Yardwaste composting

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 yeild of your plants or flowers.  Please note, the green cone is not a yardwaste composter.  Scroll down to read more about the green cone food digester.

Black composter

The yardwaste 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 attrack 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 un-chopped materials.

What to do

You need a large quantity of brown maters (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-nitorgen 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 vegatable 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.

You may purchase our black yardwaste composter for $10.00 (taxes included) at the Engineering/Public Works building at 944 James Street.  We accept cash, cheque or debit only.

Composter dimensions

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

Food waste digester

Green cone

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.  90% of waste is decomposed into nutrient rich water that is absorbed into the soil.  Empty once every 2-3 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! 

How it works

  1. The green cone requires a sunny location!  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.  Please be sure there are no underground wires where you intend to dig by calling ONONECALL 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 attrack wildlife.

What to do

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 health amount of bacteria to start your cone working.  

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

What goes in

Fish, meat, poultry, bones, bread, pasta, soup, curry, fruit including peelings, vegetables including peelings, dairy, cooked food scraps, crushed egg shells, tea bags, and coffee grinds.

You may purchase a green cone food digester for $40.00 (taxes included), and additional accelerator powder for $8.00 (taxes included) at the Engineering/Public Works building at 944 James Street.  We accept cash, cheque or debit/interac only. 

Green cone dimensions

  • Height:  Green cone is 70 cm above ground and the black basket is 42 cm below ground
  • Width: 60 cm

Rain barrels

The barrel's 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. 

You may pick up a rain-barrel for $45.00 (taxes included) at the Engineering Office at 944 James Street.  We accept cash, cheque or debit only.  


  • Capacity: 208 litres (55 gallons)
  • Height: 86cm (34 inches)
  • Width: 61cm (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
TTY: 519-539-7268
Email: General Information

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