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Diversion Programs

Making Waste Matter: Integrated Waste Management Strategy

You told us 'reduction' was important to you. And so, using a 'waste less living' philosophy, Making Waste Matter introduces cost-effective initiatives that will be phased into our current waste management program over the next three decades.

You want us to do it inexpensively and you want us to do it well. With your help, Making Waste Matter can help us achieve the goal of diverting 70% of waste away from the landfill from our current 39%. This will save us money as we will manage less waste and will turn waste into revenue through our recycling programs. With this goal in mind, the City of Kawartha Lakes aims to become one of the best!

The City will be reviewing and updating our Waste Management Strategy in 2019. Your input in this strategy is a “must” because the strategy has to take into account what service you would like to see and what is best for our community. We will be out reaching to you early in 2019 for your thoughts so keep checking the website.

Strategy documents:

The Making Waste Matter Supplementary Document is available upon request by calling 705-324-9411 extension 1135 or by e-mailing Waste Management. 

Backyard composting

Visit our Items for Sale page to learn how you can purchase a backyard composter.

You can create a thriving backyard environment with the help of the backyard composters and digesters the City has for sale. These units are available for sale at your local Service Centre. While you're there, pick up a copy of our Compost Brochure to keep on-hand for whenever you face a composting question in the future.

Why Use a Backyard Composter?

  • keeps up to 30% of your household waste out of landfills
  • easy to use, can be used year round
  • helps the environment
  • compost will help your garden keep moisture in the soil after rain or watering
  • you will have less of a need for chemical fertilizers
  • cost free and chemical free soil enricher
  • provides plants with nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous

 

What can go into a backyard composter

Compost production requires a 50/50 mixture of green material and brown material. The other category is materials that can also be added to your composter in moderation. These items are not as important as your Green and Brown materials.  Green materials are nitrogen-rich and rot easily such as food waste whereas brown materials are carbon-rich and often fibrous, i.e. paper. Each are equally important and play different roles in ensuring your composter creates successful compost.

Green material

  • fruit and vegetable scraps
  • coffee grounds and tea leaves
  • leaves and old flowers
  • end-of-season greenery
  • bread, rice and grains
  • fresh grass clippings (pesticide free)
  • large leafy woods that are still green
  • hair and fur
  • pet manure (only from grass eating animals)

Brown material

  • dry grass clippings (pesticide free)
  • straw
  • corn cobs and stalks
  • paper towels and napkins
  • newsprint (shredded)
  • cardboard (small pieces)
  • brown paper bags (shredded)

Other

  • egg shells
  • wood ash (untreated)

What can not go into a backyard composter

  • fats and oils
  • cooked food including rice or pasta
  • fish, meat and bones
  • dog or cat feces
  • kitty litter
  • barbeque ashes and coal
  • dairy products
  • diapers
  • lint
  • pesticide-treated plants
  • vacuum cleaner content
  • weeds in seed
  • metal, plastic or glass

Installation and maintenance

  1. Select a site that is flat, well drained and receives constant sun. Prior to placing your backyard composter in this spot, make sure to remove any sod and turn the soil to ensure accessibility by decomposers who will be working on your compost.
  2. Create a base layer at the bottom of your bin. This layer should be 15 cm (6") in depth and should consist of coarse materials such as sticks, pruning's and bark pieces.
    1. Alternate between layers of green material and brown material.  Once your base layer is in place, you can begin to use your composter daily.  Begin with 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) of green organic matter, followed by approximately the same amount of brown material.  Continue to alternate between these two layers, ensuring no layer is ever deeper than 40 cm (15 inches).  It is also a good idea to make sure your composter is always topped off with brown materials; this will discourage animals from getting inside your composter.
    2. Maintaining the proper moisture content is important.  Your compost ingredients should resemble a wrung out sponge, damp but not soaking.  If it looks too dry, add water.  If it looks too wet, add more brown material.
    3. Make sure to regularly mix your compost.  While continuing to add alternating layers of green and brown materials, it is important to mix your compost every 7-14 days. Mixing can be done with a compost turner, pitchfork, or any other garden tool.  This allows air to penetrate your compost and allows the bin to heat up, making for a quicker decomposition process. 
    4. Monitor and keep track of what is going on inside your compost bin. Your pile will shrink as materials decompose; this is normal. Just add more materials.  Compost is generally ready for use anywhere from 2 months to 2 years after beginning the process.  This varies depending on the temperature and materials used.  When your composter is full, you can check the bottom for any compost ready for use.
    5. Compost is ready for harvest when the bottom and middle of the pile is decomposed and moist.  The finished product should be crumbly, moist, dark-coloured and give off an earthy smell.  It is recommended that the final product is aged for about 1-2 months before use.  You may choose to sift out larger pieces that did not fully break down with a wire mesh and return them to your compost pile.

