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Backyard Composting

Put your yard waste into your compost to help your sustainable garden. Composting is great because it

  • gives nutrition to your garden, lawn, and plants,
  • boosts soil structure without harsh chemicals,
  • and eliminates waste going to landfills.

Earth Machine Composter

Surrey residents can purchase the Earth Machine Back Yard Composter for $25.00. This item is currently not available for purchase. Please check back for an update on this item.

The Earth Machine Back Yard Composter dimensions are as follows:

  • 80 gallon capacity
  • 33" high
  • 33" diameter

Dimensions: 80 gallon capacity; 33" high x 33" diameter

Payment & pick up

Pay for your composter at the Engineering Front Counter at Surrey City Hall, and pick it up from the Engineering Operations Works Yard.

Surrey City Hall
Address: 13450 104 Avenue
Phone: 604-591-4340
Fax: 604-591-8693
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm

Engineering Operations Works Yard
Address: 6651 - 148 Street
Phone: 604-590-7289
Fax: 604-591-7836
Hours of Operations: 8:00am to 3:30pm

Backyard composting – 10 Easy Steps

  1. Choose a flat, partly-sunny area with good drainage.
  2. Buy a compost bin (Earth Machine Composter) from Surrey City Hall or a store or build your own rodent-proof compost bin. Keep a lid on your bin to keep out rain and rodents. Tip: The best compost bin size is 1 cubic metre, to retain the heat it generates.
  3. Create a 6 to 10-centimetre base layer using straw, leaves, or woody brushy material to promote air circulation.
  4. Alternate layers of green (nitrogen-rich) and brown (carbon-rich) materials. Tip: Chop up large materials for faster decomposition.
  5. Whenever you add a food scrap layer, top it off with a layer of brown material (5 to 8 centimetres). If you only use kitchen scraps (green material), your compost will likely be wet and break down more slowly. Tip: In the fall, collect dry leaves into an old garbage container so that you can use them year-round.
  6. Mix bin contents every week or two with an aerator tool, or use an old ski pole or broom handle. This aerates the materials and gets the bin heating up again, allowing them to decompose faster.
  7. Keep moisture content of the bin to be like a wrung-out dish rag. Only add water if it is very dry after mixing. Tip: Maintain proper moisture content by balancing the amount of green and brown
  8. Continue to add layers of green and brown materials until bin is almost full. Pile will shrink.
  9. Use your compost after 2 to 3 months. We recommend you leave your compost for another 1 to 2 months. Tip: If you have room, set up 2 composters so you can add to 1 bin as the other one matures.
  10. Harvest your compost when the compost at the bottom and centre is decomposed, full of healthy worms, and  moist. Dig out the compost with a shovel, using the door at the bottom of a commercial bin. If you've built your own, remove the top new layers and dig the compost from the centre. Tip: You may choose to sift your compost through a mesh screen to remove large pieces of compost.

See what to do with your other yard waste from your Surrey household. Yard waste is 1 of the 3 carts we collect as part of Surrey's New Waste Collection Program, which started in 2012.