Compost and Green Bin
Backyard Composter Sale is now Closed.
All backyard composters ordered will be delivered to your home by July 28, 2023. For any questions about the backyard composters, payments or delivery dates, please contact EnviroWorld at 905-792-1133.
Thank you for your overwhelming interest in backyard composting. Stay tuned as we make plans for 2024.
Composting is nature’s way of recycling. It turns your kitchen scraps, like fruit and vegetable peels, and yard waste, like leaves and garden trimmings, into natural, nutrient-rich compost to feed your trees, lawn and garden. It’s easy and can save you money too!
Since 2017 almost 6,000 composters have been sold by York Region. Each composter can compost an estimated 100 kilograms of food and yard waste each year. That’s 600 tonnes of valuable compost made at home from food and yard waste!
If you can’t take advantage of our sale, check with your local city or town to see if they sell backyard composters year-round, or search online for retailers that sell home composting systems.
For more information on how to use a composter, check out our Composting Made Easy brochure.
The benefits of compost:
- Improves soil quality
- Returns nutrients back to the earth
- Uses less water for plants
- Reduces the need for fertilizers
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
Is your yard too small for a composter? Try purchasing an indoor vermi-composter (using worms) or Bokashi composter (using fermentation). Search for composters online to find retailers that sell these indoor systems.
Setting up Your Backyard Composter
Composters are a one-piece unit, no assembly is required
- sized 33” high x 31” wide (83.8cm high x 78.7cm wide)
- 11 cubic feet (311 litres) in volume
To set up your compost bin, follow these steps:
- Choose a sunny location with good drainage that is easy to access
- To prevent pests or rodents from disturbing the composter, place a base of chicken wire on the ground and set the composter on top of the base
- Layer green materials high in nitrogen like kitchen scraps and grass clippings with brown materials high in carbon like dried leaves. Alternate the layers and turn the compost regularly. Add a thin layer of soil periodically to add more micro-organisms and speed up the composting process
- Add water if needed. Compost should feel damp like a wrung-out sponge
Compost is ready when the texture is dark and crumbly and has a pleasant earth-like smell. It usually takes about one year to produce rich compost.
What can go in a Backyard Composter
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grass clippings
- Rice, bread and pasta
- Straw or hay
- Tea bags and tea leaves
- Weeds before they seed
- Wood chips
What Should not go in a Backyard Composter
- Dairy Products
- Dog or cat waste
- Fatty foods like cheese
- Leftover cooking oil
- Plants infected with disease
- Rhubarb leaves and other toxic plants
- Salad dressing
- Walnut shells and leaves
- Weeds with mature seeds
Backyard Composting Tips
- Turn your compost with a garden fork to allow air flow; ideally once every two to four weeks
- Chop waste into smaller pieces for faster decomposition
- Avoid adding a thick layer of any one material type, particularly grass; mix it with other materials
- Compost through the winter; the composting process slows down but speeds up again in the spring
York Region Food Network Resources
Green bin Materials
Watch our video to learn what happens to your green bin waste.
What is Accepted in the Green bin
- Baking ingredients like cake, cookies, flour, sugar, spices, eggs and eggshells
- Butter, margarine, grease, lard (solid), sauces
- Dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grain products like pasta, bread, rice and cereal
- Meat and fish products like bones, fat, skin and shellfish
- Nuts and shells
- Other foods like candy, coffee grounds, coffee filters and tea bags
- Facial tissue
- Kraft paper (non-waxed)
- Microwave popcorn bags
- Muffin paper
- Paper flour and sugar bags
- Paper plates (food-soiled)
- Paper towels
- Small amounts of shredded paper
Personal Hygiene Products
- Incontinence products
- Nail clippings
- Sanitary products
- Cat litter
- Pet waste
- Pet bedding
- Pet food
Other compostable products
- Houseplants including soil and flowers
- Sawdust from wood (not pressure treated or from melamine, composite wood, or particle board)
What is not Accepted in the Green bin
- Artificial flowers and plants
- Baby wipes
- Carpet and rugs
- Cigarette butts
- Clothing, leather and textiles
- Coffee pods
- Cotton balls, ear cleaners and makeup removal pads
- Cutlery (metal, plastic, compostable, bamboo)
- Dead animals
- Disposable mop sheets
- Dryer lint
- Dryer sheets
- Elastic bands
- Foil (place clean foil in your Blue box)
- Milk bags
- Sanitizing wipes
- Styrofoam, protective packaging and foam take-out food containers
- Tissue paper for gift bags
- Paper Cups
- Plastic wrap and baggies
- Wax paper
- Wood, wooden stir sticks, chopsticks, toothpicks
- Vacuum cleaner bags & contents
- Yard waste
Green bin - Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
My green bin wasn’t collected, who do I contact?
Curbside collection including green bin collection in York Region is managed by the local municipalities. Please visit local municipal websites or your waste collection calendar for more information on your green bin collection schedule.
What can I use to line my green bin?
Line your green bin with certified compostable, paper or plastic bags. Certified compostable or paper bags are preferred.
How can I reduce odours?
Odours can be reduced by keeping your green bin clean. Rinse regularly and wash with vinegar, baking soda or another natural cleaner.
Keep organic material dry by wrapping material in newspaper and storing meat and bones in the freezer until collection.
Sprinkle baking soda to help absorb odours.