How to compost at home: An easy way to be green

Workplaces aren’t generally the first place you think of for composting, but over the past two years, ACU has grown a successful green initiative thanks to a partnership with local organization, Compost Winnipeg. The green organization offers collection and compost services to a variety of locations — from cafés and offices to homes and multi-family residential buildings.

If you’re inspired to try your hand at home composting, Kelly Kuryk, Compost Winnipeg’s Project Manager, has some straightforward tips to help you get started.

Collect your scraps and leftovers:

Compost at home

Get a bucket — even a used ice-cream pail or a kitchen bowl — and use that to collect your fruit and veggie scraps, leftover rice, bread or pasta. These are all backyard-friendly items,” Kelly explained. “In my house, two or three times a week, when our bucket is full, we’ll take it outside.”

Create a compost bin or pile:

Then you need something to compost in. If you have a really big yard, you can just make a pile, or there are all kinds of different containers you can make yourself or purchase. We have lots of suggestions and plans on the Green Action Centre website.”

Compost at home

Use leaves or additional yard material:

After dumping your kitchen bowl, it’s time to add a little extra material. “Dump in a couple buckets of leaves,” Kelly said. If you choose to do your own composting, it’s helpful to keep your raked leaves in the autumn to add to the composter.

Related: How to set up an office compost program

Add water and mix it up:

“Then you want to make sure you balance that out with some water and also make sure you stir it every once in awhile to make sure you get oxygen in there.”

Follow your simple routine:

“Once you get your routine down, composting is super simple. We maybe spend 10 or 15 minutes per week dealing with our compost, so it doesn’t take a lot of time.”

Sign up for pickup service:

Compost at home: Vicki Pruden of Compost Winnipeg

If you’re not ready to start composting on your own, you can sign up for Compost Winnipeg’s residential pickup service, which currently has around 160 residential clients.

We supply you with a five-gallon bucket and you fill that up with all your compostable waste. We can take more than you can compost in your backyard — meat, dairy, wax paper, parchment paper, compostable cups or plates, napkins. It just makes it a little bit simpler not having to manage your own pile.”

Compost Winnipeg then picks up your organic waste once a week and tracks how much you compost, providing you with regular organic-waste diversion reports.

Take a class with an expert:

Compost Winnipeg also hosts community classes with master composters if you’re looking for more instruction.

Doing this the right way will avoid any typical concerns people may have such as unwelcome odours, flies or critters. “There’s no way introducing compost will create those problems as long as you’re continuing to manage your waste properly.”


Compost Winnipeg operates out of the Social Enterprise Centre at 765 Main Street in Winnipeg. For more information, visit Compost Winnipeg.

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Learn how ACU and Compost Winnipeg have worked together to realize a 40% reduction in office waste.

About Dennis Cunningham

Dennis is Assiniboine Credit Union’s Manager of Environmental Sustainability. He helps employees and members to reduce ACU’s environmental footprint.

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