I Want To

How good neighbours compost

Open Air Composting requires two to three piles of compost in your backyard and can smell if filled with the wrong materials and not turned. It takes up a lot of space in the garden, is visible and requires work. Composting this way is not permitted within the District of Clearwater as per Good Neighbour Bylaw.

The bylaw states: No owner or occupier of real property shall cause, suffer or permit:

  • (a) water, rubbish, noxious, offensive, or unwholesome matter to collect or accumulate on or around such real property;
  • (b) rubbish to overflow from or accumulate around any container situated on the real property

“Rubbish” is defined as yard clippings and brush, uncontained compost or manure piles, wood, dry vegetation, dirt, weeds, dead trees and branches, stumps, and piles of earth mixed with any of the above.

If you would like to compost, there are other option such as using a compost bin. The TNRD (at Eco Depot) and District of Clearwater always have some available during the spring at a low rate as they subsidized to make them affordable for residents.

The backyard composter breaks down yard and garden waste plus household kitchen scraps including fruit/veggies, coffee/tea grounds and filters, egg shells, paper, and grains.

The advantage besides making rich, natural fertilizer that returns valuable nutrients back into the soil promoting the growth of healthy plants, is also that you reduce the garbage being sent to the landfill and save money (less/ lighter garbage to take to the EcoDepot and less soil to buy).

What can be composted:

  • Vegetable/fruit peels and scraps
  • Coffee grounds, tea bags, paper filters
  • Eggshells
  • Grass clippings
  • Weeds – not those with mature seed heads
  • Green leaves and clippings
  • Thinnings from vegetable garden
  • Garden plants, vines and annuals at end of season
  • Manure – not from pets
  • Newspapers, shredded
  • Dry leaves
  • Brown grass clippings
  • Dried prunings and cuttings
  • Straw

What not to compost:

  • Meat/bone/fish scraps
  • Fats/oils
  • Grains
  • Pet waste
  • Dairy products
  • Walnut shells
  • Diseased plants
  • Weeds with mature seedheads
  • Persistent weeds like quackgrass

Bears are attracted to the compost, they will be drawn to the kitchen scraps. If you live in an area with bears, compost only grass, leaves and weeds. You may also want to try composting kitchen waste indoors using worms.

For more information have a look at the TNRD website: https://www.tnrd.ca/content/home-composting.