Black Yard Waste Composter

Black Yard Waste Composter

Use for Yard Waste

  • Leaves
  • Creates Compost
  • Grass
  • Fruit & Vegetable peels
  • Newspaper & Paper Towel
  • Dead Plant Material

Green Cone Recycler

Green Cone

Use for Kitchen Waste

  • Kitchen Waste
  • Raw & Cooked Meats
  • Leftover Foods
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Animal Waste

Rain Barrel

Rain Barrels

Use to Save Water

  • Saves on Outdoor Water Use
  • Reduces Water Bills
  • Helps Prevent Ponding
  • Reduces Stress on Stormwater Infrastructure


Black Yard Waste Composter

Composting is the natural breakdown of organic matter to produce a crumbly nutrient-rich soil. The resulting compost can be added to other soil types as fertilizer, forming an excellent growing medium for plants. By managing this natural process in your own garden, you can dispose of waste and produce an agent that will improve the look and yield of your plants or flowers. Please note, the green cone is not a yard waste composter. Scroll down to read more about the green cone food digester.

The black yard waste composter is an efficient, durable and economical tool that provides many benefits to homeowners and gardeners. The animal and pest resistant lid twists for variable ventilation control, and covers a large 51.43 cm (20.25 inch) opening that offers easy, generous access to add material and maintain the pile.

What Can Go In?
Green stuff: fresh leaves, fruit & vegetables peels, used vegetables - use in small amounts and covered with topsoil to help mask odours which may attract wildlife, flowers, plants, some weeds, and small amounts of fresh grass.

Brown stuff: dried leaves, newspaper, paper towels, twigs, chipped wood, dead plant material, husks, nut shells, small amounts of dried grass, grains, breads, straw and hay.

Other stuff: Coffee grinds & filters, egg shells

Do not add: bones, meat, fish, seafood, dairy products, fats, oils, pet waste, coal or treated wood ash, weeds that have gone to seed, crab grass, diseased plants or large materials, no coloured paper, no grass treated with herbicides or pesticides, no charcoal or coal ashes.

How composting works

compost pile is really a teeming microbial farm. Bacteria start the process of breaking down organic matter. They feed on plant tissue and are very effective composters. Fungi and protozoans soon join the bacteria and somewhat later in the cycle, centipedes, millipedes, beetles and earthworms do their part.

Carbon and nitrogen from cells of dead plants and dead microbes, fuel the tiny decomposers. Carbon in leaves or woodier wastes are an energy source and nitrogen provides microbes with materials to build their bodies

What to Do? 

You need a large quantity of brown material (almost enough to fill the bins), about a quarter as much of green material and a bucket or two of something that contains active micro-organisms, such as manure (chicken, horse, sheep, goat or cow), finished compost, or soil. If you are low on greens, they can be replaced by several cups of a high-nitrogen material like blood meal or corn-gluten meal. Food residuals should be completely covered to minimize odours and fruit flies by using dry yard materials or soil.

The technique is to fill a bin with layers of green and browns, all in a single day or week, and then turning them regularly without adding any more material until the composting process has finished. For this reason, if you have the space, having at least two composters is a good idea. One to start a new pile, while the other bin is composting. 

  1. First loosen soil, then put down a layer of coarse material - corn cobs and husks, sticks, thick fibrous stalks from vegetable or tall flowers. This will improve aeration at the bottom of the compost pile if you are not able to start mixing pile right away.
  2. Mix after 1-2 weeks to loosen material and allow circulation of air and then stirring weekly. Keep compost pile moist but not too wet. There should be enough moisture so the pile is about as wet as a wrung-out sponge. Add water if pile is too dry or dry materials if too wet. You should have compost in as little as three months.
What do I do with my finished compost?
Once compost is ready to use, it can be added to your garden, used around trees, or added to potted plants as a soil enricher. Compost promotes healthy plant growth, helps control soil erosion, and increases organic matter in soil, reducing the water demand of plants and trees through increasing moisture retention.
Will the backyard composter smell?
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 compost to aerate and/or dry out. You can also add some dry materials such as leaves to help absorb the excess moisture.
Can I use the composter 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.
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 much to your compost pile at one time.

Grass clippings 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 dry materials such as leaves.

How do I accelerate the compost process?
Chop up materials into smaller pieces.
How long will it take to compost?
The decomposition of compostable material may take anywhere from two months to two years. If the tips outlined here are followed, compost may form within months. Opting for the 'no fuss' method of composting (no mixing, no maintenance) will take longer to produce finished compost.
Troubleshooting your backyard composter


Your compost pile should have minimal odour - only an earthy smell to it.

