Composting

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The 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, leaves, as well as paid drop-off of brush and branches at the Mission Landfill.

 

Please consult the District’s Curbside Collection Guide for collection limits and information on what can be included in the curbside waste collection.

Don’t see the item you are looking to dispose of in our Guide? Check out Recycle BC’s online “WHAT CAN I RECYCLE?” Recycling Materials List, or enter an item into the free Recycle Coach app to see how to recycle or safely dispose of it in Mission.

District of Mission Curbside Collection Guide

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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 and orange sticker
Rot Pots (no orange sticker required)
Paper or compostable plastic bags

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

For additional information on reducing bear and wildlife attraction, please visit our online Bears & Wildlife page section.

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.

If using bags for compost, please ensure that bags are paper or in fact compostable, not 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.

Yard Waste vs. Food Waste

Yard Waste

For the purpose of curbside collection, yard waste includes:

leaves
weeds
grass clippings
small branches

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.

Residents are encouraged to practice “grass-cycling” which involves leaving grass clippings where they may fall. Done right, grass-cycling 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

For the purpose of curbside collection, 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 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 wildlife attraction and odours. 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 am on collection day only. Do not set out compost the night before collection day.

For additional information on reducing bear and wildlife attraction, please visit our online Bears & Wildlife page section.

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. If you are new to Mission and require a Rot Pot, visit the District’s Welton or Public Works office (with proof of residency) to pick up your Rot Pot. Please note that only single-family homes, duplexes, and registered secondary suites are eligible for a Rot Pot.

Both the 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 in between layers of compost helps to soak up liquids and prevents materials from sticking to the bin.

Noteworthy Facts:

  • Unused space in the Rot Pot can be utilized by adding yard waste (provided that the entire container does not exceed 20 kg in weight).
  • All Rot Pot food waste is collected by the same truck that collects yard waste.
  • Food waste collected at the curb is delivered to the Mission Landfill for processing into useable compost material.
  • Composting food waste in a professional setting achieves temperatures of up to 80 degrees Celsius (192 F). Temperatures in this range speed up the composting process and destroy weed seeds and disease-causing organisms, such as bacteria and viruses, which is why materials such as meat, cheese and bones can be included, when they wouldn’t be suitable for your backyard composter.
  • Most of the finished compost is sold to various users by the private processor, but free compost is made available to residents on a Saturday around April 22, which is international Earth Day.

The newsletter that was provided with your household’s Rot Pot gives a quick overview of the most important information on the Rot Pot.

Rot Pot newsletter (Punjabi)

Trends

Since the introduction of the Rot Pot in late June of 2011, curbside compost has dramatically increased, while curbside garbage shows an overall slightly decreasing trend. Since the inception of the Rot Pot, more compost than garbage has been collected at the curbside in June or July of each year. The spikes in May of each year represents additional garbage collected during spring cleanup week.

While we’re on the right track with the increased compost diversion, there’s room for improvement with the overall curbside garbage generation. Making smart purchase decisions, considering packaging, recyclability and actual need over want can help to reduce the amount of garbage still requiring disposal.

Where to Buy Rot Pot Compost

Rot Pot compost is available by the bucket or the truck load at Jones Bros. Cartage at 8590 Sylvester Road on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm or by prior appointment. For pricing and to arrange a pickup time, call 604-820-0808.

Larger quantities (upwards of 15 cubic yards) of Rot Pot compost can now also be purchased directly from the processor. Please phone 604-826-7379 for additional information. Please contact either supplier directly for pricing and pickup/delivery options.

How to Use Rot Pot Compost

Please note that Rot Pot compost is not a potting soil, but intended to be mixed into existing flower and vegetable beds as a soil conditioner and slow-release fertilizer.

 

Rot Pot Compost Can Be Used In:

  • Vegetable gardens, annual flower beds and to prepare areas for new lawns
    – place 5 to 10 cm (2-4 inches) of compost evenly on the soil and blend in using a shovel or rototiller
  • Existing lawns                                                                                                                                – aerate, then spread 1 cm (0.5 inches) of compost over lawn
  • Existing or perennial plant beds
    – top dress with 5 to 10 cm (2-4 inches) of compost
  • Containers and when planting shrubs and trees
    – mix 1 part compost with 2 parts soil
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” (eg: dry leaves, sawdust, twigs) and “green” (eg: 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.

Many local hardware stores and garden centres carry various models of backyard composters.

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

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 information on building your own worm composter and the proper worm composting how to, visit the City Farmer Urban Agriculture Notes website.

Red wiggler worm composters and worm factories can also be ordered through the “Urban Worm Wonders” in Mission.

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

Rural Composting

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 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.

For additional information on the Mission Landfill, please visit our online Drop-off Depots & Landfill page section.

Composting FAQs

Why should I use the Rot Pot?

