Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An Indoor Worm Condo That's Fast, Cheap, and Good by MCR Dan K.

I have used a medium-sized indoor "worm condo" for many years. It works very well and holds quite a lot of compost. However, it can't keep pace with the organic waste my family produces, and it's an expensive system -- two additional trays cost about $70.
Worm Factory (c) 3 Tray System by Nature's Footprint
For a bigger and less expensive system that can help us compost our kitchen scraps faster, I'm going to try making a bigger condo from IKEA Trofast storage containers

This great idea comes from Jules Yap at IkeaHackers and will cost only $17.50 new for the pieces I need. They are readily available at IKEA in Edmonton and may be found used on Kijiji and your friendly neighborhood garage sale.

Here's what I'm going to use:
  • (1) medium-sized, deeper container for the base to catch the leachate. 
  • (3) small, shallow containers to stack inside each other above the base container. (More could be added, but three seems like a good start.) Drainage and worm access holes will be drilled in the bottom of each one.
  • (1) lid for the topmost container. It's not strictly necessary, but if you don't want an open compost container in your house, a lid is nice.
Screen capture, courtesy
After I get my new worm highrise assembled next to my old condo I'll do a followup post to show how it works out.


Dan is a freelance web developer and father of four relatively efficient, non-wasteful young women. Originally from New York, Dan moved to Edmonton in 2016 and joined the MCR Program straightaway to influence peple to let worms eat their garbage. Waste reduction tip: If you can get food and paper out of your trash, you may find you have very little garbage going to the curb every week.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

It's Time to "Wake Up" Your Compost!

Many Edmontonians compost because they know it’s an easy way to reduce household waste by turning it into a valuable soil enhancement. International Compost Awareness Week (May 7-13) is the ideal time for residents to revitalize their gardens by stirring their compost or taking up composting for the first time!

Do you know how to wake up your compost?
The City of Edmonton is offering the following opportunities
to help residents better understand composting:
  • Take a basic or advanced two-hour workshop for only $10 at Compost ‘S cool, located near John Janzen Nature Centre.
    Workshops offered April 23 to May 6.
  • Ask the Compost Doctor anything you want to know about compost by calling 780-496-5526 or email
  • Follow along with the conversation on Facebook@CompostScool. Get pointers and to-do lists for your weekend, plus learn something about organics recycling, every week.
To register for workshops, go to or call 311.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

WasteWise Spring Cleaning

It's time for indoor and outdoor spring cleaning, and the City of Edmonton is encouraging residents to be waste wise by following some handy tips.

Cleaning inside the house?

  • Recycle empty plastic jugs and spray bottles. 
  • Cardboard paper towel cores are recyclable, but the used paper towel goes in the garbage.
  • Drop off electronics, paint, batteries, lightbulbs, and corrosive or hazardous cleaning products, such as oven cleaners at an Eco Station for FREE
  • Large items such as sofas, mattresses, tables can be taken to an Eco Station. A small fee applies.
  • Consider reuse!
    Donate items you no longer need to a charity, or pass them on to a family or friend. Check the Reuse Directory to see what can be donated where.

Cleaning your yard?

  • Leaves and lawn thatch can be set out in a black garbage bag. Keep your bag light; help your collector by keeping your bags under 15 kilograms.
  • Tie your branches and brunsh into small bundles no more than 1.2 metres in length, and weighing no more than you can easily lift.
  • Put your broken garden hose in the garbage, not the recycling. It can jam machinery at the recycling sorting plant.
  • If you waste is collected in the alley, be sure to trim overhanging tree branches to allow easy access for garbage trucks.
Not sure where an item should go? Download our free WasteWise app on your phone or visit

Eco Stations are open Saturday and Monday, 9 am to 6:30 pm, closed Friday and Sunday, over the Easter  long weekend. For Eco Station locations and regular hours of operation, visit

Make sure you set out your waste by 7 am on your collection day. Due to heavier waste volumes in the spring, your waste may be collected earlier than in the winter time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Goodbye from Rodney... for Now

You may recall that I barely made it to the 2016 Volunteer Appreciation Event because my son was just a few days old. Well, it's time for me to be a full-time father for a while.

I will go on parental leave from May to October.

Ansel & Beatrice
Ansel has reached 6 months. He sleeps well but wakes up early (to his parents' chagrin). He loves walks, the swimming pool, his Mom, his sister, and cuddles.

I will have my hands full, this summer, as I'll also be balancing his 3-year-old sister, Beatrice. She is always running, singing, and dancing.
Missing Out
I will miss the daily contact with volunteers and co-workers. We work with and volunteer with good people, smart people, and inspiring people.

I have learned that MCRs are a fascinating bunch. Each with our own insights, passions, and motivations. But I know that every MCR can make a difference every day. Just keep connecting with friends and family and making one small ask.

You really are community leaders.
What Next?
We haven't confirmed who will take my place, just yet. But the MCR Program is in good hands. You can count on Sarah and our boss, MCR Aurea S.

Meanwhile, I know that THEY can count on YOU.

We will let you know who is coordinating the MCR Program just as soon as possible.

Enjoy the spring, Rodney

Tell One Friend: Eco Station Summer Hours

Tell One Friend: Eco Station summer hours are now in effect.

Between April 3 and October 28, 2017, Eco Stations are open Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6:30 pm. They are closed on Sundays and holidays.

Spring cleaning means lots of business at Eco Stations, as residents clean out basements, garages and attics across the city. Expanded hours make it easier and more convenient for Edmontonians dispose of electronics, HHW and bulky items properly.

Note: Eco Stations will be closed on Good Friday (April 14) and open on Easter Monday (April 17)

Use these ideas to remind your friends, family and co-workers:

Change habits
"Eco Stations have extended operating hours during the summer. It's easier to plan your visit."

Prompt them
"Let's look at the schedule. When do you think you'd be able to go to the Eco Station?"

One small ask
"Will you visit the Eco Station this spring?"

For more information, visit