Home
Sitemap News room Careers Contact Us Home

> for detailed information on Curb It! or Cut n' Call click here

  Print
Home    Municipal Services    Garbage & Recycling    Composting

Composting

Okotoks Recycling Centre
100-1118 North Railway Street
Okotoks AB T 1S 1K1
Phone: 403-938-2652
Resouce Recovery Services 403.938.2452
 
Did you know?
Organic wastes are the major component of the municipal solid waste stream, and play a vital role in achieving overall waste diversion targets. Organic wastes from residential sources typically include grass, leaves, branches and other yard and garden materials, as well as food scraps generated in the kitchen.
  
Currently the average Canadian municipal disposed (landfilled) solid waste stream consists of approximately 40-50% organic material! Not only is this a large waste of a valuable compost resource but also a very large contributor to methane production in landfills.
 
Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas that remains in the atmosphere for approximately 9-15 years. Methane is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 100-year period and is emitted from a variety of natural and human-influenced sources. Human-influenced sources include landfills, natural gas and petroleum systems, agricultural activities, coal mining, stationary and mobile combustion, wastewater treatment, and certain industrial process.
 
 
Why is yard and food waste is better off in a compost pile than in the local landfill?
In general, organics are easily processed and can be converted through composting into a beneficial soil amendment. By composting in your yard, not only do you divert valuable material from being lost to the landfill and utilize it for your own soil improvement but also reduce the amount of methane produced through the landfill processes and save space for real waste. 
 
Methane is produced in a landfill because municipal solid waste that is buried in a landfill does not receive oxygen, thus undergoing anaerobic decomposition. A compost pile, on the other hand, undergoes aerobic decomposition because it is exposed to oxygen, either through manual turning or the use of worms and other living organisms. A compost pile produces CO2 (carbon dioxide) instead of methane, a lesser evil of the two greenhouse gases.
 
Of course, not all compost piles are treated the same, attention needs to be paid to the compost pile to so that it receives the oxygen that it needs to decomposed aerobically. If a compost pile is being taken care of properly, it will produce far less methane than a landfill.

Composting Options

Town Grass & Leaves Drop-off Centre
 
 
The Town operates a drop-off center for grass and leaves (located next to the Recycling Centre). The material is then transported to and processes at the compost center located at the Foothills Regional Landfill Site.  Don't forget to bring us your pumpkins and rotting gourds!
 
Please Note: This site does not accept food scraps or branches. Food scraps must be composted at home and branches can be taken directly to the Foothills Regional Landfill Site for chipping.
 
For additional information on composting at the Foothills Regional Landfill Site click here.

 
Yard Composters
 
 
Reduce your household waste and yard water consumption by using a yard composter. Compost breaks down heavy clay soils, improves water and nutrient holding capacity, adds nutrients to soils, and builds healthy turf. It is an excellent organic and non-chemical fertilizer for growing plants, trees, shrubs, fruits and vegetables.
 
earth machine
 
 
Cut n' Call
 
 
If you don't want to compost your yard waste at home or haul it down to the Recycling Centre then utilized the Town's Cut n' Call Program. Click here for the Cut n' Call home page.
 
 
 
What to do with Pet Waste

To keep extra waste out of the landfill, there are options for handling pet waste.

Green Calgary suggests purchasing or making a "digester."  Simply put, a digester is a modified compost bin (without the holes) used for the disposal of pet waste.  You can also add meat, bones, dairy, and other processed food.  But unlike composting where oxygen is encouraged through poking or stirring the pile, digestion is anaerobic (without oxygen) and is fairly hands-off.  You can purchase a digester from the Green Calgary Eco Store.

Whether in a commercial or homemade digester, the pet waste will decompose in a few months, while also feeding the plants and trees surrounding the site.  Remember to keep separate and away from the vegetable garden to avoid any issues with contamination.

Once your digester is in place, avoid adding "doggie-do" plastic bags to the pile unless they are the fully compostable bio-plastic kind.  For cat owners, avoid adding bentonite clay cat litters (the vast majority on the market), as they will not decompose.  Biodegradable and fully compostable options exist and are available at local pet stores.

For more pet information visit the Your Home & Community section of the Green Calgary website:
http://www.greencalgary.org
digester