COMPOST MONTREAL
Spoiling You Rotten Since 2007!
Frequently Asked Questions
News
Residential FAQ


1. How often do you collect?
2. Is it possible to set up collection for every two weeks? Can I bring my compost to you?
3. How much does the service cost?
4. What are your accepted payment methods?
5. What do you do with the organic waste once you pick it up?
6. What becomes of the organic waste you've collected?
7. Won't the compost smell bad if I keep it inside?
8. Can I put chicken, fish, or meat in my compost? What about dairy?
9. Do you pick up compost in the wintertime?
10. What do I use to put my compost in?
11. Do I have to take the free compost you give out in the springtime?
12. Can I help get my neighbours signed up to your compost service?
13. What parts of the city do you collect from? Am I in your collection zone?
14. Can you knock on my door for my payement? Can I put it in my mail box for you?



Commercial FAQ


1. How often do you collect?
2. What kind of clients do you collect from?
3. What parts of the city do you collect from? Are we in your collection zone?
4. How much does it cost to compost with you?
5. I'm not sure how much volume of organic waste we generate? How do we proceed?
6. What kind of bins will we need?
7. Do we need to use bags?
8. Are the bags you sell oxo-degradable or biodegradable?
9. Won't the compost smell if we keep it inside?
10. Can I put chicken, fish, or meat in my compost? What about dairy?
11. What about leftovers? Can we put table scraps in the compost?
12. Do you pick up compost in the wintertime?
13. How does payment work?


Residential FAQ


1. How often do you collect?
Residential collection happens every week, between 6:30 pm and 12:30 am. Collection never starts earlier, though depending on certain variables, your pickup could happen later than 12:30 am, so if you see that your bucket hasn't been emptied yet, please leave it outside.

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2. Is it possible to set up collection for every two weeks? Can I bring my compost to you?
No, it is not possible to set up collection every two weeks. We are after all dealing with organic matter here, and if it is allowed to sit for two weeks it begins to get a little unpleasant. You can choose not to put it outside every week, but you will be paying for the weeks that you don't put it out anyway, so you might as well take advantage.  

Our compost treatment site is closed-access to the public, so unfortunately no one is able to bring their compost to us.

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3. How much does the service cost?
The Compost Montreal residential collection is a prepaid subscription service. There are 4 options available for subscription: Four weeks for $20; 13 weeks for $60 (savings of $5); 26 weeks for $115 (savings of $15) or 52 weeks for $220 (savings of $40). New clients will also have to buy one of our airtight 15L buckets at the cost of 10$. Any lost or damaged bucket will have a replacement cost of $10. Cable locks are supplied upon request, particularly for people living in high-traffic areas. A higher capacity bin is also available; please inquire.

Should you need to suspend or cancel the service for any reason or for any lenght of time, please contact us at least 48 hours in advance to notify us; otherwise we will continue to go by your place until further notice.

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4. What are your accepted payment methods?
We accept cheque, cash, or money order, though cheques are by far the best method. You
can either mail your cheque to our office or leave it with your compost container on the night
of your collection. If you do leave your cheque with your container, please place the cheque
in a ziploc bag or some other waterproof package and tape it to the inside of the lid of the
container to keep it safe and dry. Please be sure to tie a knot in your compost bag so that the cheque does not fall in.

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5. What do you do with the organic waste once you pick it up?
Since January of 2008, we have been taking our compost to a medium-scale treatment site run by the Department of Parks and Horticulture just minutes from our office in St-Henri. It is one of the only places on the Island to process organic waste, which minimizes the transportation involved.

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6. What becomes of the organic waste you've collected?
The organic waste is treated (mixed, aerated, and aged) for a year or so, until it has transformed into a rich and natural fertilizer for the soil. In fact, the finished compost has been tested by the Ministère du Développement Durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs and qualifies consistently as being of an agricultural grade. This means that it can be used to safely and effectively grow new food without the use of chemical fertilizers. Every springtime, we distribute finished compost, free-of-charge, to members of our residential collection program.

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7. Won't the compost smell bad if I keep it inside?
Not really. We don't accept any animal products (meat, bones, dairy products, etc), so that helps to minimize the odours coming from your compost. Of course you will still want to keep your container out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources, as the hotter it gets the more it will smell.
        
You can always put your container outside in warmer weather (in the shade!) or to keep it cooler in the wintertime. We encourage that you put brown matter (brown paper, black and white newspaper, tissue paper, and paper towels) in your bag as this will help absorb the liquids which cause odours and bag degradation.
Some people will also use their fridges or freezers to help minimize the amount of composting that actually happens before we come to empty their container. The container we provide, it should be noted, also seals hermetically.

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8. Can I put chicken, fish, or meat in my compost? What about dairy?
We do not accept animal products of any kind in the compost. This includes all kinds of meat, including chicken and fish; skin and bones; and dairy products including cheese, milk, and yogurt. The reason for this is that our treatment site is outdoors, and is just minutes away from residential areas. Animal products in this kind of environment create the potential for odour and vermin problems that could result in the closing of one of the only compost sites on the Island of Montreal, and that is a risk we cannot take.

Click here to see a visual list of some of the things we do and don't accept.

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9. Do you pick up compost in the wintertime? What about holidays?
We sure do! Rain or shine, we pick up your compost 52 weeks out of the year.

As for the holidays, we don't interrupt the service unless you are notified otherwise. When we do, we will notify you in advance.

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10. What do I put my compost in?
When you sign up for the service, you will have to buy a 15L plastic container. It seals hermetically, and costs only 10$. In the case that it should be lost or damaged, a 10$ replacement charge will apply in order to get another bucket.

A cable and combination padlock are available for 5$ to reduce the chances your bucket disappearing. Higher capacity containers are also available; please inquire.

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11. Do I have to take the free compost you give out in the springtime?
Not at all. If you have any gardening projects, the compost is available to you in the springtime, but you are by no means obligated to take it.

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12. Can I help get my neighbours signed up to your compost service?
Absolutely! We have an ongoing neighbourhood promotion which allows you to get free weeks of compost collection by signing up your neighbours. Refer just 6 neighbours to our service and your collection will cost you almost nothing! Just click here for details about the promotion!

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13. What parts of the city do you collect from? Am I in your collection zone?
We have many different routes that work their way through many different parts of the city. To see if you live in one of our collection zones, please have a look at this map. If you'd like collection but don't live in one of our collection zones, please let us know anyway - we have waiting lists for parts of the city that could be just one person away from getting service.

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14. Can you knock on my door for my payement? Can I put it in my mail box for you?
Unfortunately our crews will not be knocking on your door or will they go in your mailbox for your payement. You can send it by mail or attach it to the lid of your bin (see question 4). Generally we pass by late at night and have approximately 150 stops to make per collection run. Time is of the essence! 

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Commercial FAQ


1. How often do you collect?
We collect organic waste from restaurants, hotels, schools, and other commercial clients on a weekly basis. The exact day and time depends largely on where the client is located, but once this is determined, collection occurs on the same day of the week at roughly the same time.

99.9% of our clients have collection just once a week, though it is in some cases possible to perform collection twice a week, depending again largely on the location of the client. If you think you may require collection more than once a week, please let us know.

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2. What kind of clients do you collect from?
We have all kinds of clients, from very small volumes of organic waste to very high volumes. Some have loading docks, some have cold-rooms, but many are restaurants or cafés with a kitchen, a storage room, and access to the back alley. We have found that we are able to accomodate anybody that truly does want to compost their organic waste, no matter what their logistics.

In addition to restaurants and cafés, we also collect from highschools, CÉGEPs, universities, daycares, hospitals, hotels, and office buildings. If you'd like to know what we can do for you, just contact us!

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3. What parts of the city do you collect from? Are we in your collection zone?
We have many different routes that work their way through many different parts of the city. To see if your business or institution is in one of our collection zones, please have a look at this map.

If you would like to have collection service but it doesn't look as though we service your area, please let us know anyway - especially if you think you may have a higher-than-average volume or if you have used vegetable oil that we could collect at the same time as we would collect the organic waste. We have waiting lists for parts of the city that may be just one interested business away from getting service, and your's could be the service request that makes it happen.

