Waste is an asset.
That was the key takeaway from a compost workshop hosted by the Rossland Sustainability Commission and the Rossland Society for Environmental Action (RSEA) on Saturday.
Rachael Roussin, a member of the RSEA and a member of the Rossland Food Security Task Force, led the workshop, with assistance from Ann Damude. Both woman compost in their yards, but throughout the workshop Roussin described herself as a “lazy composter,” while Damude is more active, turning her compost every two to three days.
During the workshop, Roussin covered the ratio of brown waste to green waste, how to avoid attracting bears and other wildlife, how to collect green waste in your home, how to start a compost pile, tips on how to get compost material you need but don’t produce yourself, and how to add the compost to your garden.
Asked what advice she had for those not able to attend the workshop, Roussin said:
1. “If you’re composting in bear country, understand the differences between the nitrogen [green] and carbon [brown] materials that you’re putting into your garden. Because if you’re only putting kitchen waste into your compost, it could likely attract rodents and be stinky.”
2. “Let’s remember those three ingredients that are needed for composting — oxygen, water and organic materials — because we want to facilitate that aerobic digestion, not that anaerobic, stinky compost digestion.”
3. “The other thing I want to reiterate is that our waste is an asset because it helps build compost, which is actually incredible for our soil, and our soil helps retain water and helps retain nutrients.”
4. “Trial and error. Just get in there. You’re not going to fail. You’re just going to try it out. Like I said there’s many kinds of composting techniques here. I’m a lazy composter, Anne’s an active composter. If you don’t want to shovel a pile every three days, don’t let it stop you from composting.”
If you need help setting up a compost or have questions, you can contact Ann Damude at email@example.com or 250-362-5617.