Thursday, 14 April 2011

Compost resources in the Lower Mainland.

Two days ago we finally acquired the one contraption I really don't think we should have been living without: our very own composter.  As soon as I learned about the surprising negative impacts of throwing your waste in the garbage (and therefore into a nearby landfill), I started trying to find a way that we could compost.

The first solution I found, because we live in an apartment, was a composter called the NatureMill Composter, designed to be kept indoors.  It plugs in and uses heat and a rotating mixer arm, to cause contents to break down faster than in a typical composter, usually in about two weeks.  Unfortunately, I did a little too much research.  After I had talked myself into it and started telling people about it, and was making plans to get it, I contacted a fellow blogger that had mentioned he had one, and asked him if he would purchase his composter again.  He said it had broken down twice I believe in a year and that he would not.  So there went that idea. It's too bad, it was a nice looking little box.  I still worry that maybe I jumped the gun and changed my mind too fast, and that maybe the other blogger was just really hard on his and mine would have been alright, but I don't think there's much chance of that, Tim and I go through a lot of produce, so we would probably be even harder on ours.

So then I tried to find local composters and was pleasantly surprised to find that the North Shore Recycling Program sells composters to residents at cost, which is $45 including tax.  They also have composting workshops for those not well-versed in the ways of composting.

Maple Ridge Recycling Society is the place to go for Solar Cones, Composters and Rainbarrels.

If you live in the City of Vancouver, you can pick up your composter for only $25, and same for the residents of Surrey.

Some of the cities in the Lower Mainland actually have curbside pick up of compostables. Click here to find out if your city has such a program.

So the composter we ended up with now occupies a corner of our balcony.  We have been instructed to find some twigs to fill the bottom few inches of the composter, and once we've found those twigs, we're going to be in business.  I will keep you posted as things develop and give you any tips I come up with!

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