Published by City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture


Compost Tips:


Compost Hotline Hot Tips on Composting

  1. Start with a layer of straw or twiggy material on the bottom for good air circulation.

  2. Alternate 2 to 4 inch layers of green (grass, food scraps, garden waste) and brown (straw, dry leaves, stripped up newspaper) materials. Store up leaves in bags in the fall for a good brown supply.

  3. Sprinkle every food scrap layer (uncooked fruit and vegetables, no meat, fish, dairy, oils, grains) with a light covering of ordinary dirt. Keep a bucket handy by your bin.

  4. Always cap off food scrap layer with brown layer after dirt has been added. This will smother fly eggs and smells.

  5. Mix contents of bin at least once every two weeks with a pitch fork or compost aerator.

Six Most Asked Hotline Questions

  1. Q: I've got millions of flies, what do I do?

    A: Cover your food scraps with a light layer of dirt, then a layer (2 - 4 inches) of brown material (leaves, straw or stripped up newspaper) or a 2 to 3 inch layer of dirt only.

  2. Q: Nothing is happening in my bin, what do I do?

    A: Chances are the balance is off in the bin and you may need carbon material (brown). Add more brown and mix thoroughly.

  3. Q: My bin smells, now what?

    A: Add some dirt, mix in some brown material, aerate (mix up), and then cap it all off with a brown layer.

  4. Q: Where do I get worms and how do I start a worm bin?

    A: The hotline maintains a complete list of worm farmers and can tell you how to set up a bin. Call the hotline for a worm supplier in your area.

  5. Q: Where can I get a compost bin?

    A: Call the hotline to see if your municipality is offering a bin distribution program.

  6. Q: Where can I get rid of my heavier yard waste - shrub and tree trimmings, etc.?

    A: Call the hotline for green waste sites in your area.

If you have a question for the Compost Hotline, call 604-736-2250.
Go back to Urban Home Composting

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Revised October 16, 1996

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture