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


Urban Home Composting

(C) Copyright: City Farmer

Essential to the success of any urban agriculture project is the condition of our city's soil. Convincing city people to turn scraps of food and garden waste into soil-nourishing compost is one of the best projects a group can start. If all our urban organic waste was turned back into crop nourishing humus, think how fertile the ground would become and what good crops we could grow.

City Farmer has researched and promoted the best methods of urban composting since the fall of 1989 . We operate the Compost Hotline for the City of Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver Regional District and we maintain the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden (2150 Maple Street, Vancouver, BC V6J 3T3 Canada) for the City of Vancouver.

Compost Hotline: (604) 736-2250

We have published brochures, a handbook titled Urban Home Composting, Rodent-Resistance and Environmental Health Standards, (cost $6.00) and City Farmer's Compost Research "Answer's to Questions Received by the Compost Hotline" (Cost $12.00). pests

Compost Hotline Tips:

City of Vancouver Distribution: "Earth Machine" Compost Bin - A Steal of a Deal at $25!
Also, our head gardener's tips on how to compost.

Wet & Dry, Brown & Green, City Farmer's Composting Recipe

We have emphasized animal-resistant bins because of concerns brought forward by the Health Department and the public. All our bins have tight fitting lids and bases, and no openings larger than 1/2 inch square. Traditional designs for bins allow easy access for animals. The models that we display at our garden are made from metal, wood with a wire mesh lining, and plastic. These aren't "rodent-proof" it must be remembered, just "rodent-resistant" with ratings anywhere from 1-10 depending on the bin's strength.

Compost Poker and Chopper Compost Poker and Chopper


Wooden Bins Reinforced With Wire Mesh

Rand French, a local Vancouver builder, has been making rodent-resistent wooden bins for over ten years. They come in single, double or triple bin systems, all made of long-lasting cedar, have front panels that are easily removed, are top loaded and have wooden bottoms which protect the wire mesh on the base.

Cedar Creek Enterprises
2689 Walpole Crescent
N. Vancouver, BC
V7H 1K7
604 929-7760

3 bin composter

Metal Bins

Two bins which we really like are made from metal. They rate highly as rodent-resistant models. Sadly, they are no longer being manufactured.

The Speedibin, developed in Victoria, B.C. by Fred Francis has an all-metal body with galvanized steel mesh floor, locking lid, and a dark brown, baked enamel exterior (capacity 15 cubic feet). No contact available.

Speedibin Speedibin

The BioBox, from Ladysmith, B.C. is made from 26 gauge, galvanized steel, has a capacity of 18 cubic feet (524 L) and has a five year limited warranty.
C.K. Ventures Ltd.
PO Box 2052 Ladysmith, BC V0R 2E0, Canada
Phone/Fax 250-245-7525
Contact the inventor if you are interested in manufacturing this bin.

Speedibin BioBox


Stone Bins

The Critter-Proof Composter
The Critter-Proof Composter, developed in Lund, B.C. by Laurie Chambers, was engineered specifically to deter bears, but it works equally well for rodents, skunks and raccoons.
The composter is made using concrete formwork, faced with stone, with recessed bolts holding aluminum lid, front door and back vent in place. As unique as it looks, this design uses proven methods for producing compost.
Lauritz Chambers
1 (604) 483-3205
1423 Grouse Ridge Rd.
Lund B.C.
V0N 2G0
stone bin

More Information About Composting

Here's a great Discussion Forum on composting.

Home composting is a great way for people to connect with nature.  Building a compost bin is just the beginning.  You can also build a nice patio or deck as well.  If you enjoy being outdoors, consider building a birdhouse and let the beauty of nature come to you!

The Compost Foodweb
Read this excellent summary!

BioCycle Magazine
"Recognized as the authoritative information source on composting and recycling municipal, commercial, and agricultural wastes, The JG Press, Inc. is publisher of BioCycle, the monthly Journal of Composting & Recycling, and the quarterly journal,Compost Science & Utilization".

Community Composting
Defined as: "Where a group of people in a local community will pool organic materials to recycle larger amounts of waste and make larger amounts of compost."

What can you composts

Worm Words Glossary For Teachers

Books For Worm Enthusiasts

Worm Sources

Composting With Red Wiggler Worms

Composting Activities For Children

City of Vancouver, Compost Capital

The Poop on Wormshops in Schools

Black Gold and the Power of One:
500 Worm Bins Distributed by City of Vancouver

Bin Plans
Seattle's Tilth has some excellent material which can be downloaded and read using Acrobat Reader.


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Revised April 3, 2018

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture