Steinbach’s compost sites are quieter this year at the drop-off locations. Head of Solid Waste, Eldon Wallman, says that’s due to the hot, dry weather.

“Right now, we’re about 14 percent down from the previous year,” he reports. “That’s a little over 5.5 metric tonnes less than we were the previous year. And that’s all drought, that’s all due to the weather.”

Wallman recalls having experienced this type of summer only one time previously during his many years working for the city.

“It was like that about a dozen or 13 years ago. Other than that, we’ve usually had too much rain and we have lots of compost. We never have to worry about the quantity. But this one is exceptionally bad.”

These conditions bring the topic of compost education to the forefront and Wallman says it’s important for us to recognize that there is so much more to compost than just grass and leaves.

“We haven’t really put out a whole lot of education on that yet, we’re going to. We can food waste from the house, but there are some things you can’t put in there. We’re working on that list, and I guess it’s more important now than ever because it would have added to the compost.”

Eldon Wallman, Head of Steinbach's Solid Waste Department, raises a green compostable bag that he pulled from the compost pile. He says these bags are acceptable. The black garbage bag in his other hand is not acceptable for the compost pile.

Sisters Ally and Anya Klassen have volunteered many of their Saturdays over the years to help at the compost drop-off bins in Steinbach. They heard about the opportunity through their church and enjoy helping the community.

Anya Klassen (left) and her sister Ally give four thumbs up for composting.

Elaine Harder and her daughter Sariyah also volunteer at the compost bins. Harder says it's a great way to help the community and to meet some great people. Volunteers help unload the bags of compostable product and make sure garbage does not enter the bins.

Wallman appreciates the churches that organize the volunteers each year, making sure the public gets cheerful assistance with unloading compostable donations.

Compost bins are located at Woodlawn School and Stonybrook Middle School every Saturday from 9am to 3pm.

Sariyah Harder (left) and mom, Elaine, spend a hot Saturday afternoon working at the compost drop-off bin at Stonybrook Middle School.