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Composting

Mission-Collection-at-a-Glance-PosterThe District of Mission offers several options for diverting compost from the landfill.  These include curbside collection of both food and yard waste, free drop-off of grass clippings, moss and leaves as well as paid drop-off of brush and branches at the Mission Landfill.

 

Click on the handy guide to the right to learn what goes where when it comes to waste.

Curbside Compost Collection

Mission’s residential curbside collection system includes unlimited amounts of both food and yard waste.  Separating your food waste from regular garbage is the single most effective action you can take to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases generated by landfilling organic materials. Separating your food waste from garbage will also reduce the amount of garbage you create by half. Both food and yard waste can be set out together in the same container. Compost may be set out in:

  • 80-L bins with a tight-fitting lid and marked with an orange sticker;
  • Rot Pots (no orange sticker required);
  • paper bags or compostable plastic bags.

Orange stickers are available at City Hall and at the Leisure Centre free of charge. In order to reduce animal interference with materials, food waste should always be contained in bins.

Please note that no bin, bag or bundle may exceed 20 kg in weight, and that soil is not compostable and will not be collected curbside.

Curbside Bins, Bags, and Bundles

Rot Pots

Rot Pots have been distributed to all Mission households receiving curbside collection, providing a convenient means for separating all food waste from garbage.

Bins with an orange sticker and Rot Pots may be lined with compostable bags, but do not have to be. Placing a couple of sheets of crumpled up newspaper at the bottom of the bin or Rot Pot and inbetween layers of compost helps to soak up liquids and prevents materials from sticking to the bin.

For more information on Rot Pots, visit the Rot Pot page.

Bags

If using bags for compost, please ensure that bags are paper or in fact compostable, i.e., not just made out of “biodegradable” plastic.

Compostable bags will have one of two specific logos below. Compost will not be collected in regular, clear plastic bags.

Compostable_Final   Logo-USCC-BPI-compostable

Bundles

Small branches (less than 5 cm in diameter) may be set out in tied bundles not exceeding 90 cm in length and 20 kg in weight.

Acceptable Compost Materials for Curbside Collection

Yard Waste

For the purposes of curbside collection, yard waste includes:

  • small branches (less than 5 cm in diameter and 90 cm in length each)
  • leaves
  • weeds
  • grass clippings

Residents are encouraged to practice “grasscycling,” which involves leaving grass clippings where they may fall. Done right, grasscycling does not cause thatch and returns nutrients and organic matter on the spot. Organic matter helps to retain moisture, reducing watering requirements, and improves disease resistance.

While push mowers are the most environmentally friendly choice, most mowers can be adapted to become “mulching” mowers by placing a proper cover on the bagger outlet.

Food Waste

Food waste includes:

  • all kitchen scraps, including meat, bones & cheese
  • cooked leftovers
  • bread & pasta
  • coffee grounds & filters
  • tea bags
  • pizza & donut boxes
  • tissues & food napkins

No liquid wastes, please.

Please ensure that compost containing food waste does not attract dogs, cats, birds or wildlife, such as bears. During hot weather, it may be a good idea to freeze kitchen scraps until collection day to reduce odours and wildlife attraction. Compost is best contained in 80-L bins with lids (do not tie down lids, please) or in Rot Pots, and must be set out by 8 a.m. on collection day only.

Food wastes can be collected in the kitchen in a covered container, such as an ice cream bucket. More elegant “kitchen catchers” are available at local hardware and building supply stores.

Please do not set out compost the night before collection day. Please visit the Bear Awareness page for additional information.

Backyard Composters

Backyard composters are another effective alternative for handling certain organic wastes. Compost can be a valuable asset in any yard. Suitable materials for backyard composters include:

  • small yard trimmings
  • leaves
  • grass clippings
  • uncooked food wastes, such as fruit & vegetable peelings
  • coffee grounds & filters
  • tea bags

Backyard composters require periodic mixing of the material and need to be kept at a specific moisture content. This can be achieved by adding both “brown” (e.g., dry leaves, sawdust, twigs) and “green” (e.g., grass clippings, vegetable peelings) materials and adding a little water, if required. Materials in a backyard composter should have the moisture content of a wrung out sponge.

Please note that meats, bones, grease and cheese are not suitable for composting in backyard composters, due to rodent attraction.

Many local hardware stores and garden centres carry various modes of backyard composters. Backyard composters are also available to Mission residents at the Abbotsford-Mission Recycling Depot at 33670 Valley Road. Please contact the depot at 604-850-3551 for current pricing information.

Rural Composting Options

Rural residents may find it useful to set up a backyard composter to manage much of their uncooked fruit and vegetable waste. They also have the option of  dropping off all food waste (see definition below) and small yard trimmings, such as grass clippings, moss and leaves, at the Mission Landfill (Minnie’s Pit) free of charge. Please note that in order to reduce the chance of wildlife conflicts, all food waste should be frozen until it can be dropped off. Larger yard debris can be dropped off at a charge of $55 per tonne.

Worm Composters

Worm composting is an alternative for those residents who do not have access to a great deal of outdoor space. Worm composters involve inoffensive “red wiggler” worms and can be set up on balconies and, for the less squeamish, even inside apartments. Worm composters must be managed properly in order to prevent fruit fly infestations. For more details on building your own worm composter and proper worm composting procedures, visit City Farmer Urban Agriculture Notes.

 

Worm composters can also be ordered through Urban Worm Wonders in Mission.  Red Wiggler worms and worm factories are available.

Urban Worm Wonders
Phone:  604-751-4588
Email:  wormwonders@gmail.com

Reducing Bear Attraction

Bears are a fact of life in Mission, however, they should not be attracted to residential neighbourhoods, where they may become a real or perceived hazard, which will result in their destruction. Please do your part by adhering to the following practices:

  • Locate your backyard composter in an open area, away from shrubs and trees.
  • Ensure your backyard composter is actively composting by mixing the right amount of “green” and “brown material. The Fraser Valley Regional District’s printable backyard composting brochure provides more information on how to achieve this.
  • Never put animal products or cooked foods into your backyard composter.
  • Immediately mix in and cover any fruit and vegetables you add to your backyard composter.

Should you find that, despite following the above, you still have bears investigating your backyard composter, consider freezing your food waste until you are ready to put it at the curb or drop it off at the Mission Landfill for composting free of charge. Small amounts of food waste may also be manageable by setting up an indoor worm composter.

Lately, there seems to have been one successful design of a “bear-proof” compost bin, however, it is fairly costly to purchase, and somewhat involved to build. If you’re looking for more ideas on “critter-proofing” your backyard composter, visit the City Farmer’s website for suppliers and additional links and plans.