A large portion of the waste at landfills is organic materials: food scraps, yard trimmings, junk wood, waste paper, and textiles. Their decomposition produces biogas, which includes methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The Capital Region Service Commission’s landfill captures some of this biogas and the methane is re-purposed for generating electricity. Not only does this approach create an alternative energy source, it also prevents emissions that would otherwise be produced and reduces the odour of the landfill.

Interested in composting at home? Here’s how:

What you need

You technically need nothing to get started except a dry, shady spot in your yard! Most people do prefer to keep their organics contained in a composting bin that can either be open, closed, or a tumbler style. If you don’t have a yard or space outside, there are now a number of odourless countertop composting options. Vermicomposting is also an indoor option.

What goes in?

There are two main types of organics that can be put into your compost bin: greens and browns. Greens are wet materials rich in nitrogen, including vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags and leaves, fresh grass clippings, and plant trimmings from your garden. Browns are generally dry and rich in carbon, including dry leaves, wood chips and sawdust from untreated wood, dried grass clippings, shredded paper, egg and nut shells, hair and animal fur, paper towels, and paper tubes. Your compost bin also needs oxygen and water.

The following should not go in your compost bin: meat or bones, pet waste, grease or oils, diseased plants, yard trimmings treated with pesticides, or dairy products.

How to compost

Simply toss your green and brown organic material into the bin! You generally want to aim for about a 50/50 mix of green and brown material. Chop your materials into small pieces to help it break down faster.  Always cover your layer of green material with a layer of brown material to cut down on flies and mask odours. The composting process will happen quicker if piles are turned regularly (every few weeks). As for water, your compost pile should be the consistency of a wrung-out sponge. If you’re not adding food scraps, you should add water. If the balance of greens, browns, air, and water are optimal, the temperature of your pile will be 130-140 F, which will break down waste quickly and kill any lingering bacteria or weed seeds.

How to use compost

Once your compost is mature, you can use it as mulch, work it into your garden, add it to potting soil for house plants, distribute it on your lawn, and share it with neighbours.

Where to bring it

The Fredericton Municipal Compost Facility (located at the end of Beek Court, off Vanier Industrial Drive) accepts compostable materials, such as yard waste, small brush, leaves and grass clippings.

The following are not accepted:

  • meat or animal products
  • plastic bags (only compostable bags are accepted)
  • litter
  • brush larger than 8 cm
  • wood
  • kitchen waste or food scraps

Hours of operation

  • Monday to Friday
  • 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • May - October