Goldstream Gazette Feature on Community Composting

October 21, 2009

By Charla Huber – Goldstream News Gazette

West Shore residents are now able to swap table scraps for soil.

Community Composting has extended its service to all five West Shore communities. More than 60 West Shore households have already signed up for the service that picks up organic kitchen and yard waste and drops off 20-litre bags of soil.

“It’s convenient, everyone is used to having their garbage picked up. It’s also instant gratification. They get a bag of soil instantly,” said Matthew Mepham, who co-owns Community Composting with Kyle Goulet. “Langford is known to be quite green. With the development, more houses are being built out there than (Victoria).”

Customers receive a container with wheels for their home. Once a month the material is picked up by a truck similar to a garbage truck.

Acceptable items include fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds and filters and yard trimmings. They don’t accept items such as meat, bones, dairy products and pet waste.

The compost fodder is delivered to Victoria Landscape-Gravel Mart Ltd. in Victoria, and added to a large pile of yard waste also collected by the City of Victoria, landscaping companies and individuals.

“Basically the waste is left in piles and turned,” Mepham said.

To help the process, bark, manure and leaf mulch are all added to the mix. A large 40-foot machine, as tall as a house, grinds up the pile, sometimes adding a little extra water.

The outcome resembles soil, but the pile sits for about five months before it is ready to be delivered back to customers.

“Composting definitely reduces the amount of household garbage,” Mepham said. “Some of our customers have cut their garbage in half.”

Single family dwellings, condos, townhouses, coffee shops and schools are using the composting service.

The company has been in operation in Victoria since 2003 and collects compost from more than 1,200 households in Greater Victoria.

The idea for Community Composting came to Mepham when he was working as a landscaper.

“A lot of people had a lot of compost and didn’t know what to do with it.”

The service costs about $20 per month. For more information, see communitycomposting.ca.

2008 Press Release

September 9, 2009

For Immediate Release
June 5, 2008
Contacts: Matthew Mepham & Kyle Goulet
Community Composting Inc.
info@CommunityComposting.ca
(250) 884-7645

A Carefree Composting Solution

Victoria, BC – Victorians have a great reputation for being environmentally friendly. Most residents are keen on composting to reduce the amount of household and yard waste needlessly deposited into our landfills. However a number of challenges keep many people from managing their own compost: time, effort, yard space, technical knowledge, cost, appropriate variety of organic materials, and more.

An increasing number of Victoria residents are turning to a solution offered by the local company Community Composting Inc., which makes composting carefree.

Community Composting provides its subscribers a cart for their yard. Subscribers deposit their organic household and yard waste into the container. Each month, Community Composting empties the container. In exchange subscribers receive a 20-Litre bag of composted soil each month. The organic materials are collectively deposited and processed at the community compost.

“Many of our subscribers have tried to maintain their own compost but find it too time consuming and difficult to keep up,” added Matthew Mepham, founder and co-owner of Community Composting.

“Our motto is ‘Carefree composting’. Community Composting is all of the benefits of composting without the work,” said co-owner, Kyle Goulet.

In addition to effort, successful backyard composts require a balance in variety of organic materials. The nature of a homeowner’s yard and their household wastes can make maintaining this balance challenging. Seasonality also contributes to the difficulty – too much water and the compost will begin to smell, too much sun and the compost will dry out and not break down; for example, too much lawn clippings at some times of year, not enough at others. There are also those materials, such as large branches and weeds, which are unsuitable for backyard composts at any time.

Community Composting is a simple, low-cost solution to the pitfalls of backyard composting. The service reconciles Victorian residents’ desire to compost organic materials with the real challenges of maintaining their own backyard compost. Community Composting also accepts some items that would never be acceptable for backyard composts such as weeds and branches up to six inches in diameter.

“Our subscribers regularly write us notes of appreciation. It’s very gratifying for us to read them,” said Kyle Goulet.

Organic materials deposited into landfills uses up valuable space and contributes to global warming. When organic materials are composted they receive oxygen and break down naturally, producing no greenhouse gases. However when organic materials are buried in landfills they get densely packed, depriving them of oxygen. They still breakdown, but without oxygen the decomposition process produces methane, a greenhouse gas. Food and yard waste consist of over 40 percent of garbage from our homes, which makes landfills one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases.

To combat these issues a few local municipalities have recently implemented organic waste pilot projects. However, these programs only handle household waste and do not provide solutions for organic yard waste. As these are pilot projects, the success and longevity of the programs will not be know for some time.

Matthew Mepham said of the programs, “We strongly support the recent efforts of some municipalities to reduce organic materials entering landfills. The programs, however, do not address the homeowner with larger and heavier amounts of organic yard waste.”

Community Composting is small, but growing, company with currently over 600 subscribers, currently serving residents of Esquimalt, James Bay, Victoria, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Vic West, and Saanich. As demand and logistics allow, Community Composting anticipates soon serving all residents of greater Victoria.

“Growth takes time and we are being patient. Offering this service is a labour of love. Knowing we are helping folks do their part for our environment is very gratifying.,” said Matt Mepham.

About Community Composting:

Community Composting service has been in Victoria since the spring of 2005. In October 2006 Community Composting Inc. was formed with compost services being its sole initiative. Community Composting Inc. is locally owned and operated by Matthew Mepham and Kyle Goulet. Community Composting currently serves over 600 subscribers in Victoria, Fairfield, Oak Bay, James Bay, Esquimalt, and Saanich.

For more information, contact:

Community Composting, Matthew Mepham & Kyle Goulet
(250) 884-7645 or (250) 884-8424

LiveSmart BC Green Business

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