How to Use Your Compost

Lawn Food: rake a layer of compost onto your lawn approximately 5 mm in depth.

Garden Booster: use in your garden by spreading around the base of shrubs, trees and perennials.

Potting Soil: create your own by mixing 1/3 sifted compost, 1/3 soil, and 1/3 vermiculture.

Compost Tea: a natural, organic fertilizer made by mixing finished compost with water and allowing it to sit for a couple days. You can apply this to leaves or soil as a nutrient booster.

Seasonal Maintenance

Your compost bin can be maintained year around. Just follow the seasonal steps below.

Spring: Stir well and add soil to kick start your composter. Dig out any finished product from the bottom to use on your lawn or garden.

Summer: Stir frequently and cover fresh material with leaves. If it looks dry, just add some water as needed.

Fall: This is usually prime harvest time. Clean out your compost bin and use the finished product as you wish. Save fallen leaves to add to your composter throughout the year.

Winter: Colder temperatures slow down the decomposition process.  You can continue to fill your bin; the decomposition process will pick back up once spring rolls around.

Tips and frequently asked questions

 My composter isn't doing anything

There are a couple different things to try if you notice nothing is happening.  Make sure there are equal parts green and brown materials, and also enough of both. It is important to cut your materials into small enough pieces so they can break down easily.  Mix your pile to ensure sufficient air circulation.  Boost the amount of decomposers present by adding premade compost or soil.  Make sure you have chosen a spot with direct sunlight. Keep an eye on the moisture content, maybe your compost just needs some hydration.

My composter smells bad

Your compost bin can emit an unpleasant odour when there is not enough air circulation, when there is too much wet or green material present, or not enough brown material present.  An ammonia smell is due to the presence of too much nitrogen in which case you can add browns such as leaves to your pile, topping off with soil. A rotten egg smell is due to a lack of oxygen.  This can be remedied by turning (aerating) your pile regularly and adding dry materials in layers to help the air circulate. Making sure to always top newly added green materials with yard waste or soil will also help to cut down on the smell.

My compost pile is frozen

This just means that the decomposition process has halted, but it will begin again once rising temperatures thaw the micro-organisms aiding in compost production.  You can continue to add materials to your pile if there is room.

My compost bin is attracting pests

While oxygen-loving critters like earthworms and bacteria are vital during the decomposition process, there are a couple different things you can try to decrease the amount of unwanted animals and critters frequenting your bin.  Refrain from adding animal waste (meats, fish, bones, oil, fatty foods, and manures) to your pile. Bury new material, or cover it with "browns" to decrease any odour that may be attracting them. It is also important to make sure your household garbage is secured and out of reach; finding this will increase the chances of them finding your compost bin as well.

You may chose to pest proof your bin by lining the bottom and outside walls with strong ½ inch galvanized wire mesh or hardware clothe. Ensuring your lid is always in place, and placing a heavy brick on top will deter animals from getting inside. You can pile rocks around the bottom exterior to deter burrowing animals.

Compost accessories

Kitchen caddy

This can be kept in the kitchen and can be used to transfer food waste to your composter or digester. The caddy can hold approximately 4-5 litres of food waste. Visit our Items for Sale page to learn how you can buy a kitchen caddy.

Compost accelerator

This is a powder that acts as a natural form of environmentally friendly micro-organisms and beneficial enzymes that can speed up, or assist, in the digestive or food breakdown process. These are commonly used in the beginning of the process, or during the winter months when the temperature has dropped.

Compost accelerators can be purchased at your local home hardware or gardening stores

Backyard digesters

 

Visit our Items for Sale page to learn how you can purchase a backyard digester.

Backyard digesters are low maintenance and easy to use units that reduce the amount of food waste you produce, and provide a nutrient rich liquid fertilizer.

A Digester is a large tub sized container with a cap that is set approximately one metre deep into the soil. Digesters use heat from the sun, along with microbial activity to develop a rapid decomposition process. This process produces a nutrient-rich leachate that is absorbed into the soil.  Leachate helps in the break down of heavy soils and helps sandy soils hold more water. The nutrients created through the digestion process are easy for plants to absorb, and less likely to wash away in the rain.

Backyard Digesters can break down food waste, pet waste and small quantities of yard waste. Our digesters do not produce finished compost and do not require harvesting. The use of the Backyard Digester speeds up the decomposition of organic materials such as kitchen and yard wastes, and creates a valuable source of nutrients to your backyard plants while promoting waste diversion.

Why choose a digester?

