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Food Scraps & Yard Trimmings

Composting at Home

The future of our natural environment depends on the choices we make.

Garbage Filling BC Place Stadium Reasons for Composting

In the Greater Vancouver region, over 2 million tonnes of garbage is produced every year, enough to fill B.C. Place twice!

Composting is a simple, organic process that can help reduce household waste by up to 30%. Continuous composting results in reduced garbage disposal fees, less waste going into landfills, and the immense satisfaction of producing a useful soil additive for your own lawn and garden needs.

How to Compost

Composting Steps:

  1. Start with a good layer of coarse organic material, such as straw, leaves or prunings at the bottom to allow air to circulate.
  2. Add a good layer of nitrogen-rich green material followed by one layer of carbon-rich brown material, until the bin is full.
  3. Compost requires air.  Turn and stir your compost weekly so the organism get necessary oxygen.
  4. Compost requires moisture.  Water your compost bin frequently, to ensure it stays a moist as a wrung-out sponge.
  5. Give it time - In 12-18 months, material at the bottom and middle of the bin should be composted.  Use this throughout your garden.  Use the uncomposted material to start a new batch.  Chipping or chopping the material can increase the speed of the process.  Regular aeration is key to successful composting.
Green Material (Nitrogen-rich) Brown Material (Carbon-rich)
Plant trimmings
Fruit and vegetable peelings
Fresh grass clippings
Coffee grounds and tea leaves
Dry leaves
Dried grass clippings

A good source of information on composting is the Compost Hotline website, or the Hotline information service at 604-736-2250.

For information on the City of Richmond's compost demonstration garden, go to the bottom of this page.

Uses of Compost

Improves solid properties, provides nutrients to plants, conserves water, can extend growing season, helps control soil erosion.

Potting soil for all containers, 1/3 compost, 1/3 solid, 1/3 vermiculite.

Dig compost into the vegetable garden, spread 5 cm deep around perennials.

Aerate the lawn and rake 4 cm of compost over the surface.

Place compost around plants, shrubs and trees to conserve moisture, control weeds and provide nutrients.

Compost Bin Distribution
Residents can purchase backyard compost bins from the City at a reduced rate of $25.00 plus tax.  The bin dimensions are: 36" high, 22" wide and 22" deep. They are suitable for residential backyard composting of grass, leaves, vegetable trimmings, fruit trimmings and other miscellaneous organic garden trimmings.

To purchase a bin, visit the Recycling Depot at 5555 Lynas Lane.  Open Wednesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. (closed on statutory holidays). 

Compost Demonstration Garden
The Compost Demonstration Garden is located at the 2631 Westminster Highway in the Terra Nova Rural Park. The garden is located inside the Community Garden. Composting demonstration units are open for viewing year-round from dawn to dusk.

The Community Garden includes a Waterwise Demonstration Garden which contains various sizes and styles of gardening beds each featuring landscaping ideas to help in water conservation.

Environmental Sustainability Workshops
Environmental Sustainability Workshops looking at ways to reduce pesticide use and create a more sustainable community are held from February through November.  They are part of the City's enhanced pesticide management program, sustainability, waste reduction and water conservation initiatives.

PDF Document Environmental Sustainability workshops 2017 - Winter & Spring
PDF Document Richmond Public Library Environment & Sustainability Series - May 1 to Aug 26
PDF Document Environmental Sustainability workshops 2017 - Summer

For more information on the workshops call 604-233-3318 or email ESOutreach at