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Types of Composting

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Composting that Works for You!

We encourage all Brockton households to find a compost method that works for them. Scroll through this page to learn more about the many ways you can reduce the amount of organic matter you send to our landfills. This helps us save money (running landfills is expensive!) and protect our beautiful Brockton environment.

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Types of Composting

Click the links below to jump to information about different types of composting to find one that works for you:

Backyard Composting

 handful of finished compost

Simple. A low-tech way to create your own soil!

When you compost kitchen and garden scraps in your yard you take advantage of a very natural process - the decomposition of organic matter. Bacteria, fungi, worms, and many other small organisms work together to break organic matter down, recycle it, and return it to the Earth in the form of compost.

Compost helps provide nutrients and food to plants and soil organisms and using finished compost can improve your soil quality in flower and vegetable gardens. 

Backyard composting can be as simple as tossing grass clippings and yard waste into a pile. However, you may want to build or purchase a compost bin to speed the decomposition process up, so you can harvest finished compost in 6 to 12 months.

Healthy compost comes from an equal mix of greens (items high in nitrogen including grass clippings, fruit and veggie scraps, manure, etc.) and browns (items high in carbon including brown leaves, straw, shredded newspaper, dry grass clippings etc.).  

Facts and Tips

  • Locate your compost bin in a convenient, open, high traffic area to deter pests.
  • Consider a sunny location, the heat will help items break down faster.
  • Materials small in size break down faster - cut materials up using a lawnmower, food processor, leaf shredder, knife or hand pruners.
  • Too hot or too cold to compost? Place compost in repurposed bags or containers in your freezer and add it to your composter when it is convenient.
  • A moist compost pile just works better; keep materials watered or covered up to keep your pile the dampness of a wrung out sponge. 
  • Aerate! Air and ventilation are key. Whether you manually turn your pile or use a stick to stir and poke holes in your compost bin, air speeds up the decomposition process and deters pests.
  • Finished compost is a great treat for your flower and vegetable garden, lawn, and potted plants!
  • Want to take backyard composting to the next level? 
  • Compost Education Centre - Backyard Composting Fact Sheet

Purchase

Compost bins can be purchased at most hardware stores. You can also search the internet for the perfect plans to build your own. 

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 Green Cone Digester

green cone digester

Easy! Just throw it in and forget about it!

Green cone digesters eat the food you don't! These digesters are the easiest way to compost all kitchen scraps, including meat, bread, dairy, and processed foods. These enclosed, half buried digesters use heat from the sun and microbial activity to quickly decompose waste, producing a nutrient rich leachate that feeds the soil around it.

Digesters are easy to use because you can put almost any organic matter in them and you don't need to have a certain balance of materials to make them work properly. Digesters do not produce finished compost.

Digesters can be used to compost pet waste if placed at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from a food garden or fruit producing tree.

Facts and Tips

  • Green Cone Manual
  • Digesters can handle about 13 lbs of food waste per week
  • One digester should be able to handle the food waste of a 2 to 4 person household; some families find having two is ideal
  • Install in a sunny location with good soil drainage
  • Digesters work best on a well blanched diet; add a variety of food scraps
  • Too hot or too cold to compost? Place compost in repurposed bags or containers in your freezer and add it to your composter when it is convenient.
  • Avoid adding carbon based materials like newspaper, paper towel, or garden waste - these will take a long time to break down and will just fill your digester up
  • Is your digester getting full?
    • Don't worry! A digester does not need to be empty to be working. If there is enough room in your digester to keep adding your weekly food waste, it is working just fine. A digester works best when items are added on a regular basis to keep those hungry bacteria active and well fed!
    • If you produce a large amount of organic waste, or have a large amount of garden waste, it may be too much for a green cone alone. You may want to consider adding another method to your home composting efforts.
    • Try adding accelerator powder (available at the Municipal Office)
    • Pour hot (not boiling) water in to your green cone or stir or poke contents with a stick or old broom handle to help settle material and eliminate air pockets.
  • Compost Education Centre - Backyard Food Waste Digester Fact Sheet

Purchase

Available for sale for $85:

Multi-Dwelling Composting Incentive Program

The Brockton Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) has created the Multi-Dwelling Composting Incentive Program to provide multi-dwelling buildings with one (1) free Green Cone digester. The Green Cone works quickly to digest almost all organic waste (including fruit, vegetables, meat, bones, dairy, oil, pet waste) with minimal effort. Any owner or landlord of a multi-dwelling unit can email Brandy Patterson or call 519-881-2223 Ext. 24 to arrange to pick up of one (1) free Green Cone digester.

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Worm Composting

handful of worms

A Bit of Work. Just like caring for a pet, worms do take work but they make composting fun!

Vermicomposting, or worm composting, is an easy process that requires only a few simple ingredients: 
red wriggler worms, a ventilated bin, bedding for the worms to live in, and food scraps.

Vermicomposting requires a special type of worm called a red wriggler (Eisenia foetida).  The red
wriggler is a deep red colour, unlike the common earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) which is more pink in colour and is found in your garden soil.  Unlike garden worms, red wrigglers prefer to live in small, enclosed spaces with a  concentrated food source, which makes them the perfect compost partner!

Worms work with bacteria and other microorganisms to break down food waste right in the worm bin. As worms eat food scraps, they excrete nutrient rich castings which are a great addition to potted plants and gardens. Worm composting is perfect for apartment and condo dwellers and for those of us who find composting difficult with 6 feet of snow outside!

Facts and Tips

  • A 3 feet3 bin is the ideal size for a 2 person family; it should have a lid and air vents.
  • Worms like temperatures of 17 to 22 Celsius
  • Keep your bin in an accessible place so you can check it regularly
  • Start your bin with some bedding, shredded newspaper and fallen leaves make a good bedding.
  • Worms eat half their weight in food each day - 1 pound of worms can consume two 750 grams yogurt containers of food scraps per week.
  • To feed your worms dig a hole in the bedding and add your food scraps. Cover the food back up and add food in a different location next time.
  • Worms prefer raw fruit and vegetable scraps and also enjoy coffee grounds, tea bags and egg shells. Citrus, garlic, and onion are not a worm favourite.
  • Too many food scraps? Place items in repurposed bags or containers in your freezer and add it to your worm bin composter when you have fewer items or just before you go on vacation.
  • To harvest worm castings you'll need to roll up your sleeves!  Harvesting can be done every 4 to 6 months. You can either 
    • migrate the worms to one side of the bin by feeding them in that location, and then harvest the castings on the opposite side of the bin
    • dump the entire bin on a tarp, wait until the worms head to the bottom of the pile and then harvest the compost on top
  • Compost Education Centre - Worm Composting Fact sheet and Troubleshooting Guide
  • Worm Suppliers 

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