  • If it has a bad odour, the compost pile may need air. Turn the pile with a pitch fork or shovel to aerate it. Or the pile may be too wet. Add materials such as dry leaves to absorb the excess moisture.
  • If there is a damp, sweet-smelling odour, it means there is a lack of nitrogen. Mix in "greens" such as fresh grass clippings, manure or blood meal.

Nothing seems to be composting: 

  • The compost pile may be too dry. Moisten and mix thoroughly until it is as moist as a squeezed-out sponge.
  • OR it's frozen. Decomposition will begin in the spring. Consider insulating your compost in the fall by covering with a thick layer of leaves, hay or straw. (But unless your pile is very large, the insulation will only delay freezing.)
  • OR there is a poor carbon-nitrogen ratio. Add "greens" (kitchen scraps, grass clippings) or "browns" (leaves), as required.
  • Chop up your organic wastes to speed up their composting. Consider mulching leaves with your lawn mower before adding them to your composter.

The compost is too wet:

  • If there is poor drainage at that site, move your composter to another location with proper drainage.
  • Ensure the lid is on to prevent the compost pile from being soaked from rain.
  • Mix in dry material such as leaves, sawdust or shredded wood. 

Insects and other pests:

  • Avoid adding meat, fish, bones, and dairy and other fatty foods to your composter.
  • Bury food scraps immediately. Cover with soil, leaves or other material.
  • Keep the lid on. 
  • Consider installing or digging in heavy gauge wire mesh around the base your composter. 

$20 taxes included (prices may change)

You may purchase these items at the Engineering/Public Works building at 944 James Street. We accept cash, cheque or debit only. No credit purchases.

Black Composter Dimensions

  • Capacity: 311.5 litres ( 11 ft cu.)
  • Height: 83.8cm (33 inches)
  • Width: 78.7cm (31 inches)
  • Lid opening: 51.43cm (20.25 inches)
  • Accessories: 4 screw pegs, backyard composting manual

Green Cone (Food Waste Digester)

The Green Cone Composter is an in-ground composting system, but is not your typical composter and will not deal with garden waste. You can compost almost all kitchen waste reducing the amount you put in your garbage bag. It will handle kitchen scraps from an average family of four. It requires no stirring as it produces no compost. Ninety per cent of waste is decomposed into nutrient rich water that is absorbed into the soil. Empty once every two to three years directly into your yard waste composter or dig directly into the garden or ground. It requires decent drainage and direct sun, so the sunnier the better! 

  1. Choose a sunny spot in the garden — the sunnier the better.
  2. The Green Cone converts food waste primarily into water and carbon dioxide. The water produced must be able to drain freely away; otherwise the Green Cone will become anaerobic (without oxygen) and will cease to work. It is therefore crucial to install your Green Cone in an area of good drainage. Under no circumstances should the base of the basket be below the water table or where water gathers. If you believe your soil drains well, dig a hole 32″ wide and 24″ deep. Then pour a bucket of water into the hole. If the water disappears in less than 5 minutes, you have good drainage. If the water remains for more than 15 minutes, you have poor drainage or if you live in an area of heavy clay or chalk where drainage isn’t as good, you will need to dig a hole 36″ wide and 28″ deep.
  3. Mix some of the soil from the hole with gravel and/or compost for backfilling later. In areas of heavy clay or chalk, include gravel, small stones, small pieces of broken terracotta pots, or small pieces of broken bricks in the mixture to aid drainage.
  4. Place the mixture in the base of the hole so that the base of the basket is 1″ below ground level at the base of the hole.
  5. Place the assembled Green Cone in the hole. Ensure the top of the black basket and the bottom lips of the green outer cone and black liner are below ground level.
  6. Backfill the gap around the Green Cone with the mixture until the bottom lip of the Green Cone is fully covered.
  7. Your Green Cone is now ready for years of productive use. Be sure to periodically check your soil level, which may drop with heavy rain. To check, make sure that the bottom lip of the green outer cone is fully covered, adding backfill as needed.
How it works?
  1. The green cone requires a sunny location and where the surrounding soil is well-drained! Do not place in a shaded, cold, dark, wet, clay or sandy area in your yard.  Sunlight provides an energy source for the cone. The double-walled solar cone creates a heat trap of circulating air to encourage bacterial and micro-organism growth. It also insulates the waste during the winter season. The digestion chamber enables an aerobic condition (requiring oxygen) to be created and also reduces methane production
  2. The black basket gets buried underground about 24 inches. Make sure is is not below the water table in your area.  Please be sure there are no underground wires where you intend to dig by calling Ontario One Call before you dig!
  3. The soil filters odour and prevents access by flies. Micro-organisms and worms migrate freely in and out of the basket to aid in breaking down the waste.
  4. The green cone is designed to handle 1 full kitchen caddy every 1-2 days during the summer, and 2-3 days during the winter.
  5. Be sure not to drop any food waste outside of your green cone and keep the lid and outside of the container clean of food waste or it will attract wildlife.
How to start your Green Cone?

