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Vernon rolls out tips to avoid stinky compost carts

Odours, attracting pests, carts not emptying properly are some of the issues

With summer sinking in, some residents may be finding their new compost collection carts starting to stink.

Rising temperatures have prompted the City of Vernon to offer some tips and reminders to help mitigate odours, keep pests away from carts and ensure they are completely emptied during collection.

“Did you know that overfilling your organics cart can cause material to get stuck? This can lead to only partial collection and a whole lot of disappointment,” the city said.

The following tips will help remedy these issues

Minimizing odour

• Wrap kitchen waste in newspaper or a BPI-certified compostable bag before placing it in the cart. Alternatively, you can freeze kitchen waste until collection day.

• Place a piece of cardboard at the bottom of your cart to keep waste from sticking.

• Rinse your cart periodically with water and vinegar and then sprinkle it with baking soda.

• Store your cart indoors. If it must be outdoors, choose a ventilated and shady area.

• Place your organics cart for collection every week, even if it’s only partially filled.

• Keep the lid closed at all times.

Ensuring carts are emptied

• Layer kitchen organics with yard waste and soiled paper or newspaper.

• Keep materials loose in the cart and avoid overfilling the cart (the lid must close).

• Avoid pushing down or compacting materials in the cart.

• Avoid placing large amounts of grass clippings in the cart. They can become heavy and compacted very quickly, especially if wet.

• Place carts at the curb by 7 a.m. on collection day. Please do not place carts the night before, as this can attract wildlife.

• Ensure carts placed at the curb are one-metre (an arm’s length) away from all other objects.

• Ensure all materials in your organics cart are compostable. Materials such as rocks, soil, plastic bags, animal waste, and branches that are more than half an inch in diameter cannot be collected.

Tips for managing additional organic waste

• Overfilled or overweight carts cannot be collected. Weight restrictions are 110 pounds for the 120-litre carts and 165 for the larger carts.

• If you have more material than can fit in your organics cart:

- Consider storing the additional material until your next collection day.

- Consider taking larger amounts of yard waste to the Greater Vernon Diversion and Disposal Facility, where residential yard and garden waste can be disposed of free of charge.

Vernon residents now have a couple of months under their belts with the City’s new curbside organics collection program. The City would like to thank residents for their early participation in the program and the steps they’ve taken to help extend the lifespan of our landfill, create a reusable product, and reduce our impact on the environment.

READ MORE: Garbage and organics cart collection issues persist in Vernon

READ MORE: Vernon killed 5th highest number of bears in B.C.


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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