Organic Waste

The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion encourages the valorization of green waste (food scraps and yard waste) to reduce the garbage stream.

Green waste collection

New: In 2018, green waste collections take place every two weeks, from May to November, on Tuesdays for the peripheral zone and Thursdays for the central zone. For exact dates, consult the municipal calendar. Bags must be placed at the curbside the day before pickup, which begins at 7 A.M.

Only paper bags and bulk wast (ex. in a plastic bin) will be accepted.

In 2016, green waste pickup diverted 300 metric tons of green waste from landfill.

Accepted: conifer needles, branches and roots under 1 cm in diameter, bark, flowers and houseplants, herbs, grass, leaves, weeds, hedge trimmings, sawdust and wood shavings that are not treated, painted or stained, small quantities of potting soil, peat, sod

Not accepted: food scraps, kitchen waste, garbage, earth, stone, ash, branches, logs

Branch collection

Branches are picked up three times each spring and three times each fall. There are different collection dates for each zone (A, B or C). To find out your zone, use the search by address.

Carte_Collectes.jpg (1006 KB)

2018 Curbside Collection Schedule

Spring
Zone Collection 1
Week of
Collection 2
Week of
Collection 3
Week of
A April 30 May 21 June 11
B May 7 May 28 June 18
C May 14 June 4 June 25

 

Fall
Zone Collection 1
Week of
Collection 2
Week of
Collection 3
Week of
A August 27 September 17 October 8
B September 3 September 24 October 15
C September 10 October 1 October 22

Branches must be place at the curb with the wide end pointing toward the street on Monday morning, before 7 a.m. Branches must not exceed 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter. Make sure there are no roots or earth attached to them, as this could damage the chipper blades. Do not tie the branches into bundles.

Outside the collection dates, you may bring your branches to the municipal garage (consult the schedule). This is a free service on presentation of your citizen's card or proof of residence.

The City uses some of the wood chips in its landscaping, but most of the material is sent to a tree nursery that uses it as mulch for its plantations.

If you hire a contractor to do tree pruning or felling, the contractor is responsible for picking up the trunk and branches.

Eco-friendly lawns

An eco-friendly lawn contains a variety of grasses as well as legumes like clover and sometimes even wild plants. Its diversity makes it resistant against pests, diseases and bad weather. Plants in an eco-friendly lawn are well adapted to environmental conditions. An eco-friendly lawn is hardy and requires very little care.

Traditional turfgrass lawns are usually kept very short and uniform. Because they're monocultures and not adapted to the environment, they're extremely vulnerable. To stay aesthetically pleasing, they have to be mowed and watered frequently, and people often resort to the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Even with all this maintenance, turfgrass lawns are fragile and easily fall prey to recurring problems.

How to plant an eco-friendly lawn

Preparing the soil

A lawn requires at least 20 cm (6 inches) of good-quality soil. If your soil is compacted and poor in organic matter, you should loosen it with a roto-tiller and add compost. It's better to add compost than lawn soil. Then, level the ground and go over it with a roller.

Sowing

In the fall or spring, sow a mixture of several kinds of grasses and at least 5% clover. Clover is a great ally: it's always green, and it feeds the lawn with nitrogen and protects it from certain pests. In addition, clover leaves create shade, which prevents weeds from germinating and helps the grass stay fresh and green.

The day before sowing, if it hasn't rained recently, water the soil. On the day you sow, rake the ground to loosen the soil. To distribute the seeds evenly, sow half in one direction and the other half perpendicular to that. Then add about ½ inch of compost and go over it with an empty roller. Water every day until grass appears. Wait until the lawn is 10 cm (4 inches) high before mowing. Avoid walking on the lawn for three weeks after seeding.

Maintaining an eco-friendly lawn or transforming a turfgrass lawn

Core aerating

In the fall or spring, perforate the lawn with a core aerator. Aeration lightens the soil and facilitates absorption of water and nutrients. Important: aeration must always be followed by top-dressing.

Before aerating, make sure the ground is damp (not soaked). Go over the area both length-wise and cross-wise to make sure you have enough holes. If the thatch is more than 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) thick, you should aerate every year; otherwise, once every two or three years is enough. Thatch is a tightly woven layer of both dead and living organic matter between the grass and the soil. To check the thickness of the thatch, push a shovel into your lawn, lift a section and measure the layer that remains attached to the grass.

Top-dressing

Top-dressing consists in spreading about ½ inch of compost on the lawn and then working it in with a rake. Compost lightens the soil, helps it retain moisture, provides nutrients to the grass and acts as a natural form of pest control.

Overseeding

If your lawn has bare or damaged patches, you can fill them in by adding seed. About ½ inch of compost should be applied to the areas you want to overseed. If you want to transform your turfgrass lawn into an eco-friendly lawn, you can overseed everywhere, ideally after core aeration and top-dressing.

Exceptionally, before overseeding, you should mow the grass to about 1½ inches and pick up the clippings. Apply the seed mix and work it in with a rake. Then go over the area with a lawn roller one-third full.

Mowing

Keep your lawn at least 7.5 cm (3 inches) long. This allows it to stay green all summer, helps the soil retain moisture and creates a physical barrier against insect and weed invasions. Never cut more than one-third of the grass height at a time.

Watering

Water infrequently but thoroughly (i.e., for a long time). Your lawn will grow longer roots and will be more resistant to drought. Once your eco-friendly lawn is established, you'll have to water it only rarely.

