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Maps Brant You may choose to view a dynamic interactive map system with numerous mapping layers that can be turned on as needed. Or, you may select from maps from the gallery, which have been prepared to promote or highlight locations and specific information across the County of Brant.

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Backyard composting is easy and fun! Composting breaks down your household food and garden materials into a rich type of soil. It's a great way to reduce your household waste and create a natural fertilizer, all at the same time.

You can buy a composter at any County of Brant Customer Service Office, at the Biggars Lane Landfill or Paris Transfer Station any time during the year, or you can build your own composter. Our fees and charges schedule includes current rates for composters.

Getting Started

The recipe for composting success is as easy as: 1, 2, 3, 4!

Greens + Browns + Water + Air = Compost

Browns = materials high in carbon (e.g. dried leaves, shredded paper)
Greens = materials high in nitrogen (e.g. grass clippings, vegetables)

Step 1: Find your spot

Find a suitable spot for your composter. Select a level, sunny area that has good drainage and is convenient to access year round.

Step 2: Make your base

Once your composter is in place, add a base layer of twigs and small branches in the bottom of the composter. This will let air to enter the compost and allow it to drain.

Step 3: Add in layers

Add materials in alternating layers. The ideal mix is 1 - 2 parts kitchen scraps (greens) and one part yard waste (browns). Add some finished compost or garden soil to your composter. This will introduce the necessary microorganism needed for the composting process and to help reduce odour.

Step 4: Turn and moisten

Mix up your compost regularly to increase air circulation in your compost pile, which needs oxygen in order to break down. The compost pile should be kept moist, like a damp sponge. If your pile looks too dry, add a little bit of water.

What you can put in your Composter

What you can put in

What you can't put in

  • Vegetable and fruit peelings
  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Tea bags/leaves
  • Weeds (but before they seed)
  • Spent plants and flowers
  • Straw and hay
  • Corn cobs
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Bread, pasta or rice (but no oil/sauce)
  • Woodchips and sawdust
  • Hair and dryer lint
  • Ashes
  • Grass/tree clippings treated with chemicals
  • Rhubarb leaves and other toxic plants
  • Plants infected with disease
  • Mature weeds with seeds
  • Walnut shells
  • Charcoal/coal ashes
  • Dog or cat droppings
  • Litter box waste
  • Meat and bones
  • Seafood and shellfish
  • Plastics and metals
  • Dairy products
  • Fats and oils


  • Use a pitchfork or shovel to aerate your compost pile. Some hardware and home improvement stores sell aerators specially designed for composters
  • Save some of your leaves from the fall for use during the spring and summer
  • Your compost is ready when it is dark in colour, crumbles to the touch and has an earthy smell
  • Consider using a second composter - one you can add materials to while the other is finishing
  • Chop materials smaller to help them break down quicker

Troubleshooter's Checklist




Compost has bad odour

  • Not enough air or too wet
  • Ammonia odour can occur when there are too many green materials (provides too much nitrogen)
  • Add dry ingredients, like dried leaves or shredded paper
  • Turn/aerate the pile

Process is slow/pile will not heat up

  • Pile lacks moisture or nitrogen
  • Pieces may be too big
  • Check the moisture level of compost pile (should be like a wrung-out sponge) - if dry, moisten and mix
  • Add high nitrogen materials, like grass clippings or vegetable scraps
  • Chop waste materials into smaller pieces

Compost is too wet

  • Poor drainage
  • Soaked from rainfall
  • Move to location with better drainage
  • Keep lid on composter
  • Add browns

Pile attracts animal or insect pests

  • Meat, fish or fatty foods added to composter
  • Pile is too dry
  • Avoid adding meat/fish/fatty food waste to pile
  • Bury food wastes in pile or cover with soil or browns

More Information

The internet contains a wealth of information on backyard composting. Type "backyard composting" into your favourite search engine to find a long list of useful helpful tips, how-to guides, instructions for building your own backyard composter and the occasional blog.

County Contacts

26 Park Avenue, Burford, ON N0E 1A0
Phone: 519-449-2451
Toll Free: 1-888-250-2295
Fax: 519-449-2454
Monday - Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 160
Burford, ON
N0E 1A0

Property Tax
26 Park Avenue, Burford, ON N0E 1A0
Phone: 519-449-2451
Toll Free: 1-888-250-2295
Fax: 519-449-1380
Monday - Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 249
Burford, ON
N0E 1A0