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Category — Compost

Canada: Nelson will use unique technology to reduce composting costs

Nelson City Hall staff person Sandy Kobe with a FoodCycler used in a city staff room.

The start-up cost including purchase of 4,000 FoodCyclers and bins is expected to be about $1.1 million, with two-thirds to be paid for by a grant from CleanBC

By Bill Metcalfe
Nelson Star
Dec 9, 2020


Households in Nelson will first treat their organic material with a FoodCycler, a kitchen counter-top unit that dehydrates food material.

Organic material from around the RDCK will be trucked to a new facility being constructed on an old landfill site near Salmo.

According to the city, taking the water out of the organic material before it is picked up at curbside will mean “not trucking water around,” because the volume and weight of the waste will be significantly reduced. This will result in fewer curbside collections per year, lower transportation costs, and fewer greenhouse gases.

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January 19, 2021   No Comments

Congo: Building a Garden Out of Gorilla Poop

Members of the Fossey Fund Biodiversity Research team work to identify plants in the rainforest.

They are used to grow locally prized medicinal plants and edible wild fruits, which can be distributed to community members near the Nkuba Conservation Area (NCA).

Gorilla Fund
Nov 15, 2020


Not far from the village of Nkuba, in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo where the critically endangered Grauer’s gorillas roam, lies a two-and-a-half acre field—just a bit bigger than a soccer field­—that holds special promise for scientists and conservationists.

The Fossey Fund created this 100-by-100-meter botanical garden near our office using gorilla dung that our trackers and researchers collected in the field. But why go to all the trouble of collecting and transporting poop?

The “poop garden” project was born as a scientific experiment to generate information and data on the germination rate of plants grown from seeds found in Grauer’s gorilla dung. Using this information, we can better understand the role of gorillas in seed dispersal and forest maintenance.

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November 21, 2020   Comments Off on Congo: Building a Garden Out of Gorilla Poop

Leave the Leaves to Benefit Wildlife

Where the leaves are in contact with the soil, I often find great numbers of earthworms that help make better soil for my garden.

By Scott Hoffman Black
12 November 2020


Out of sight often means out of mind for people and fall is a time when you do not see the bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects that where flitting around your flowers all summer. Where do these insects go when they are not visiting your garden? Some do migrate—like the monarch butterfly, flying south to overwinter in trees in Mexico or along the California coast—but the vast majority spend their entire life in and around your property. Many of our native solitary bees have laid eggs and provisioned nests in soil or in standing dead trees or hollowed out branches where the young are pupating. Bumble bee queens have found areas to overwinter under branches, in rock walls and in other relatively dry, snug places.

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November 18, 2020   Comments Off on Leave the Leaves to Benefit Wildlife

Canada: Composting teacher at City Farmer adapts classes amid pandemic, worm shortage

Andrea Lucy figured the pandemic would make teaching composting more difficult — but she didn’t expect a worm shortage. Photo by Marc Fawcett-Atkinson

“It’s a strangely popular topic. People love it,” he said.

By Marc Fawcett-Atkinson
National Observer
November 9th 2020


Usually, she’ll give the class a “worm bin,” a lidded plastic container with about 40 worms. That’s a bit less than what most households would use, but it’s perfect to teach them the basics. That includes making sure the worms have enough water, as their skin needs to be moist for them to breathe, and that food scraps are placed in the right part of the bin (the corners).

In pre-pandemic times, she’d work with about 60 classes throughout the school year, and about half of them would keep the compost bin for the duration of the academic year. That’s ideal, she explained, because it lets the kids see the composting process in its entirety.

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November 9, 2020   Comments Off on Canada: Composting teacher at City Farmer adapts classes amid pandemic, worm shortage

Canada: Vancouver promotes seasonal leaf collection

Falling leaves. Canadian Illustrated News: Images in the news: 1869-1883.

Properties with City Green Bin Collection can fill leaf bags and have them collected on leaf collection days, but try to fill your green bin first

City’s webpage:

Do not rake or blow leaves onto the street, catch basin, sidewalk, boulevard, or bike lane – this can cause flooding and is a safety hazard to people walking or cycling.

Raking or blowing leaves onto the street is a fineable offence under the Street and Traffic By-Law (up to $10,000).

Put extra leaves into paper bags or store-bought bins. Crews will only collect extra leaves that are set out in paper bags or store-bought bins.

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October 30, 2020   Comments Off on Canada: Vancouver promotes seasonal leaf collection

Sri Lanka: From War Zone to Award-Winning Coconut Coir Factory

A Northern Sri Lankan Coco Peat Factory Launches Indoor Growing Products, helps Rebuild Community

By Jacki Page
Sakti Agro
Oct 2020

Raj Janan “Janan” grew up in Northern Sri Lanka and fled the country when the civil war broke out in 1984. He met business partner John Tastad back in 2001.

Over the years, they’ve started three different ventures together, ranging from technology companies to rebuilding houses after the 2004 Sri Lanka tsunami.

The Sri Lankan civil war ended in 2009 but it was not safe to return due to the number of active landmines littered throughout the region.

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October 23, 2020   Comments Off on Sri Lanka: From War Zone to Award-Winning Coconut Coir Factory

Washington State’s Compost Procurement Law

New law is designed to ensure that state, county and municipal projects purchase compost, and encourages municipal buyback agreements.

By Karen Dawson
July 7, 2020


“Directing organic materials from landfills into generating compost conserves landfill capacity, keeps high methane producing materials out of landfills, and creates a product that can filter storm water, helping to restore salmon, brings nutrients to our soil for our farms and lands recovering from forest fire, and helps sequester carbon for our planet,” said Washington State Representative, Amy Walen, prime sponsor of the legislation.

Washington State’s compost manufacturers divert hundreds of thousands of tons of yard trimmings and food scraps from the landfill, decreasing carbon emissions. Composting infrastructure is well distributed so that organic waste can be processed often within the same zip code it is generated.

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July 12, 2020   Comments Off on Washington State’s Compost Procurement Law