From Waste to Want!

Posted on Apr 30, 2015 by The Forks Market

Did you know that 40% of residential waste can be composted?

International Compost Awareness week is coming up May 3 – 9. We’re kicking off the week on Sunday, May 3 — come to The Forks between 11 am and 2 pm and get the scoop on what’s cool about compost:

  • Take home some nutrient-packed compost for free!
  • Tour The Forks composting program
  • Pick up free yard waste bags and learn about the city’s curbside leaf and yard waste program
  • Watch a composting demonstration to learn how easy it is to compost in your backyard
  • Get a chance to win a bag of worm castings
  • Peek into active worm bins and find out more about vermicomposting and manure management

Why compost?

The composting program is part of our Target Zero initiative: zero garbage, zero water waste and zero carbon emissions. Composting is a way to keep garbage out of landfills and it turns food waste into nutrient-rich compost for our gardens. Learn more about composting at The Forks by clicking here.

How it works

The composting process at The Forks begins in these compost bins. We collect food waste twice a week from vendors in The Forks Market and our composting partners downtown, such as the University of Winnipeg, Red River College, and Inn at The Forks.

The food waste (greens) gets mixed with wood chips (browns) in this giant mixer.

The mixture is placed in an in-vessel composter called the BIOvator, a long horizontal cylinder that creates the perfect environment for the microbes to do their thing. Trillions of microbes get to work breaking down all the food waste, turning it into nutrient-rich compost. Typically the mix is in the BIOvator for about two weeks.

The compost comes out of the BIOvator looking like this:

Since some materials take longer to compost than others, the compost gets screened so only the fine “dirt-like” bits get used and the larger particles go through the process again.

Once the compost has been screened it’s ready to go! It looks like dirt, smells like dirt, but it has a whole bunch of nutrients that, when added to our gardens, make the plants flourish. Compost also helps the soil retain moisture so we don’t have to water as often.

Find out more about composting at the Green Action Centre website or visit or check out this awesome video:

(Video by: Green Action Centre)


Back to Article List