Materials placed in a landfill are compacted, resulting in the exclusion of air. Organic materials that decompose in the absence of air produce methane, which is a strong greenhouse gas. In fact, methane is 21 times stronger than carbon dioxide, which is the by-product of composting. The generation of greenhouse gases is the #1 factor in climate change. Mission’s curbside waste audits show that half of the materials set out as “garbage” could actually have been composted. At approximately 4000 tonnes of “garbage” buried each year from curbside collection, this amounts to 2000 tonnes of organic materials that could be kept out of the landfill, if everyone separated food waste from regular garbage. Saving landfill space helps in keeping down costs and deferring expensive future expansion projects. People who use a separate bin for food waste collection also report that the realization of how much food is wasted has made them shop smarter and save money.

 

Where does the Rot Pot waste go?

All the organic waste from the curbside pickup is taken to the Mission Landfill for processing into usable compost material. Composting food waste in a professional setting achieves temperatures of up to 80 degrees Celsius (192 F). Temperatures in this range speed up the composting process and destroy weed seeds and disease-causing organisms, such as bacteria and viruses, which is why materials such as meat, cheese and bones can be included when they wouldn’t be suitable for your backyard composter.

 

Where can I buy finished compost?

Rot Pot compost is available by the bucket or the truck load at Jones Bros. Cartage located at 8590 Sylvester Road on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, or by prior appointment.  For pricing and to arrange a pickup time, call 604-820-0808. Larger quantities (upwards of 15 cubic yards) of Rot Pot compost can now also be purchased directly from the processor. Please phone 604-826-7379 for additional information. Please contact either supplier directly for pricing and pickup/delivery options.

 

My Rot Pot isn’t full, should I pit it out at the curb anyways?

Due to the potential for odours, fruit flies and animal attraction, your Rot Pot should be set out at the curb every week, regardless of whether it is full or not. If you find that you have room left in the Rot Pot for the weekly pickup, you can top it up with yard waste, such as leaves, weeds and small prunings, as long as it doesn’t exceed 20 kg in weight in total and the lid still latches shut.

 

I have more waste than what can fit in my Rot Pot. What can I do?

Mission’s residential curbside collection system includes unlimited amounts of both food and yard waste. Compost can be set out in 80-L bins with a tight-fitting lid and marked with an orange sticker. Orange stickers are available at City Hall, Welton Office, and at the Mission Leisure Centre free of charge. Bundles of 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.

 

Can I use compostable bags in my Rot Pot?

If you are hoping to use bags for compost, please ensure that the bags are paper or in fact compostable. Please note compostable bags are accepted, but biodegradable plastics are not.

 

Where can I buy Rot Pots?

Rot Pots are sold at the Welton Office located at 7337 Welton Street, Mission.

 

What can go in my rot pot?

All yard waste and food waste can be placed in the rot pots.

 

Can I include cooking oil in the Rot Pot?

Cooking oil or grease is not acceptable, as it is a liquid. Liquid wastes are not part of the curbside collection system. For significant amounts, try a local restaurant to see if they may let you pour your used cooking oil into their collection container for proper handling.

 

Can I include cat litter or dog feces?

Cat litter and dog feces are not acceptable. For one, they are not kitchen wastes, but cat litter also will not compost, and both cat and dog feces are unacceptable in the production of a compost product that must meet provincial standards. Dispose of cat litter by bagging it and placing it in the regular garbage. Dog feces may be handled in a dog waste “septic system”( see City Farmer’s website for instructions on how to build one), or you can drop off bagged dog feces at the Mission Landfill directly – just make sure you let the scalehouse operator know what you are bringing in, so they can direct you to the proper drop-off area. There is also the option of hiring a commercial dog waste company for pickup.

 

There are animals getting into by Rot Pot – what do I do?

To avoid animal conflict, Rot Pots should be kept in a location inaccessible to animals until at least 5 am on your collection day.

 

How do I keep my Rot Pot from smelling?

To try to keep your rot pot clean and less smelly, you can freeze scrap meat in a paper bag until collection day. Sprinkling baking soda onto scraps and/or wrapping and layering food scraps with paper products (such as newspaper) can also help in reducing smells and mess.

 

I live in a basement suite – should I have received a Rot Pot?

Registered basement suites are also eligible to receive a Rot Pot. If you have recently registered a suite, and require an additional Rot Pot, please contact the District’s Engineering Department:

Email: engineering@mission.ca
Phone: 604-820-3736

I live in an apartment – can I still compost food waste?

People living in apartments or townhouses with communal waste collection will not receive a Rot Pot. However, multi-family units are assessed a compost and recycling fee on the property tax notice, and should have been provided with both compost and recycling bins for resident use. These bins are typically much larger (360 litres) and located in commonly accessible locations somewhere in the complex. If you live in an apartment or townhouse complex that does not have blue and green toters for compost and recycling, please check with your strata management company to see if they purposely opted out of the municipal compost collection service, due to space restrictions. If space is not an issue, urge your strata management company to reinstate the compost bins, so that multi-family residents can participate in the diversion effort. You may also check out the option of setting up your own worm composter. Worm composters can be maintained on balconies and even indoors, but they are a responsibility and will require proper maintenance.

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