Backyard Composting Gets a Boost

I’m (happy, happy) working with a team from EBA Engineering to conduct three backyard composting pilots for the City of Vancouver. Vancouver now allows residents living in single family dwellings to put food scraps into their yard waste bins, but they don’t want everyone to stop composting. In fact, they hope more people start composting, because recycling those scraps right in your own yard is the best option all around. One of the best reasons: it gives you a free, rich, natural fertilizer for your garden.

We’re trying out different ways to motivate people in each neighbourhood. So in Kitsilano, we’ve set up a block challenge and as new composters are added, they will be charted on an on-line map. The goal: to get a bin in every back yard. In Grandview Woodland, pilot participants will meet every other week and get hands on instruction from experts. By the end of the pilot, they can serve as compost resource people for their neighbours. In Renfrew Collingwood, youth videographers will follow the composting experiences of three families. That neighbourhood will have bins delivered to their doorstep and receive personal training sessions. (I know, worth moving there.) We’ll be using a new on-line platform called PlaceSpeak, just getting that set up now.

We have some great community partners: Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute and Collingwood Neighbourhood House, Village Vancouver, Zero Waste Vancouver and Britannia and Kitsilano Community Centres. A number of neighbourhood schools are pitching in too. More on them in posts to come.

So if you live in a house with yard space in one of the three above mentioned ‘hoods and you’ve never composted before or have stopped for some reason, please (hurry, hurry) and join one of our backyard composting pilots. The pilot will take place from June 20 to August 7, 2011 – so you understand the urgency. And there are only 20 spots available! You need to apply by June 15.

At minimum you’ll get a free compost bin, aerator and some instruction. Each pilot has their own custom package of accessories and support.

We are also desperately seeking volunteers. We need experienced composters who might be willing to mentor the uninitiated. Other volunteers are needed for surveying and weighing of materials. And youth volunteers are needed to video blog for the Renfrew Collingwood pilot. (Fun, fun!)

If you don’t live in one of the pilot areas, please spread the word to your non-composting friends, family and colleagues who do live there.

For more details and to apply, contact Tamara.

(Happy happy, playing with compost again.)



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