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Green Cart compost giveaway

The City of Calgary is offering complimentary compost for residents to use in their yards and gardens this spring. The compost is made from the food and yard waste collected through the Green Cart program.

When can I pick up compost?

Compost is available for pickup from May 10 to June 26, by online appointment only, at Shepard (South) and Spyhill (North) landfills during operating hours.

More appointments will be added on an ongoing basis in June. Check back regularly to find newly released appointments, plus available time slots due to cancellations.

Households may pick up compost once for the 2021 year. Remember to mix your compost with soil. Check out tips on how to use compost.

How to book your appointment online

  1. Select which location you will be picking up your compost.
  2. Select a date and time to pick up compost – appointments are booked in 15 minute slots.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email with your appointment time in the subject line.
  4. Save your confirmation email, on your smartphone or printed, as you will be asked to show it to the site attendant when you check in.
  5. Please arrive on time for your appointment.

If you receive an error message when booking, please refresh the page and try again.

When

  • Monday, May 10 to Saturday, June 26
  • Appointments will be available between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Saturday.
  • To avoid line ups from high landfill traffic volumes on the weekends, consider booking your compost pickup on a weekday.

Locations

Spyhill Compost Giveaway Site (north location)

Shepard Compost Giveaway Site (south location)

Please follow current COVID-19 provincial guidelines and stay home if:

  • You’re showing symptoms or feeling unwell.
  • You have travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days.
  • You are a close contact of someone who has tested positive or are waiting for test results for COVID-19.

You can cancel your appointment through your confirmation email and rebook a timeslot at a later date.

Please note

  • No trailers allowed at these events.
  • Mulch is not available at these events.

How the compost giveaway works

What to bring with you

This is a self-serve event – you must bring the following with you:

  • Shovel
  • Gloves
  • Containers to hold compost (for example: buckets, tubs, etc.)
  • Tarps - if you are loading compost into a trunk or truck bed, your load must be secure and covered before leaving the event

COVID-19 health and safety measures are in place at the compost giveaway sites. Please practice physical distancing and keep at least 2 metres from others at all times. This includes when interacting with City staff and loading your compost. To learn more, visit Physical Distancing and Self-Isolation.

How much compost can I take?

You can take up to 100 litres of compost per household. The compost must be shoveled into your containers or vehicle (no mechanical equipment is allowed).

You can use a standard residential vehicle like a car or truck. No trailers or commercial vehicles are allowed.

Five 20 litre (five gallon) buckets filled with compost (approximate size 12" x 15")

Two 50 litre plastic tubs filled with compost (approximate size is 24" x 16" x 12")

Remember to bring tarps to line your vehicle and to cover open loads before leaving the facility

How long will it take to pick up compost?

Appointments are booked in 15-minute intervals, so please arrive on time for your appointment. For faster service, we suggest booking your compost pick up appointment on a weekday. We appreciate your patience during the pickup process.

Can I bring garbage to the landfill at the same time?

If you bring garbage with you to the landfill, you will be charged the basic garbage (sanitary) rate for this material.

Spyhill Landfill (north location) – Arrive early and proceed to the scalehouse to dispose of other waste first. You will be asked to scale in and out. Then you will be directed to the compost giveaway to pick up your compost during your appointment time.

Shepard Landfill (south location) – Arrive early and proceed to the scalehouse to dispose of other waste first. You will be asked to scale in and out. Then you will be redirected to the scalehouse for the compost giveaway to pick up your compost during your appointment time.

Can I drop off yard waste at the landfill at the same time?

You can drop off spring yard waste for free from April 19 to May 30 at City of Calgary landfills. Outside of these dates, the yard waste rate will apply – see Landfill Rates.

Can I pick up compost or mulch on other days?

You can only pick up compost on the date and time that you have booked.

Free mulch is available at the East Calgary landfill. There is no charge, but quantities may be limited. You are responsible for loading mulch into your own vehicle. The mulch can be used around evergreens, for yard and garden use, and is helpful for water retention and weed control.

What happens if there is bad weather on the day of my appointment?

The compost giveaway is an outdoor event and will take place rain, snow or shine. Safety is a top priority so if conditions change, event staff will monitor and respond accordingly. If you can’t make your appointment, please cancel it to make it available to someone else. There is a link to cancel in your confirmation email.


How to use your compost

A little compost goes a long way. Please note: while compost may look like dirt or soil, it is neither. Compost must be used in conjunction with soil and cannot be used as a replacement for soil.

Compost is a soil amendment that can improve the health of lawns, flower beds and gardens. Consult your garden centre, nursery or horticultural expert to determine how to best mix this compost for your specific application. Check out these tips on how to best use the compost in your yard.

The compost can do the following:

  • Enhance soil structure
  • Increase soil nutrient content
  • Improve moisture retention
  • Foster plant health

You can use the compost in many ways:

  • Soil amendment - mix the compost into your soil
  • Top dressing or mulch - spread compost on top of your soil

Is the compost safe to use?

The compost is completely safe to use. The City's indoor composting process maintains temperatures high enough to break down material and kill any pathogens.

The compost is tested and is CQA Certified Category A compost which means it is safe to use in any application.

The compost is 100% natural and made up of the food scraps, leaves, branches and yard waste Calgarians have been putting in the Green Cart composting program.

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