Domestic Composting

Domestic Composting

A domestic composter is an excellent method to dispose of green waste by turning it into compost—a nutrient-rich fertilizer that you can use on your plants or lawn.

To obtain a good compost, it’s important that you use green and brown waste in your composter. Garden and plant waste, cut branches and grass (in limited amounts) are green waste, which is rich in the nitrogen your composter needs. Dead leaves, twigs, chips and dried plants/grass, meanwhile, are brown waste, which is rich in carbon that helps your composter function better.  

Compostable materials:
  • Kitchen scraps: waste from fruits and vegetables, eggshells (broken), teabags and coffee grounds (with filter) and cardboard or paper soiled with food. Keep this waste in a tightly sealed container (to avoid odours) inside your home and empty it into your compost bin once a week or when full.  
  • Gardening waste: dry leaves and grass, straw, vegetable matter (plants, weeds that have not germinated), sawdust and old potting soil. Take advantage of the fall to collect dead leaves, which you can use to feed your compost in the spring. These can easily be stored in plastic bags at the back of your garage. You should make sure, however, that the leaves are completely dry.
  • Avoid: Waste such as meat, fish, bones, dairy products, fat, oil, sauce and animal excrement.
Composting made easy:
  1. Find a composter that suits your needs. A composter of 12 cubic feet should be sufficient for a family of four with less than 10,000 square feet of land.
  2. Choose a location that is easily accessible, well drained and partially shaded.
  3. Turn up the soil in the location where you will place the composter.
  4. Place a layer of branches at the bottom of the composter to improve aeration.
  5. Alternate between adding wet waste (kitchen scraps) and dry waste (garden waste). Maintaining a balance between the two types of waste is necessary to ensure proper composting.
  6. For optimal results, add waste on a regular basis.
  7. To avoid bad odours, aerate the compost heap once every two weeks using a compost aerator. Stir the heap thoroughly once a year, in spring, when the weather warms up. This enables the composting process to restart.
  8. Depending on the materials used, it takes between three months and two years to obtain well-rotted compost. Compost is well rotted once all decomposable materials have disappeared, forming a substance resembling soft, dark earth that does not emit any odour.

Note: In winter, composting does not take place due to the cold. The decomposition process begins again with the coming of spring and warmer temperatures. At that time, don’t forget to start adding waste to your composter again, alternating between dry and wet waste.

Community Composting Pilot Project at Parc Radisson

The City launched a community composting pilot project in the summer of 2013. This initiative aims to give residents in the “R” section with limited living space access to domestic composting in a public space (Parc Radisson), in order to reduce the amount of domestic waste they generate.

Training and practical advice were provided on site to the 30 residents in the section who are taking part in this pilot project.