Fertilizing

Grass-cycling, top-dressing and clover will feed your soil in a natural way, so fertilizers are not necessary. If your lawn is still growing or is having difficulty, you can add biostimulants such as compost tea or algae extract. As a last resort, you can add 100% natural, low N-P-K fertilizer (all numbers under 10), but never during the summer or on newly seeded areas.

Grass- and leaf-cycling

Grass-cycling means leaving grass clippings on the lawn, and leaf-cycling means mulching dead leaves on the spot instead of raking them up in the fall.  The bits of grass and leaves create a barrier that helps the grass retain moisture and makes it more difficult for weeds and pests to take hold. And when these organic materials decompose, they feed the soil. Since the lawn retains moisture better and has benefited from additional nutrients, it's more able to withstand droughts without falling dormant.

Benefits of grass- and leaf-cycling

  • Decreases the amount of organic matter and plastic bags thrown in the garbage
  • Improves the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil
  • Reduces water consumption and fertilizer use

Tips for leaf-mulching

  • Remove the grass catcher and run the mower slowly over dry leaves.
  • Adjust the blade height between 6 and 8 cm (2.5 to 3 inches).
  • The finer the leaves are shredded, the more rapidly they'll decompose.
  • To make the job easier, use a mower that has a mulching blade.
  • If your mower doesn't have a mulching blade, you can get similar results by going over the yard twice. This technique is used by the Public Works Department in all City parks.

What to do with surplus leaves?

If you can't see the grass through the leaves, it means the layer of leaves is too thick. Run the mower over them more frequently, or rake up the excess and use it as mulch in your flowerbeds. Mulch will not only provide plants with essential nutrients, but will protect them from frost.  Leaf mulch can also be used to enrich your vegetable garden.

Or, if you prefer not to leave shredded leaves on the ground, you can compost them. Use the grass catcher to pick them up and empty them into the composter.

Composting

Composting is the decomposition of organic matter by micro-organisms. The result is a product that looks and smells like rich soil.

Benefits of composting

  • Reduces the volume of waste by as much as 40%
  • Reduces the consumption of natural resources such as arable soil and peat
  • May reduce the cost of waste collection
  • Reduces reliance on fertilizers along with their environmental impacts
  • As a top-notch organic material, compost improves the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil, making it more fertile
  • Improves soil's ability to absorb and retain water, thus lessening the impacts of droughts and heavy rains
  • Allows better root penetration and enhances soil fertility
  • Eliminates the need to purchase fertilizer or store-bought compost

How do I start composting?

  • Buy a composter, or build your own. A composter with a volume of 1 m3 or more is preferable, but one of the small black plastic composters may be enough for your needs. The City offers a grant to Vaudreuil-Dorion residents for the purchase or construction of a home composter.
  • Put the composter where it will be easy to reach, but not near neighbours' property or in a place where water may accumulate.
  • Place a layer of coarse brown material in the bottom.
  • Subsequently, whenever you add green waste, try to cover it with a layer of browns. This will help prevent unpleasant odours.
  • If you're short of browns, you can bury fresh waste in the older material in the composter. Dig a small hole, put in the new waste and cover it with older waste.
  • A good ratio is one part greens to two parts browns.

Practical tips

  • Keep a small closed container in the kitchen for collecting table scraps to compost. Empty it into the composter when it's full. Line the bottom with newspaper to make it easier to clean.
  • In winter, you could use an outdoor container that's closer to the house, then empty it into the composter when spring comes.
  • In the fall, when brown materials such as dead leaves are abundant, store them to have on hand throughout the year.
  • If the compost smells, it means it's too dense or too wet, or there's too much green waste. Add a layer of dry browns and mix well.
  • If the odour persists, cover the waste with a layer of compost or soil.

When is the compost ready?

  • When the waste is no longer identifiable, the compost is ready. It will be uniform, dark brown in colour, and it will smell like earth.
  • You can speed up the process by keeping an eye on it and adjusting the conditions to ensure they are optimal. The compost can be ready in as little as five months.
  • Even if you look at it only occasionally and make adjustments when necessary, you'll still obtain a good-quality compost. However, it might take longer to mature.
  • If you cut the waste into small pieces, the micro-organisms will be able to break it down faster. But try to keep a balance with the size of the materials, because if your composter contains only very small pieces, the mixture will be too compact and will lack aeration.
  • Heat accelerates decomposition. Composters that are made of black plastic, that are at least 1 m3 in volume and that are maintained regularly generate more heat.

How do I use my compost?

You can put compost in your planters, flowerbeds and garden, and around your trees.  You can also use it to top-dress your lawn: just spread a thin layer of compost and work it in with a rake. This helps improve poor soil, which is often the source of lawn problems. Given the very different needs of plants and soils, it's best to follow the supplier's recommendations when determining the proper amount of compost to use.

What can I compost?

Compostable Non-compostable

Dead leaves
Twigs, hedge trimmings, chips, bark, straw, sawdust
Garden and flowerbed waste
Soil (not too much) and compost, left over from repotting
Paper, cardboard, paper towels, napkins
Eggshells, nutshells
Nitrogen-rich material (typically green and moist)
Pasta, bread, rice, cereal, cakes, flour, sweets
Fruits and vegetables, corn cobs, juice
Table scraps without meat and not too oily
Weeds, unless gone to seed
Coffee grounds, tea bags

Grass, algae and freshly cut leaves

Meat, bone, fish
Wood ash (except in very small amounts)
Fats (oils, salad dressing, fried foods), dairy products
Animal excrement, manure and slurry
Animal carcasses
Septic tank sludge
Diseased plants
Vacuum cleaner contents
Treated wood, BBQ briquettes