Composting Cart Smarts
It’s easy to keep a fresh Kitchen Bin and Compost Cart. Here are some important tips to consider.
- Crumple newspaper in the bottom of your Compost Cart to absorb any liquid and to stop small items from dropping through the bottom grate.
- Tightly wrap meat, bones, fish, dairy, and pet waste in newspaper to deter flies. The newspaper will provide a natural carbon filter.
- Include garden clippings, wood chips, evergreen branches, sawdust, leaves, or baking soda in your cart to act as a natural filter.
- Even if the cart is not full, always put your cart out for collection on pick-up day.
- Regularly rinse the cart with a garden hose.
- Make sure that the air vents at the bottom of the Compost Cart are kept clear. These holes enable the compostable material to receive air. Without air, the compostable material will go 'anaerobic,' which will produce nasty odours.
- Rub Vicks Vapour Rub or A535 (a muscle ointment) on the air vents on the Compost Cart to mask odours and deter animals.
- Store your Compost Cart outside in a ventilated, shaded, and convenient area, away from outdoor activity if possible.
No ashes in your Compost Cart. Please remember that ashes should never be placed in your Compost Cart. It doesn’t matter if you leave the ashes to cool or pour water over them. Ashes have melted Compost Carts and siding on houses, as well as caused house fires.
Can I place cardboard and paper in my Compost Cart?
When paper or cardboard has food on it (like paper napkins, paper plates, paper towels, and greasy pizza boxes), place it in the Compost Cart. Also newspaper or brown paper bags can be used to wrap your food waste before putting it in the Cart.
However, clean paper and cardboard should be recycled either at your local Recycling Depot or in your curbside collection. Although paper and cardboard will decompose, too much paper and cardboard will disrupt the composting process.
Do cardboard milk cartons go in my green Compost Cart?
No, they cannot go in the compost cart, but now clean and dry milk cartons can go in the blue bins. Other cardboard containers that have a plastic lining attached to the cardboard and hold liquids, such as coffee cups, belong in the garbage.
Does pet waste belong in the Compost Cart?
Pet waste of all types can go into the Compost Cart, including dog, cat, rabbit, and gerbil. Kitty litter can go into the Compost Cart as long as it is a natural clay-based kitty litter. Check the packaging. If it doesn’ t say it is natural clay-based, it may include manmade plastics and would have to go into the garbage. All pet waste, for sanitary reasons, must be wrapped in newspaper or placed in a brown paper bag or approved compostable bag.
I already backyard compost. Why do I need a Compost Cart?
Please continue to backyard compost! We applaud your efforts and appreciate your commitment to the environment. You can still participate in the program. Meat, bones, fish, dairy, oil, bread, fish, weeds, pizza boxes, and diseased plants are just a few examples of items that can go in the Compost Cart, but not in your backyard compost.
By following the information listed above, especially wrapping food and pet waste, rinsing the cart, and storing it in a ventilated and shaded area. If you have a large amount of meat or fish, freeze it until compost pick-up day.
If you do get bugs in your Compost Cart, you can sprinkle garden lime, or powdered laundry detergent in your cart. The garden lime raises the pH level, creating the wrong environment for the larva to live. Spray the outside of the cart with bleach and water (10 parts water and 1 part bleach) or a solution of vinegar and water. After collection day, rinse the cart with a solution of water and bleach.
Fruit flies come into your home as eggs on fruit. When the fruit is in a warm environment like kitchens, eggs are in a perfect environment to hatch. The lifecycle of fruit flies are incredible short - only 10 days. It is important to empty your kitchen bin daily to reduce the chance that any fruit flies will hatch.
If you do get the small fruit flies in your kitchen bin, empty it as soon as possible and wash the bin. Remove all food sources from your kitchen counters, and wipe down the counter.
What about rodents, raccoons and bears?
Rodents will come if there is a strong smell. It is important to wrap all your meat, bones, and fish in newspaper. The carbon in the newspaper will act as a natural filter, reducing odours. You can also try peppermint oil on the vents to mask odours. Please call our Hotline 738-1212 if you have a problem.
Raccoons are smart and can be trouble. If your property has these critters, you already know all too well what kind of trouble they can cause. Secure the lid down by crisscrossing two bungee cords. Although we do recommend to leave the cart outside, to defend your cart from raccoons, you may have to resort to keeping it in a garage. You know your property best, do what you can and call us for support.
In rural areas, bears may be an issue in the late fall. If your property is prone to curious bears, be careful and don’t take chances. Call your local Rangers office (Phone Book - Blue Pages - Ranger Offices: Hampton 832-6055, Sussex 432-2008, Welsford 468-6000).
To deter bears follow the above guidelines to reduce odours and store your cart in your garage or shed. The most important step is to reduce odours and the above tips of wrapping food waste in newspapers, storing it in the freezer until compost collection day, and using compostable bags will help. Keep moisture down by adding crumpled newspapers and/or yard waste to the bottom of the cart. You can also repel bears with chlorine bleach or cayenne pepper. Wiping down the outside of your cart with a bleach solution, soaking a rag with bleach and hanging it from the handle or soaking a paper towel with bleach and adding it to your cart will make the cart unappetizing to bears. You can also try sprinkling cayenne pepper around your cart and into your cart as bears do not like this smell.
Remember this is all the same waste you had before composting. It is just in a different container!
Now Available Online: To request to have repairs completed on your existing Green Compost Cart or Kitchen Bin, or if your property does not currently have a Green Compost Cart or Kitchen Bin, please let us know by completing our online form or by phoning us at: 738-1212. Deliveries take approximately 4 - 6 weeks (If you would rather pick up your cart, please specify on your form so that one will be ready for you). Please remember that the bins and carts are assigned to your property and are for compost use only. Please Note: If you only require information / a collection calendar, please enter in your name and postal code in the comments section of the online form.