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Public Works & Sustainability » Recycling and Garbage » Curbside Collection

FAQs About Our Compost

What is the compost made from?
Cinnamon Ridge compost is made from 100% yardwaste dropped off by residents at one of our three yardwaste sites.

How long does it take to make compost?
On average it takes about 8 months for yardwaste to become compost.

How is the compost made?
Received yardwaste is fed into a large grinder which chips the material into finer and smaller pieces.

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The ground-up yardwaste is then placed into large rows where natural bacteria start the breakdown process. Rows are turned by a mechanical turner (like a massive rototiller) about once a week to ensure uniform breakdown of materials and to provide oxygen to the bacteria in the windrow.

During turning, treated wastewater effluent may be added to the compost rows if they seem too dry. This process continues for 3 to 12 months (depending on row composition and time of year) while the yardwaste breaks down. Once the yardwaste is deemed to have broken down enough, the material is placed through a large screener which removes larger debris and any plastics that may have been missed at the yardwaste receiving end. Screened material is then ready for sale to the general public.

If I don't need a truck load can I get a smaller quantity?
Yes, you can bring smaller containers (garbage cans or Rubbermaid bins) and fill them yourselves with compost. Each container filled with compost will cost $2.00.

I heard that the compost produced at Cinnamon Ridge is full of weed seeds, is this true?
No, this is not true. Heat created by microorganisms during composting kills weed seeds and disease causing organisms.

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Temperatures of compost piles routinely reach 65°C (149°F) for consecutive days, high enough to kill weed seeds. To test this, a study a few years ago was done where cookie sheets filled with compost were placed in an office window and watered to see if anything would germinate. Nothing ever did.

The perception that Cinnamon Ridge compost is full of weed seeds is because the compost is a great growing medium. If any weed seeds are blown onto your garden after you have added the compost, weeds are certainly bound to germinate. By their design weed seeds flourish in disturbed soil, especially ones with nutrient rich compost added to it.

Can culled or windblown fruit be taken to the yardwaste drop off sites?
Yes, windblown or culled fruit from trees such as apple, peach, apricot, pear, cherry and plum is considered acceptable leaf and yard waste. Halloween pumpkins can also be taken to the yardwaste sites.

Is pet waste or farm manure added to your compost?
No, pet waste or farm manure is not allowed to be dropped off at yardwaste sites or added to our compost.

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Although we can't guarantee that no animal manure makes it into the yardwaste people bring in, the City randomly tests a few compost piles a year to ensure that Fecal Coliform and Ecoli counts are well below accepted levels.

Is Wastewater sludge added to your compost?
No, compost is made from 100% yardwaste.

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Up until a few years ago the City used to mix Biosolids (wastewater sludge) with yardwaste on half of the Cinnamon Ridge site. The Biosolids compost met all strict health guidelines mandated by the ORGANIC MATTER RECYCLING REGULATION and was certified as Class A Compost (compost that can be sold to the general public).

Even with meeting the highest standards, the City chose not to make the Biosolids compost available to the general public and was used internally by various City departments.

Is Wastewater effluent used in the compost process?
Yes, wastewater effluent is used in the making of compost.

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Wastewater effluent is pumped under the Thompson River to Cinnamon Ridge to be used for irrigation on farms in the area and to provide moisture for our compost. Water not pumped under the river for reuse is released directly into the river. Wastewater effluent is treated to the same level as its release point. So in this case, the wastewater is treated to the same water quality level as the Thompson River.

Is the compost contaminated with pesticides as there is no control on what type of yardwaste comes in?
Compost made from yard waste will contain some pesticide residues but very likely at untraceable levels.

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In general, the commercial composting process is quite good at breaking down the modern pesticides that are used on landscapes today. When Cinnamon Ridge first opened up the City tested compost for pesticides and herbicides for three consecutive years and no pesticides or herbicides were ever found.

Can I bring noxious weeds like Knapweed to the yardwaste sites?
Noxious weeds should be bagged and placed in your garbage container or taken to the landfill for proper disposal.

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This is due to the possible spread of weed seeds that may occur during transport and handling which may contaminate our yardwaste sites.

Is the compost tested for heavy metals and pathogens?
The City takes a few random samples for analysis each year.

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The ORGANIC MATTER RECYCLING REGULATION does not require testing for compost made strictly from 100% yardwaste. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (responsible for compost producing facilities under the Fertilizers Act) routinely takes compost samples to ensure acceptable levels of heavy metals.

Can I use 100% compost in my flower pots?
No, compost is a soil additive. Too much compost could be detrimental and may kill the plants.

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Our Parks Department recommends compost to be mixed at a ratio of 3kg of compost to 7kg of soil.

For top dressing of lawns add 3 kg of compost per 1m2 of lawn or add 1/2cm of compost to your lawn in the spring or fall trying to spread the compost evenly. Don't smother the grass blades.

How much Yard Waste is used to make compost?
In 2012, almost 11,700 tonnes of yard waste was diverted from the landfill. Compost production used up more then 8000 tonnes of the yardwaste. The remaining 3700 tonnes (wood waste) was used for Hog Fuel.

What is the Guaranteed Analysis of the compost produced at Cinnamon Ridge?
The Guaranteed Analysis is:
Minimum Organic Matter (OM) = 35%
Maximum Moisture Content= 35%