Thursday, April 17, 2014

Green your spring cleaning by composting yard waste

This spring, Calgarians are encouraged to drop off their yard waste at City landfills for free so it can be composted instead of thrown away.

Between April 18 and June 1, all three City of Calgary landfills will waive fees for residential loads of leaves, branches, plants and other yard and garden material. The material will be composted at the sites, turning it back into a useful resource.

“Yard waste makes up over one third of residential garbage during this time of year,” says waste diversion specialist Lindsay Seidel-Wassenaar. “When it gets buried in the landfill, it can’t be turned into soil or compost due to the lack of oxygen. It takes decades to decompose while producing harmful greenhouse gases. Composting makes fallen leaves, branches and other yard waste useful again and turns it into a product that will help new plants to grow.”

Here are three tips for Calgarians to know about the spring yard waste program before they come to the landfill:
  1. Make sure your load only contains yard waste like leaves, branches and plants (no sod – it can’t be composted). Charges will apply if the load contains other items.
  2. Residents are encouraged to leave their material loose or put it in paper yard waste bags, which can be composted as well. If loads are loose, residents should make sure they are secure before transporting them.
  3. Before leaving for the landfill, people are encouraged to visit or contact 311 to confirm landfill hours, locations and other details.  The service is intended for residents only.
Find more info on the spring yard waste page on


  1. Where do you get the paper bags???

  2. I think we can use compostable plastic bags as well.


  3. Actually, Yard waste collection takes place twice in a year one in spring and the other one in fall. It is clear cut,Yard waste in plastic bags will not be collected by waste management authorities, you need to collect waste in a paper bag. Waste only includes leaves, woody plants, branches and tree limbs etc. Make sure not to contain any plastic waste during Yard waste collection.

  4. My husband made me a compost bin with three bins from 2×8’s and posts. He attached the bins to the garden fence using the pig wire from the fence as the back. He then built a frame with the 2×8’s. He used chicken wire for the sides and between the three bins. Then he created a space between two posts for short 2x8x2’6″ boards to slide in and out of the front as needed. The second bin is for transferring the initial compost after it has begun to decay and the kitchen waste is turning. We shift it into the middle bin until it is perfect compost and then we move it to the third bin which is what we use in the garden and for amending the soil when we plant trees etc. We cover the top with weed cloth so it can breath, but it does help keep the pets and some critters out. We did not add any worms to the compost, but currently have giant worms at least 8-10 inches long. I add all of our coffee grounds and tea bags,cutting the string and staple off each tea bag before throwing it into the compost and the worms are thriving!

  5. I really enjoyed my time on this site. Thank you so much for sharing I will definitely recommend it to all my friends :)

  6. It's easy to cook up your own compost. Just layer organic materials -- garden clippings, dry leaves, kitchen vegetable scraps, shredded paper -- and a dash of soil to create a concoction that turns into humus, the best soil builder around.