The District of Muskoka encourages residents to use a backyard composter.
Backyard composting allows residents to produce a soil conditioner that will improve soil and the plants growing within it, and will reduce the amount of kitchen waste in your garbage bag.
Backyard composting is one of the most effective and environmentally-friendly ways to manage the organic waste your home produces. Your compost will not be a bear attractant if it is maintained correctly and other attractants are managed responsibly.
Take advantage of Muskoka's Backyard Compost Rebate Program.
Eligible Muskoka residents can receive up to $40.00 towards the purchase of a Backyard Composter. Note: this program will end in December 2017.
|How to backyard compost in bear country|
|Where to purchase a backyard composter|
Backyard composters may be purchased from any local hardware store (prices may vary per store).
|Five helpful tips|
|Step One - Be Unattractive.
Ensure that your yard does not provide easy, unnatural food sources for bears. Bear attractants include:
Step Two - Work Together.
Fruit and vegetable scraps
Small quantities of grass clippings
Newspaper (torn into 1" strips and crumpled)
Tissue paper or kraft brown paper
Paper towels or napkins
Cardboard (toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, corrugated cardboard torn into small pieces)
Dried grass clippings
Rinsed crushed eggshells
Small amounts of fireplace ash
NOT ACCEPTABLE IN BEAR COUNTRY
Grains, rice or pasta
Grease or oil
Dog or cat feces and kitty litter (for health, not bear reasons)
|Will the backyard composter have an unpleasant odour?|
|A compost pile that is working well should not have an unpleasant odour. If it does, it may be that the materials are too wet or compacted. Turn the pile to let it dry out, or add some "browns", (dry materials) such as leaves.|
|How long does it take to compost?|
|It will take anywhere from two months to two years. If you follow the tips we have provided, you may have finished compost within a couple of months.|
|Can I compost in the winter?|
|Yes. Continue to add materials throughout the winter. The decomposition process will slow down, but the pile will become active again in the spring.|
|What materials can be composted?|
The following materials can be composted: apples, artichoke leaves, asparagus bottoms, bananas and banana peels, beans, beet tops, berries, bread, broccoli stalks, brussel sprouts, buckwheat hulls, cabbage stalks and outer leaves, carrot tops and scrapings, celery tops, citrus rinds, coffee grounds and filters, corn cobs (preferably chopped), corn stalks, cotton rags, cucumber, dryer lint, eggshells, feathers, felt waste, flowers, garden wastes, grapes, grape plant wastes, grapefruit, grass, hair, hay, hops (spent), leaf mold, leaves, lettuce, lemon, melon, onion, oats, peanut hulls, pears, peat moss, pineapple, pine needles, potatoes, pumpkin, sawdust, seaweed, soil, straw, string, squash, tea leaves and bags, tomatoes, vacuum bags, weeds, wood ash, wool rags, turnip and zucchini.
|What materials cannot be composted in a backyard composter?|
|The following materials should not be composted in bear country: butter, bones, cheese, fish (and fish scraps), lard, mayonnaise, meat (and meat scraps), milk, peanut butter, poultry (and poultry scraps), salad dressing, sour cream, vegetable oil and yogurt.|
|Can I compost grass?|
It is encouraged that you leave grass clippings on your lawn to return nutrients to the soil. However if you wish to compost grass, do not add too many grass clippings to your compost at one time. They tend to mat and develop an unpleasant odour. It is suggested that you add them in thin layers, allow them to dry in the sun before adding them, and mix them with "brown" dry materials such as leaves.