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Backyard composting in Calgary

Compost is made up of organic matter, microbes and nutrients that you can use in your gardens and flowerbeds.

It acts as a slow release fertilizer returning nutrients back to the soil that are lost over time. Compost helps your soil hold water, keeping your water bill down during the summer.

How do you compost?

A compost pile can be as simple as a shallow hole, or you can build or buy a compost bin.

You mix in food scraps like fruit and vegetables with yard trimmings like grass clippings and dead leaves. Add some water, give it some time and you end up with a rich compost.

For more information on how to start composting, compost troubleshooting, the types of composters available, etc., visit Composting Startup Guides and Troubleshooting.

Why compost?

You benefit

Soil with compost holds water better and makes it harder for weeds to grow. This means your garden won't need as many chemicals. It's also a great way to cut your weekly garbage load almost in half.

The City benefits

Composting helps extend the life of our landfills and helps us reach our goals of reducing waste going to landfill.

The environment benefits

Food and yard waste doesn't break down into soil in the landfill because there's no oxygen. Instead it takes up valuable landfill space and releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change. It also produces leachate, which needs to be captured and treated or it can harm groundwater.

Where can I buy a composter?

Composters are also sold at many home improvement stores and the Green Calgary EcoStore, located at the corner of 14th Street and 2nd Avenue NW. You can contact the EcoStore by calling 403-230-1443 ext. 222 or visit the EcoStore online.

Should I continue backyard composting when Green Cart arrives?

Yes! We encourage residents who are already composting at home to keep it up. The green cart can be used alongside your backyard composter because it accepts more material like meat, bones, dairy, pet waste and weeds. When your backyard composter is full, you can put your additional food waste in the green cart or in paper yard waste bags for weekly collection. Learn more about the Green Cart Program.

Composting workshops & information

Green Calgary has a website with information about composting and other ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. They can also answer your composting questions at 403-230-1443.

Green Calgary offers composting workshops (for a small fee), contact them at 403-230-1443 for times and availability.