Organic and Household Waste


What Is Composting?

Composting is the natural process of breaking down organic material, such as kitchen and yard waste, to produce a nutrient-rich, soil-like material. The process works with the help of micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi combined with air and moisture.

Organic Compost bucket

Why Should I Compost?

Composting turns kitchen and yard waste into usable resources – for free. It benefits plants, trees and shrubs by returning valuable nutrients to the earth and increasing water retention of soil.

Composting reduces the amount of garbage sent to the landfill. Composting can reduce your household garbage by approximately one-half.


Where Can I Compost?

All community gardens have compost bins that are accessible to community members year round.

  • “Sheba’s Paradise” – 483-485 Young Street
  • “Ashley Hudson Memorial Garden” – 607-611 Langside Street
  • 559 Langside Street
  • “The Kids Garden” – 435-437 Furby Street
  • 547 Furby Street
  • “Sunshine Gardens” – 635-637 Maryland Street
  • Green House – 689 Maryland Street
  • 448 McGee Street Garden
  • Jacob Penner Park Community Garden


What Materials Can Be Composted?

Most organic materials, such as:

  • grass clippings
  • garden waste, flower clippings and leaves
  • weeds (before they flower)
  • fruit and vegetable scraps
  • tea leaves, tea bags, coffee grounds and filters
  • nutshells and eggshells

Do not compost:

  • weeds gone to seed
  • meat, fish and bones
  • nuts
  • animal or human waste
  • rhubarb leaves
  • diseased plants
  • dairy products
  • oils and fats
  • Organic Compost


What Can I Do With The Finished Compost?

Finished compost is a free and natural alternative to store-bought chemicals and fertilizers and can be used in a number of environmentally friendly ways:

  • A natural fertilizer in flower and vegetable gardens
  • On the soil surface around trees and shrubs
  • For house plants and planter boxes
  • As lawn top dressing
  • To make compost “tea” to water flowers, vegetables, house plants or trouble spots on the lawn


What items can I put in my recycling cart?

  • Plastic, metal and glass
  • all food and beverage containers (e.g., jars, cans, bottles, cartons)
  • plastic containers with a recycling triangle (e.g., bottles, pails, tubs, jugs)
  • plastic packaging with a recycling triangle
  • leave all lids on containers and bottles
  • Paper and cardboard
  • newspapers, flyers, mail, magazines, paper
  • all cardboard boxes and cartons (e.g., pizza, cereal, laundry)
  • shredded paper can be placed in a full size (77-litre) clear plastic bag (this is the only exception to the “no plastic bags” rule)
  • cardboard egg cartons and paper tubes

What items can’t I put in my recycling cart?​

  • plastic bags, cellophane
  • plastics without a recycling triangle
  • plastics that are not a container (e.g., laundry baskets, toys, plastic cutlery)
  • disposable coffee cups
  • aluminum foil, foil pie plates, foil food containers
  • foam cups, foam food containers, foam egg cartons, foam meat trays
  • foam packing materials
  • mirrors, window glass, broken glass
  • light bulbs, drinking glasses, ceramics, cookware
  • steel pots and pans, scrap metal


Many of the household items listed below – especially televisions, computer monitors and some circuit boards and switches in electronics equipment – can contain heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium. You cannot throw them out with your regular garbage collection:

  • televisions
  • computer monitors (cathode ray tube (CRT) and flat panel display types)
  • desktop computers (CPUs, hard drives, mice, keyboards and cables)
  • laptops
  • desktop printers
  • DVD players
  • VCRs
  • stereos
  • microwaves
  • scanners, copiers and fax machines
  • phones and cell phones
  • rechargeable batteries

If the item still works, consider donating it to a person or group that can use it. To dispose of your electronic waste, take it to a location as approved by Electronic Products Recycling Association . The organizations listed by EPRA recycle the electronic components and safely dispose of the heavy metals. The only parts sent to the landfill are plastic components that cannot yet be recycled.

Household Hazardous Waste

Household hazardous waste products will not be picked up with your regular garbage collection. It should never be dumped in sewers or drains or disposed of in landfills. Household hazardous waste can be taken to the household hazardous waste collection depot for free disposal. Information on the depot locations and hours of operation is also available by calling the recycling and garbage information line at 204-986-8888, Code 9811 or contacting 311.

Examples of household hazardous waste products include:

  • aerosol cans
  • cleaners (toilet, oven or drain)
  • antifreeze (radiator/windshield)
  • automotive batteries
  • gasoline
  • BBQ and camping fuel
  • Compressed gas cylinders/propane tanks
  • chemical lawn fertilizers
  • herbicides (weed killers)
  • pesticides/insecticides (insect and rodent killers)
  • insect repellent
  • oil-based paints (oil-based/alkyd). Latex paints can be put out for regular garbage collection if the lids are off the cans and the paint is dry and hard.
  • paint brush cleaners/solvents
  • varnish remover
  • swimming pool chemicals

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