quack grass), toxic products (treated turf), animal waste.

* You can compost weed, bone, fish, meat and dairy products through the Municipal Organic Waste Collection (brown bins), as a result of the high-temperatures reached in the fermentation process due to the large quantities of composted organic materials.
 

 

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For more information

 
To find out more about backyard composting, please contact the Public Works Department at 514630-2727.
 
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