Regional district offering tips on composting

The regional district is selling composting bins and offering tips to the public on April 30.

The regional district is selling composting bins and offering tips to the public on April 30.

From 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, the earth machine backyard compost bins will be sold for $39 each at 101 Martin St. in the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen parking lot. Cameron Baughen, RDOS solid waste management co-ordinator, hosts workshops on backyard composting and has seen a number of composting problems that can easily be fixed.

“There are four main factors of composting in our dry climate,” said Baughen. “The first thing is mixing the right ingredients. The second and third are aerating and watering. The last thing, and most forgotten, is having fun. There are some easy tips to make sure composting stays fun and doesn’t become a chore.”

To reduce flies and odours, Baughen suggests burying food waste under dry leaves or older compost. This will allow fresh food waste to break down without attracting flies or releasing strong smells.

He also suggests only adding uncooked fruits and vegetables to the compost pile and balance it with an equal volume of dry leaves, dry yard waste, shredded newspaper or wood chips. Adding a bucket of dry leaves or shredded newspaper for every bucket of food waste provides a balanced diet for the composting critters and will reduce smells.

“Leaves and chipped yard waste compost naturally. They help add beneficial and natural mould, fungus and bacteria. So filling your bin full of brown leaves will allow you to bury your food waste throughout the year and help create great compost,” said Baughen.

If a compost pile is too dry, Baughen suggests watering after food waste and aerating your pile. He said bacteria and insects cannot survive in a dry compost pile.

In the Okanagan Similkameen, composting can be done throughout the year. Baughen said in the winter the composting process slows down but rarely stops. Freezing and thawing the materials speeds the breakdown process.

For more on the compost bin sale or about how to compost better contact the RDOS solid waste department at 250-490-4129, toll free at 1-877-610-3737 ext. 4129, email or visit