Composting: why and how?

by Marie-Pierre Berube July 21, 2021

In this day and age, no matter the season, composting allows a large segment of the population to dispose of their organic waste such as dead leaves or leftover food in the brown bin. In fact, depending on where you live, the organic waste collection might take place every week, while garbage and recycling are collected less frequently.

Despite this, for many of us, what we’re supposed to put in the brown bin and what it’s used for remain a mystery. According to the City of Montreal, household waste in Quebec still contains around 57% organic waste, proof that we still have our work cut out for us in terms of composting. Discover our tips and tricks to learn more and start composting!

What exactly is composting?

Whether it’s on the web, radio or TV, you’ve probably heard about composting and its many benefits for the environment. But what is it exactly? Composting is a natural process in which organic matter is transformed by the action of aerobic microorganisms (i.e., with oxygen). The result of this transformation is a rich soil used to fertilize plants and flowers.

Why compost? First and foremost, it’s a green way to reduce organic waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill. This ultimately helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and groundwater contamination.

Did you know? Several municipalities distribute free compost in the spring. Contact your city for info.

The brown bin: for food waste (and KLIIN!)

More than 600 municipalities across Quebec take part in the organic waste collection using the brown bin. Organic waste basically refers to all food waste. In other words, if you can eat it or if it is paper or cardboard containing traces of food, you can put it in the compost bin! However, it should be noted that some cities also accept green waste in the brown bin. Consult your municipality for more information.

Here is what you can put in the brown bin without worry:

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Meat, fish or seafood residues

  • Leftover and expired food

  • Newsprint and soiled cardboard (including take-out boxes)

For people who don’t have access to a brown bin or who want to experience it for themselves, home composting is a good solution. You can either install a compost bin or pile in the backyard or, if space is scarce, try your hand at indoor worm composting. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Did you know? KLIIN reusable towels are compostable! Composed of natural fibres, KLIIN decomposes in 28 days. But before you bury them in your garden, make sure to take full advantage of their cleaning powers. KLIIN can be washed up to 300 times!

Getting organized to compost

Make using your brown bin or home composter a breeze thanks to these simple steps!

First off, equip yourself with a container that you will leave on the kitchen counter or store under the sink to collect food residues every day. It should be a small container with a lid, ventilation holes and a carbon filter to absorb bad odours.

This is where you'll toss all your leftovers, onion peels, sandwich crusts, etc. Make sure to empty the container on a regular basis to avoid any odour. If using a home composter, be careful not to include meat products.

Finally, after emptying the container, wash it thoroughly using a small reusable towel or biodegradable compressed sponge.

Did you know? KLIIN is offering attractive home compost bins made of galvanized iron at a discount because of slight defects (tiny cracks in the paint for example) that are still chic enough to show off in your kitchen! Don’t forget to stock up on carbon filters, which need to be replaced every three to five months depending on use.

Are you ready to compost? Thanks to these tips and tricks, composting will become part of your daily routine!

Marie-Pierre Berube
Marie-Pierre Berube


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