The Waste Diversion Potential of Backyard Composting

Robert J. P. Gale

DOI: 10.2190/5ATC-LKEV-87JH-QMTT


The amount of waste diverted from curbside pick-up through home composting was determined for a sample population in the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth, Ontario. Over the study period, 1,322 grams per household per day of organic waste was transferred to a manufactured home composting unit. Of this, 523 g/h/d was kitchen waste, 244 g/h/d grass waste, and 555 g/h/d yard waste. Previous composters transfer more kitchen and yard waste than do new composters. An estimate of the annual amount of waste diverted from municipal curbside pick-up to the composter can be derived from these data. By allowing for seasonal changes in the waste stream and the different proportions of previous and new composters, the annual household diversion is calculated to be 219 kilograms. New composters divert 279 kg, previous composters 97 kg.

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