In Manitoba, it is estimated that up to 40 per cent of our waste is organic waste, consisting mainly of leaf and yard waste, food waste and wood waste. The food and yard waste we create in our homes is a major source of organic material, but organic waste also comes from a variety of industrial, commercial and institutional sources, including:

  • food processing industries
  • grocery stores
  • shopping centres
  • restaurants
  • offices
  • schools
  • hospitals

The good news is that most of this waste can be efficiently recycled through composting, which is nature's way of recycling. This is important because, when organic materials are harvested, nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are removed from the soil. Composting recycles those nutrients and turns them into a valuable soil amendment. When applied to soil, mature compost restores nutrients, improves soil health and fertility, and aids in the storage of moisture and carbon. It is so good for gardens that gardeners fondly refer to compost as black gold.

Benefits of Composting:

  • It extends the life of our landfills. Studies show that diverting organic waste from landfills to compost facilities can dramatically extend the lifespan of our landfills. Since new landfills are very costly to build, there are significant economic benefits to keeping our current landfills operating as long as possible.
  • It reduces greenhouse gases and odours from landfills. When organic waste is added to a landfill, the organic material breaks down without oxygen and can give off an odour that is considered offensive to surrounding neighbourhoods. It also produces methane and other gases, which, if released into the atmosphere, contribute to climate change.
  • It creates green jobs, right here in Manitoba. Compost processing and marketing compost products show great job potential. In addition, use of compost in industries like horticulture, landscaping, and agriculture is predicted to grow as more compost becomes available. It is estimated that every 10,000 tonnes of organic waste composted, instead of going to a landfill, will create seven new jobs.