Schools, community gardens, religious institutions and people living in multi-residential housing across Toronto are discovering that composting doesn't require a house with a large backyard.
This factsheet will help you in setting up a program in your community. It provides the basic how-to's of composting and many good problem-solving techniques. Composting groups can build their own unit. To get your group started, just follow the steps listed below.
Obtain clear information
Take advantage of our free information materials including Spread the Good, an informative card on basic composting techniques, and related factsheets.
Start a compost committee
To get other residents involved, start generating some interest. Post notices throughout your building to make others aware of your project, then call a meeting to discuss your plans. Use our resources to educate others about composting. While all tenants who are interested in composting can participate, you will need some special help. Ask for volunteers to join your compost committee.
Locate the green space
Check with your building superintendent or property manager to locate a space to use as a composting site. You will need a level area with good drainage. The amount of space you require will be determined by the amount of organic waste you have and the type of composting bin(s) you choose for your program.
Do a waste audit
Try to measure or estimate the total volume of compostable food, yard and garden waste produced, by consulting with your building landlord, property manager, principal, teachers, community leaders, appropriate committees and staff. Then discuss setting up your composting program. Remember that maintenance is an on-going commitment. Your program can include multi-bin units or a combination of multi and single bin composters. By working together you can create community composting systems to custom fit your needs.
Education is the key
When you're ready to begin, have a general meeting to explain what the program is about and how it will work. Show where the compost bins are or can be located and demonstrate how to use them. After the program begins, make sure you keep in touch with the participants through notices on bulletin boards, regular training meetings and problem-solving sessions. An annual celebration or open-house helps to keep motivation high and encourage new participants.
Now you're composting!
A community composting program may sound like a lot of work and responsibility, but if your community is motivated and you stay organized, your project will be a success and even a lot of fun. Spread the good word!