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4. How much does it cost to compost with you?
Commercial collection prices vary based on volume and location. We do not usually charge trip fees, though some long-distance clients do require it. Aside from that, our basic rate is between $0,33 and $0.18 per litre of compost collected. The higher your volume, the lower the price per litre collected.


We do also encourage you to take advantage of our used vegetable oil collection service, which is meant, in part, to help you pay for the cost of your compost collection. Depending on the quality of the oil collected, we can credit your account based on a certain price paid per litre of oil. In this way, it is even possible that you can compost with us for free!

To download our commercial service brochure, please click here, and to find out more about our oil collection, please click here.         

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5. I'm not sure how much volume of organic waste we generate? How do we proceed?
It's pretty easy to estimate, either by separating your organic waste from your garbage for a week or two and assessing the volume it represents, or by giving us an idea how many meals you serve, how many days per week.

In whatever case, the program is completely scaleable, so whether we over-estimate or under-estimate the volume you will be producing, we can always provide you with more bins or take a couple away in order to better suit your needs.

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6. What kind of bins will we need?
The kind of bins you will require depends on the amount of organic waste you generate and also the internal logistics of your business or institution. We have a wide range of containers available, with capacities from 4L - 360L, to suit your needs.

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7. Do we need to use bags?
Absolutely. We have a complete range of compostable bags available in every necessary format to fit inside your bins. We require all clients to use compostable bags, as it prevents your containers from getting unpleasant, and allows us to put our entire load directly into our compost piles.

The bags bear a number of certifications, and while they are obviously more expensive than plastic bags, they degrade into non chemical elements within weeks.

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8. Are the bags you sell oxo-degradable or biodegradable?
No, in fact these bags are not accepted in our compost. Our bags are made from a resin that is produced from corn, and as such, are completely compostable. Bags that are called 'oxo-degradable' or 'biodegradable' are made from petroleum products that have chemical additives that cause them to break down into smaller bits of plastic.                  
Please consult our blog article on this subject for more information on the difference between compostable and 'degradable' bags.

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9. Won't the compost smell if we keep it inside?
Not really. We don't accept any animal products (meat, bones, dairy products, etc), so that helps to minimize the odours coming from your compost. Of course you will still want to keep your container out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources, as the hotter it gets the more it will smell.
        
Where logistics allow, we often recommend smaller containers in the kitchen or cafeteria environment combined with larger containers outside (combination lock and cable available). This allows you to remove the organic waste from the kitchen as you would your garbage. Some establishments also have walk-in fridges or cold-rooms that help to minimize the amount of composting that actually happens before we come to empty their container.

The containers we provide, it should be noted, also seal hermetically.

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10. Can I put chicken, fish, or meat in my compost? What about dairy?
We do not accept animal products of any kind in the compost. This includes all kinds of meat, including chicken and fish; skin and bones; and dairy products including cheese, milk, and yogurt. The reason for this is that our treatment site is outdoor, and is just minutes away from residential areas. Animal products in this kind of environment create the potential for odour and vermin problems that could result in the closing of one of the only compost sites on the Island of Montreal, and that is a risk we cannot take.

Click here to see a visual list of some of the things we do and don't accept. We can provide you with a large laminated version of this list for your kitchen to help your staff do a good job composting.

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11. What about leftovers? Can we put table scraps in the compost?
 We do accept table scraps, as long as there is no significant amount of meat, bones, dairy or  inorganic material (straws, creamers, plastic wrap or cans) in these leftovers. Sauces (even cream sauces) and dressings are no problem, but if it looks like there are animal products on the plate that perhaps a raccoon might like, then it should just go in the garbage.

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12. Do you pick up compost in the wintertime? What about holidays?
We sure do! Rain or shine, we pick up your compost 52 weeks out of the year.

As for the holidays, we will most likely interrupt the service and notify you in advance. We
generally collect the compost on the following day.

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13. How does payment work?
The first week of every month, we will send you an electronic (.pdf) bill for the previous month's service. From this billing date you have 30 days net to pay your invoice, after which it will be considered a late payment. We accept cheques, payable to Compost Montreal Inc, which you can send to our office at 209A, rue Maria, Montréal QC, H4C 2N9.

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