Trash Talk #9 – Composting Site Visit

Last Sunday a group of dedicated Drop Spot volunteers made the trek out to the commercial composting facility to learn more about where your weekly Drop Spot food scraps are going.

Each Saturday, Recycling Alternative picks up the totes from the Drop Spots and transports them to Envirosmart in Ladner. Envirosmart uses a state to of the art, windrow system to process the more than 1,000 tonnes of food scraps they receive on a weekly basis from local composting programs.

For our Sunday field trip, Manny, the VP of Operations at the facility showed us around the site, which as you can see in the photos is well-maintained and a playground for bald eagles and falcons.

What you can’t see in the photos is that there is a complex computerized heating and aeration system built under some of the rows to maximize steady and consistent decomposition of materials , as well as mitigate pathogens and odours.

Using the windrow system, the food scraps dropped off go through a 60-90 day process before they are fully cured and converted into nutrient-rich compost for the local agricultural and landscaping markets.

Droppers who are keen to close their local food loop by sourcing high quality compost produced at the Envirosmart facility, from the Drop Spot food scraps, should look for the following brands and retail outlets:

     a. South West Garden Supplies in Burnaby

     b. Harris Nursery in Ladner

     c. Greenway Garden Supplies in Burnaby

     d. Garden Works in Burnaby

     e. Mandeville Garden Center in Burnaby



1) The Drop Spot crew weighing off on the scale used to track and weigh the materials brought in with each truck load. Collective Drop Spot crew weight?

A whopping 574 kgs! About the same weight we are diverting weekly from the landfill at each Drop Spot location!

2) After each truck load is weighed, the material is dumped into these bays to be screened for contaminants such as plastic bags and non-compostable materials, before entering the wind row system. Biggest challenge is non compostable coffee cups, plastic bags and lids

3) A landscape of wind rows – each one is cured for 60-90 days before it’s ready to be screened and sold in bulk as high quality compost for the local market.