Yellowknife gardeners hoping to get their hands on some city compost this summer will have to look elsewhere.
The City of Yellowknife said on Thursday there will be no summer compost sale this year as the solid waste facility will be producing lower-grade compost that’s not suitable for gardens.
The city said producing higher-quality compost is resource-intensive and some organic waste – like leaf and yard waste – can’t be included, meaning it ends up going to the dump.
According to the city, 829,300 kilograms of solid waste was diverted from the landfill in 2020 through the centralized compost program.
The solid waste facility made a number of improvements to divert waste and save space last year, including switching from bailing to compacting garbage and launching a wood-chipping initiative. Tire shredding will begin at the dump later this month with the city planning to reuse the materials.
Some Yellowknife growers have already expressed disappointment that they won’t have access to high-grade city compost this year.
Kyle Thomas, one of the owners of market garden and bakery startup Bush Order Provisions, last month told city councillors access to soil and compost in Yellowknife can be challenging.
He said the city’s composting program was a big part of Bush Order Provision’s business plan.
“This was kind-of a blow to us because we were betting on being one of the largest customers of this program, having seen its success in years past,” Thomas told councillors.
He urged the city to look at other ways of encouraging large-scale composting to benefit community gardens and commercial agriculture.
Lower-grade compost will be used for purposes like landfill cover and to suppress fires if needed, the city said.