Ecological Footprint

Ecological Footprint

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Phone: 561-7327

Email: events(at)reaps(dot)org

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trash can composter

How to Make a Valuable Backyard Composter

Since the City of Prince George has switched over to an automated garbage collection system, in which everybody has to use the special garbage cans provided by the City, we've received requests about what do with your old garbage cans. To assist all residents with the change, REAPS has a suggestion. Don't add more solid waste by throwing away your old garbage cans because listed below are some instructions on how to convert your old can into a backyard composter:


  1. Remove bottom from garbage can with jigsaw or other appropriate tool.
  2. Drill approximately 24 – 2 inch diameter holes all around the outside of the garbage can.
  3. Place composter in a sunny location, on soil or grass.
  4. Add kitchen wastes (no meats, oils or dairy products) and cover with a non-food source (leaves, shredded paper, straw, wood chips, grass clippings).
  5. Keep moist, like a wrung out sponge.
  6. Turn regularly (at least once a week)
  7. Continue to alternate with food and non-food wastes until can is approximately ¾ full
  8. Harvest the ‘black gold’

The composting tips included in these instructions are very brief. Explore our Backyard Composting Page for a more comprehensive explanation of how to recycle your yard and kitchen wastes into beautiful, rich compost. You can also phone The Composting Hotline at (250) 561-7327 or drop us a line, our e-mail is

Other Uses for Your Old Garbage Cans Include:

  1. Storage container for brown composting materials (such as fall leaves)
  2. Recycling bins (for mixed paper, glass, beverage containers etc.)
  3. Rain barrels (keep a lid on when you’re not expecting rain to discourage mosquito breeding)

Come by and visit us at the Compost Demonstration Garden, located at 1950 Gorse St. (corner of 20th Ave. and Gorse St. by beautiful Fort George Park). From May to October, we’re open daily from 12:30pm-4:30pm.