Once you have installed your green cone, sprinkle some accelerator powder on top of the food waste in the caddy when you are ready to empty it into the green cone for the first 5-6 times. This will help build up a healthy amount of bacteria to start your cone working. 

In a healthy working cone, the food waste will be covered in a blue/grey fur; this is the bacteria working.  You should see the blue/grey fur start to build up over the first 10-14 days.

If you can see the bacteria, you do not need to add any accelerator powder. Only when the level starts to disappear, should you begin to add some additional accelerator powder. Do not use any chemical activator in the green cone as it could kill the bacteria.

Can I place my Green Cone right in my garden?
Yes.  Food waste is broken down into water, carbon dioxide and a small amount of nutrient-rich liquid which seeps into the soil.
What goes in? 
Fish, meat, poultry, bones/shells, bread, pasta, soup, fruit including peelings, vegetables including peelings, dairy produce (i.e.: cheese), cooked food scraps, crushed egg shells, tea bags, and coffee grinds, pet excrement but in moderation.
Can I put my pet's excrement in the green cone?
Yes, in moderation, and if the Green Cone is not sited close to water sources.  Pet excrement must be put in the Cone directly and never in a bag.  Bags of any source, even compostable or biodegradable, will prevent the Green Cone from working properly.  Avoid adding cat litter as this may contain antibacterial agents and its quantity could quickly overwhelm the Cone.
What not to put in? 
Grass clippings, paper, glass, straw, hedge clippings, bulk oil, household chemicals, cat litter, bags of any kind, plastic, wood and metal.
Can I put garden waste in my Green Gone?
It's better not to.  A compost black bin should be used for yard waste.
Will a Green Cone attract flies?

The Green Cone is a sealed unit and when properly installed, emits no odours. It does not, therefore, attract flies. However, the eggs of fruit flies are already in the skins of many fruits and can hatch out in the Green Cone.

Similarly, if food or food waste is not kept covered prior to going into the Green Cone, it’s possible for a housefly to lay eggs before the food reaches the Green Cone. These would also produce maggots and flies in the Green Cone. Good housekeeping is therefore important.

Some people will freeze food scraps before depositing them into the Green Cone. This may significantly reduce the possibility of flies–should they occur at all.

Will a Green Cone attract critters?

If correctly installed, your Green Cone will not attract critters. By ensuring that the top of the black basket and the bottom lip of the green outer cone are below ground level, you will harmlessly filter out any odours into the surrounding soil. It is also important not to spill food near the Green Cone.

If you already have rats on the premises, they may try to chew through the Green Cone to access the food waste inside. If you think there is a chance of this happening you should put chicken wire around the black basket to prevent a rat or other critter from gnawing its way through into the waste.

Do I have turn or mix the contents in my Green Cone?
No, just put all your food waste into the Cone and forget it. Your Green Cone does all the hard work for you.
Will I need to empty my Green Cone?
With a well working and well-maintained Cone, you may need to empty and clean it once every few years.  Very little waste residue will be produced.  Should the residue build up to ground level and not decrease, the Cone can be removed to access the basket and the residue dug into a suitable area of ground.
When and how often should I empty my Green Cone?
In a well-operating Green Cone, the waste residue will only need to be removed every few years and certainly no more than once a year. It requires emptying when the residue builds up to about 4 inches below ground level and shows no signs of reducing.
Will my Green Cone work all year round?
Yes. Your Green Cone works 365 days a year. The level of food waste may rise during winter but should drop down when the weather gets warmer. If decomposition slows during very cold periods, use the natural compost accelerator powder.
How much food waste can I put in my Green Cone?

Provided your Green Cone has been correctly installed:

  • 1 full caddy (4 litres of waste) of food waste every 1-2 days (during summer)
  • 1 full caddy (4 litres of waste) of food waste every 2-3 days (during the winter)

This amount is typical of that produced by a family of four. The precise quantity of waste digested by your Green Cone each day will depend upon the ambient temperature, the population of bacteria and the mix of food waste you produce.

Just like us, the Green Cone responds to a balanced diet of vegetables, fruit, fish and meat!

The Green Cone is full of food waste in a short time.
This is normally due to 'over loading' (too much food waste is being put into the cone). If you put more than the recommended amount of food waste in your Cone, it will not have sufficient time to break down. 
Can my Green Cone stop working?
It’s easy to have a well-functioning Green Cone. However, some problems may occur if:
  • The Green Cone is installed in a very dark, shady area.
  • The surrounding soil isn’t well-drained, or if the soil contains heavy clay or chalk.
  • The black basket is below the water table or in an area where water collects.