  • keeps up to 33% of your household waste out of landfills
  • your waste is primarily reduced to water since it is digested, not composted
  • no additional water is necessary; the water enters the soil under the base of the unit
  • does not require additional soil
  • very little residue is produced and no air (anaerobic) or mixing is required
  • works well in small backyards where the goal is waste diversion as opposed to soil building

 What can go into a backyard digester

  • bread, rice and grains
  • fish, meat and poultry including bones
  • fruits and vegetables including peels
  • cooked foods
  • coffee grounds and tea bags
  • dairy products
  • eggs and shells
  • hair and fur
  • paper towels, napkins and tissues
  • soiled newspaper (shredded)
  • sawdust and wood ash (untreated)
  • animal excrement

What can not go into a backyard digestor

  • metal
  • wood
  • plastic
  • glass
  • paper
  • straw
  • bulk oil
  • disinfectant, bleach
  • grass cuttings, hedge clippings
  • large amounts of course vegetable matter
  • large amounts of yard waste

Installation and maintenance

  1. Pick a spot that is well drained with as much exposure to the sun as possible, but also convenient and accessible throughout the entire year. Make sure there are no cables, pipes or tree roots present where your hole will be.
  2. Dig a hole 90 cm (35") wide and 30-40 cm (12-16") deep in well-drained soil. If the area is comprised of heavy clay dig a hole 100 cm (40") wide and 40-50 cm (16-20") deep. To test the drainage of the area, pour a bucket of water into the hole. If the water disappears in 10-15 minutes your area is well drained. If it persists for longer than 15 minutes you may want to try a different spot. 
  3. Mix some soil from the hole with some stones or gravel and/or compost and use this at the bottom of the hole, as well as for backfill once the tub is in place.
  4. Ensure the bottom of the digester is below ground. 
  5. After installation is complete, begin adding kitchen waste, but limit the amount of meat, bones and fish added for the first 4-6 weeks. The materials added to the digester should be comprised of 98% kitchen waste, and no more than 2% yard waste (dry yard clippings, dry leaves and plants, dry sticks, hair and fur).
  6. You may choose to sprinkle some Compost Accelerator on your food waste for the first 5-6 times before placing it into the digester. This will help build up a healthy amount of bacteria.
  7. The waste should be covered in a blue/gray fur which should start to build up over the first 10-14 days. Don't be alarmed, this is normal. Compost Accelerator is not necessary when the fur is present.
  8. No regular maintenance is required. If you notice your digester is getting full and the waste is not breaking down you can try cutting your waste into small pieces, using the Compost Accelerator to speed up the breakdown or move your digester to a new location.
  9. The digester is designed to stay in one place and break down wastes quickly. You should never have to move it, but if you would like to access any finished compost that may be created, this would only be possible after a few years, and would require the digester to be dug up and relocated.

Tips and frequently asked questions

 My waste isn't breaking down

You may find your waste is not breaking down fast enough; this could be due to the wrong materials being added (such as too much yard waste) or not enough volume of waste. Try cutting the food waste into smaller pieces for more efficient digestion. There may not be enough micro-organisms present; in this event you may chose to add some Compost Accelerator. Make sure you have a good load of waste to start the process.

My digester smells bad

You may notice that there is a strong odour present when you open your digester.  This is due to the anaerobic breakdown occurring (lacking oxygen), which is a normal process.  Keeping the lid on the digester at all times ensures no smell escapes and no oxygen penetrates the digester.

My digester is attracting animals and pests

In order to deter animals or rodents, you can use strong smelling spices (cayenne, paprika, etc.) surrounding the outside of the digester. If you live in an area where bears frequent, it is a good idea to avoid adding meat, fish, dairy, fruit, or grease during periods of high bear activity. They are also attracted to garbage cans, dirty BBQ grills, bird feeders, pet food, and citronella candles.  You may also choose to add soil or small amounts of pet waste on top of smelly food being added. 

 

Should I avoid certain areas

If you choose to add large amounts of pet waste, meats, and dairy, avoid placing your digester close to your vegetable garden. These materials may contain different products that are unhealthy for human consumption.

Choosing between a composter and digester

  • Would you consider yourself a gardener?
  • Do you need soil for your garden?
  • Are you willing to perform regular yard maintenance?
  • Are you able to dig a hole at least three feet deep?
  • Do you want to compost all your leaf and yard waste?
  • Do you want to compost your pet manure?
  • Are you concerned about attracting animals and pests?

If you answered yes to four or more of these questions, a composter is the way to go. You will have access to your own personal soil, full of nutrients and easily accessible.

If you answered no to four or more of these questions, a digester is what you need. You can dispose of nearly all of your organic waste including leaf and yard waste, pet manure, meat, fish and bones. This route requires little-to-no maintenance and will create a leachate packed with nutrients for yiour backyard environment.

