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Almost one third of the waste we produce in Newfoundland and Labrador is organic.


Did you know that 30% of the waste we produce in Newfoundland and Labrador is organic material? Reducing the amount of organic waste we produce is key to reducing the amount of greenhouse gases we send into the atmosphere and the best way to do this is by composting. This is because when materials are composted instead of being sent to landfill, they are able to decompose in the presence of oxygen and methane is not produced.

There are two main ways to compost:

  • Backyard Composting - This method involves keeping a small bin in your kitchen to collect scraps and a larger bin in your backyard where the material can break down into nutrient-rich soil conditioner for your garden.
  • Vermicomposting - Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is an alternative if you don't have an outdoor space that is suitable for backyard composting. Vermicomposting can be done inside your home with a closed bin containing red wiggler worms that break down the organic material.
  • According to the MMSB, creating a good compost requires having a mixture of materials that are 50% "brown" and 50% "green." Brown materials are a good source of carbon, such as dried leaves, paper, rice, oats and pasta. Green materials are a good source of nitrogen, such as fresh grass clippings, fruit and vegetables.

Quick Tip

Each time you add green kitchen waste to the compost pile, cover a layer of browns. This will maintain the brown-to-green ratio and keep flies and odors away.

Collect and store fall leaves in a covered container next to the compost bin, to be added to the pile in the spring to absorb excess moisture.

description of compostable materials and the greenhouse gasses they emit
Brown Items = Carbon Green Items = Nitrogen Items to Avoid
  • Dried Leaves
  • Dried & Untreated grass clippings
  • Non-Diseased Plants
  • Twigs & Small branches
  • Woodchips & sawdust (from untreated wood)
  • Paper (newspaper, paper towels, toiler paper rolls & cereal boxes)
  • Rice, oats & other grains
  • Dried corn stalks
  • Pasta (no sauce or oils)
  • Peanut Shells
  • Bread & other Baked goods
  • Fruits & Vegetable peels and scraps
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Coffee grounds & fitlers
  • Fresh grass clippings
  • Houseplant trimmings
  • All meat products
  • Fish & Shellfish
  • Bones
  • Fat, grease, oils & sauces
  • All dairy products
  • Weeds gone to seed
  • Diseased plants
  • Dogs & cat waste
  • Plants treated with pesticides
  • Wood treated with chemicals
  • Charcoal

Take Action

For more information on composting, check out the MMSB's website.

Quick Tip

knife in a eaten slice of watermelon

Cut material into smaller pieces to increase the surface area. This allows material to break down faster in the compost pile.

In this section

Reducing, Reusing and Recycling