Calgary hands out 2M kilograms of compost to local gardeners

After four weekends of giving away compost to more than 13,000 local gardeners, the City of Calgary says the program is done for the year.

City handed out free compost for 4 days in May

Laura Hamilton with the city shovels some compost at the Calgary facility. (Mike Symington/CBC)

After four weekends of giving away compost to more than 13,000 local gardeners, the City of Calgary says the program is done for the year.

Laura Hamilton, a waste diversion specialist with the City's waste services department, says between 1.5 to two million kilograms of compost went to people's gardens. 

"People were really excited about it. The one thing we were really surprised with was how many new gardeners we had coming to the event," Hamilton said.

Each vehicle could receive up to 100 litres of the nutrient-rich growing material, which comes from Calgary's green cart program.

Hamilton reminded those that picked up compost that it's meant to be used as a soil additive, and not as the sole growing medium for plants. The City's indoor composting process kills any pathogens, making the compost safe to use in any type of garden.

The compost that was given away was just a portion of the 53-million kilograms of food and yard waste that had been diverted by the City as of March of this year. The remainder is sold in bulk to landscaping companies and farmers. 

The City will be evaluating how the program went before it returns in spring 2019.

With files from Elizabeth Snaddon