These two photos are of compost bins collected by SCV Waste Solutions in Salmon Arm. The one on the left containing bagged compostables and a pizza box was free of debris when dumped. The one on the right, containing frozen food waste, could only be partially emptied when dumped. (SCV Waste Solutions photos)

Compost freezing to Vernon’s collection carts

Residents offered tips amid winter to prevent bins from not being emptied

Now that winter has settled into the North Okanagan, the city is offering tips to help residents manage their organics carts for weekly collection in colder weather. If the contents of your cart are freezing to the inside or getting stuck, collectors may be unable to fully empty them, but solutions are available.

Here are some ideas:

Reduce moisture:

• Strain excess liquid out of wet compostable material

• Wrap kitchen waste in newspaper, a paper bag or already soiled paper (such as paper towel) to absorb moisture

• Wrap and freeze material in your freezer and then place it in the organics cart immediately before collection so it can fall out easily

Create layers:

• Line your cart with dry materials such as a single piece of cardboard on the bottom or a paper bag

• Layer kitchen organics with yard waste (such as leaves or straw) and soiled paper or newspaper

Keep contents loose:

• Avoid overfilling the cart (the lid must close)

• Avoid pushing down or compacting materials in the cart

Place cart for collection success:

• Place carts at the curb by 7 a.m. on collection day. Please do not place carts the night before, as they could become snow covered or buried.

• Confirm the lid can open and close freely on collection day and is not frozen shut

• Place cart wheels against the curb. If carts are backwards they cannot be collected.

• Ensure carts are placed one-metre (an arm’s length) away from all other objects (including snow piles)

After a snowfall, clear the lid of snow and clear a space to place your cart safely at the curb. Carts on top of snow piles cannot be collected.

If you find that material has frozen inside your cart, wait for warmer temperatures to thaw the material out. Try placing your cart in sunlight if possible and use a stick to loosen the stuck items. And remember to place your organics cart at the curb every week, even if it’s not full. This will also help prevent material from becoming too frozen to fall out.

To avoid snow and ice building up on the lid, you can keep your organics cart in a shed, garage or a sheltered area against an exterior wall of your house.

For more information on Vernon’s new curbside organics collection program and a list of accepted compostable materials, visit vernon.ca/organics.

READ MORE: Lions take a look at vision of North Okanagan kids

READ MORE: Vernon rolls out tips to avoid stinky compost carts


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

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