International Compost Awareness Week, May 5 to 11, 2013

May 5th 2013
International Compost Awareness Week, May 5 to 11, 2013

Compost Council of Canada invites Canadians to “Feed the Soil”


International Compost Awareness Week, May 5 to 11, 2013


 “Feed the Soil” is the theme of the 19th annual Compost Awareness Week, May 5 to 11, 2013. The Compost Council of Canada invites Canadians to think about the importance of giving back to the soil that nourishes us.


From residential backyard composting to large-scale public and private facilities, organics recycling is an important way to reclaim valuable nutrients and return them to the soil. “Compost Week is a celebration of the possible,” says Compost Council of Canada Executive Director Susan Antler. “We all generate organic waste materials, but when we recycle them through composting, we can return them to the earth for future life.”




This year, the Compost Council is highlighting two important research developments. One is a study being carried out by researcher Christine Brown, Nutrient Management Field Crop Lead for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). Designed to test the benefits of compost derived from “green bin” collection of household food waste, the study is also focusing on the supply and application logistics to help “Cities Feed Farm Soil”. The Compost Council is participating in this study with the support of municipal green bin compost producers along with the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association and the Canadian Fertilizer Institute.


Also, the Compost Council is pleased to announce the release of Environment Canada’s Technical Document on Municipal Solid Waste Organics Processing, a comprehensive study of organics recycling methods in Canada. “Communities are considering options for processing organic waste and need more detailed, objective technical guidance and reliable information on the available processing technologies,” it states.


The document “was developed to meet this need by providing science-based, objective and user-friendly information on the various aspects of organic waste management planning and operation for organics processing of different capacities and in different locations.” The full text of the new Technical Document on Municipal Solid Waste Organics Processing is available on the Compost Council of Canada’s website. Paper copies may also be requested through Environment Canada


Local events are planned in communities across Canada. These include compost samplings or sales and tours of compost facilities. Since Compost Week coincides with Hunger Awareness Week (a project of Food Banks Canada), many communities will celebrate both occasions at once by holding garden openings or tree plantings that tie in with the Plant a Row • Grow a Row, a program which channels food grown by home and community gardeners into food banks.




Soil is the basis of life on our planet, but it can take well over 500 years to create just a couple of centimetres. In composting, tiny, beneficial bacteria and fungi quickly break down organic matter into compost, the single most important ingredient for healthy and productive soil.


Soil that is well nourished with compost is revitalized and replenished with the nutrients that support plant life. It is more likely to stay aerated instead of becoming dense and compacted. It resists erosion, retains moisture and can suppress plant diseases, reducing the need for artificial irrigation and pesticides.


The greatest tonnage of material being recycled across Canada is organics, but with about 50% of Canada's waste stream being organic residuals, more could be composted. When sent to landfill, this material generates about 38% of Canada's total methane emissions: an avoidable source of greenhouse gases.


Items that can be composted include leaves, yard waste, wood, food scraps, paper, cardboard and manure. In Canada, compost is used by landscaping services, nurseries, greenhouses, garden centres, topsoil blenders, golf courses and agricultural businesses, as well as for landfill projects.




Compost Week was created in Canada in 1995 by the Compost Council of Canada to build public awareness about the importance of recycling organic materials and replenishing the soil with the annual addition of compost. The week is now celebrated in the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia and other parts of the world every year in the first full week of May.




The Compost Council of Canada is a national non-profit, member-driven organization that serves as a champion for the advancement of organics recycling and compost use in Canada


For more information, contact: Susan Antler, Executive Director, Compost Council of Canada 416-535-0240 or 1-877-571-4769,,