Battery drop-off & curbside collection

Household battery drop-off boxes are set up at Municipal Centre Centres, libraries and City Hall for your use. We accept undamaged, rechargeable and single-use batteries including:

  • AAA
  • AA
  • C
  • D
  • 9-volt
  • button
  • cordless drill batteries

We are unable to accept:

  • rechargeable battery packs - NiCad, NiMH, or Lithium Ion (typically used in laptop computers, cellular phones, power tools)
  • 6-volt (often used in lanterns)
  • damaged or leaking batteries
  • wet cell batteries (such as automotive)

Curbside battery collection for 2019

  • March 11 to 14
  • November 4 to 7

Batteries not accepted in the collection boxes can be brought to the City's Household Hazardous Waste Depots at the Lindsay Ops or Fenelon landfill sites

Prior to recycling your batteries, please be sure to follow these safe battery storage guidelines:

  • Store batteries in their original packaging in a dry, indoor place at room temperature;
  • Seal the contact point ends of 9V batteries with a piece of masking, electrical or duct tape.

Boat and bale wrap recycling

You can recycle boat and bale wrap at designated City landfill sites.

Leaf and yard waste

Leaf and yard waste is accepted at all landfills or can be set out at the curb during designated collection days

Electronics recycling

You can recycle electronics for free at City landfill sites

Environment Round-Up days

2019 Round-Up Days are back!  Mark your calendars, 8:00 am to 12:00 pm

  • Saturday May 25 at Rolling Hills Public School, 694 Hwy 7A/ Hwy 7
  • Saturday June 8 at Coboconk Roads Depot, 2863 CKL Road #48
  • Saturday June 22 at Fenelon Falls Community Centre, 27 Veterans Ways
  • Saturday July 6 at Bobcaygeon Public School, 30 Balaclava Street

Round-Up days allow you to conveniently drop-off household hazardous waste, electronics, small appliances and bulky plastics to be recycled for free.

At Round-Up Day events we are happy to accept:

  • household hazardous waste
  • electronics
  • bulky plastics

Household hazardous waste

You can take your household hazardous waste to either the Fenelon or Lindsay Ops landfill household hazardous waste depots at no cost.

Reuse programs

Paint reuse

From May 1 to October 15 you can pick up paint to bring home or bring your leftover paint to the Fenelon or Lindsay Ops landfill household hazardous waste depots.

Fenelon Reuse Centre

You can bring select items to the Fenelon Reuse Centre for free

Lindsay Ops Habitat for Humanity Drop-Off

There is a bin at the Lindsay Ops landfill to drop off reuse items for the local Habitat for Humanity Store.

Acceptable items include:

  • bulky Items (dressers, desks, chairs, cabinets, bed frames, mirrors, tables, outdoor furniture)
  • houseware and kitchenware (plates, pots and pans, glasses, mugs, utensils, teapots, paintings, pictures, serving bowls, decorative accessories, small mirrors)
  • construction and demolition materials (doors, windows, used wood in good condition, sinks, vanities, tiles in good condition)
  • outdoor equipment (skis, golf clubs, snowshoes, bicycles, rollerblades, ski or snowboard boots, shovels, seed spreaders, non-motorized grass mower)
  • functioning power tools

Non-acceptable items include:

  • electronics
  • mattresses
  • clothing and footwear
  • infant items: (toys, safety devices, furniture)

Scrap metal

Bring your scrap metal items to any landfill for free recycling. Accepted items include:

  • bed frames
  • kitchen hood vents
  • desk legs
  • metal furniture
  • metal car parts
  • electric motors
  • cooking pots and pans
  • stoves

Mattress recycling

In 2019 the City will continue conducting a trial program for mattress and box spring recycling. Mattresses and box springs brought to the Lindsay Ops landfill or placed at the curb for pick up will be recycled. The $15 landfill fee or $15 curbside mattress tag fee still applies. Residents will be responsible for loading mattresses and box springs onto a trailer if bringing them to the Lindsay Ops landfill.

Clean wood recycling

Clean Wood Waste is being collected at the Lindsay Ops landfill site from May 15th to November 15th. All collected material will be recycled to help reduce waste and extend the life of the landfill. Regular tipping fees will apply.

 

Items accepted include:

  • Painted wood
  • Plywood
  • Skids
  • Barn Board

 

We will not accept creosote (pressure-treated items), wire, garbage and shingles; these will need to be disposed of as waste.

Drywall recycling

Drywall (Gypsum) materials are being collected at the Fenelon and Lindsay Ops landfills from May 1st to September 30th. All collected material will be recycled to help reduce waste and extend the life of the landfills. Regular tipping fees will apply.

 

All painted and wallpapered drywall is accepted. Drywall attached to wood or other materials will need to be disposed of as waste.

Tire recycling

You can take tires to City landfills for free. For loads more than 25 tires, please call the City in advance.

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