In these circumstances, the Green Cone’s digestion process could turn anaerobic (without oxygen). You can tell that by examining the food waste. If it looks wet and slimy, the Green Cone should be reinstalled.

In periods of very cold weather the digestion process may slow down due to lack of natural bacteria. This would be evident by the level of waste in the basket not decreasing. Under these circumstances, the addition of the natural Green Cone Compost Accelerator should restore the bacteria population and restart the digestion process.

The food waste in the Cone looks wet and slimy.
This is normally due to poor drainage as the food waste that has broken down to water cannot seep in to surrounding soil or from heavy rain falls.  Check to be sure you have a well-draining area when installing your Cone.
Where should I install the Green Cone?

The ideal location for the Green Cone is a sunny, close-at-hand spot like a flowerbed or vegetable garden. The sunnier the better. 

For best results, avoid cold, dark, wet places in the yard.  The base of the basket must not be below the water table or where water gathers.

Will my Green Cone work in clay or chalk soil?
The Green Cone requires air to flow through the waste into the surrounding soil.  If you live in an area of heavy clay or chalk the performance of your Green Cone will be greatly improved if, when installing it, you make the hole 8" deeper (avoid hitting the water table) and wider and fill the extra space with a mixture of small stones/topsoil. etc. to aid drainage.
Why is there a bar across the top of the Green Cone?
The bar across the mouth of the Green Cone provide some rigidity in storage and transit.  Its original purpose was to prevent small children climbing into the Green Cone.  Turning the new catch on the lid now serves the same purpose and the bar may safely be removed to allow larger scraps to be put into the Cone easily.
Can I use chemical activators as well?
No. Chemicals can kill or disrupt the bacteria breaking down the food waste. The only activator that is recommended for use is the all-natural Green Cone Compost Accelerator.
Green Cone Accelerator

Your green cone will come with a compost accelerator package - which is a combination of environmentally friendly active micro-organisms and powerful blend of beneficial enzymes, super catalyzing co-enzymes and co-factors with a remarkable ability to fully digest a wide range of compounds and pollutants which sanitizes and leave the environment in a natural balance. It is a natural 100 per cent organic and biodegradable culture that uses no harsh chemicals or residues.

Use it the first week of your cone installation to encourage the initial growth of bacteria. The compost accelerator vastly improves the cone's digestion process, especially when it can't enjoy a full day of sunshine, or during the colder months of winter. Add the powder into the cone before adding your food waste.

$51.50 taxes included (prices may change)

You may purchase these items at the Engineering/Public Works building at 944 James Street. We accept cash, cheque or debit only. No credit purchases.

Green Cone Dimensions

  • Height:
    • 70cm (27.5 inches) (green cone that sits above grade)
    • 42cm (16.5 inches) (black basket that sits below grade)
  • Width: 60cm (23.5 inches)
  • Accessories: studs, hinge, screws, backplate, lid lock, kitchen caddy, accelerator powder

Rain Barrels

Did you know that rain barrels can help save over 1000 gallons of water?  That's equivalent to almost 13 bath tubs full of water! There are many benefits to owning a rain barrel and plenty of reasons why installing a rain barrel is a good and green idea.

Reducing Water Bills

You can help conserve a vital resource and save money on your water bill by reusing rain barrel water for both inside and outside plants. You can also use it to wash your cars.

The rain barrel is somewhat square shape is ideal for flush-to-wall and corner installation. The tall spigot placement accommodates most water cans. It has an insect resistant stainless steel screen, resilient faucet/spigot, easy multi-barrel installations, stable footprint and childproof lid.

Protect Your Property
Collecting rain water can help prevent ponding and flooding in your yard. This can also help control moisture levels around your house foundation.
Reduce Stress on Storm Water Infrastructure
Residential storm water runoff systems have limits. They can reach capacity if there's a heavy rainfall or if there is a blockage in sewer systems. You can help divert water from your municipal storm drain system by reducing the amount of water entering our overloaded storm sewers.
 Tips For Using Rain Barrels
Always keep the rain barrel covered with a lid in order to prevent algae growth or mosquito breeding. Do not use rain water for human consumption. Use multiple barrels to maximize rain capture.

$65 taxes included (prices may change)

You may purchase these items at the Engineering/Public Works building at 944 James Street. We accept cash, cheque or debit only. No credit purchases.

Rain Barrel Dimensions

  • Capacity: 208 litres (55 gallons)
  • Height: 86 cm (34 inches)
  • Width: 61 cm (24 inches)
  • Accessories: installation instructions, spigot, screws, overflow hose and clamp

Contact Us

© 2017 City of Woodstock P.O. Box 1539, 500 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A7


Phone: 519-539-1291
Email: General Information

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