How to reduce organic waste at home

Reduce what you can; compost what you can’t

Did you know? The average household throws out $1,766 worth of food waste each year. That’s the same as dropping a bag of paid groceries on the way out of the store each week.

By reducing food waste, you can cut back on your household waste by up to 24%, saving on bag tags and extending the life of our landfill.

How to reduce food waste at home

  1. Plan meals: Plan your meals a week ahead to reduce the amount of food waste you produce.
  2. Shop smart: Using your weekly meal plan, only buy what you need, and check the best before and expiration dates before you buy.
  3. Store food properly: Make sure you store fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats properly to prolong their life.
  4. Stock your pantry: Keep your pantry stocked with basic, nonperishable ingredients that can be used in a variety of meals.
  5. Use leftovers wisely: Shop your cupboards, fridge and freezer before buying more food.

Some food waste is unavoidable. For things like fruit and vegetable peels, consider composting or using a green cone.

How to compost in an apartment building?
Talk to your superintendent about installing backyard composters or look at doing vermicomposting in your apartment.
How to dispose of stumps?
Call the Waste Management department at 519-539-9800 ext. 3159 or 1-800-755-03694 for program details and limitations.

Outdoor composting

Composting is the process of breaking down organic material (yard and food waste) into a dark, nutrient-rich soil that it can then be used to help your gardens and flower beds grow. It can also reduce residential waste as much as 35%.

For more information on starting your own outdoor composter, visit these websites:

 Compost Council of Canada website
 Green Cone
 Backyard Composter 

Oxford County sells an above ground composter and a below ground composter called a green cone.

backyard composter bin


green cone composter

Green cones can collect a variety of organic materials that backyard composters cannot. They can break down meat, bones, dairy, bread, and processed food materials that would attract rodents in an above ground backyard composter. They will also accept the other organic materials that a backyard composter will accept, for instance fruit and vegetables, leaf and yard waste, egg shells and coffee grounds.

Indoor composting

Did you know you can compost even if you don’t have a yard? Composting is possible in your home year-round with vermicomposting.


Vermicomposting uses worms to turn vegetables and other organic waste into worm manure that can be used as fertilizer. A worm bin or worm bed can be used indoors, for instance under a sink, on a balcony, or in a garage. The result is nutrient-rich soil that can be used for house plants or outdoor plants.

For more information on vermicomposting, visit these websites:
 Waste Reduction Week Canada
 What is Vermicomposting?
 How to vermicompost


Brush, Leaf and Yard Waste

 Acceptable Material
  • Grass
  • Leaves
  • Halloween Pumpkins
  • House & Garden Plants
  • Hedge & tree trimmings (less than 7cm in diameter)
  • Brush (limbs no longer than 6 foot/1.8m)
  • Christmas Trees
Unacceptable Material 
  • Garbage
  • Plastic bags
  • Old fencing
  • Hazardous waste
  • Topsoil
  • Sod
  • Rocks
  • Stumps
Drop Off Locations 
Disposing of leaf and yard waste is easy
  1. Collect leaf and yard waste.
  2. Place leaf and yard waste in brown paper yard waste bags or transfer loose to depot.
  3. Drop waste off at one of 11 convenient depot locations across Oxford County.

Most drop-off locations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Collected brush, leaf and yard waste material from the County's depots is transported for composting to the Oxford County Compost Facility located at the Waste Management Facility. Finished compost is sold to local business as feed stock for their commercial yard waste products.

Clean, segregated loads of brush, leaf and yard waste can be taken to the Waste Management Facility (landfill) at no charge. Mixed loads will be subject to tipping fees.

There are 11 FREE Brush, Leaf and Yard Waste Depots located throughout the County.

These depots are open 24 hours, 7 days a week or as indicated.


Drumbo Public Works Yard
895957 Oxford Road 3


158 Loveys Street


Public Works Yard
80 Pemberton Street


90 Main street


285725 Airport Road, Norwich (Norwich Township Public Works Facility)


432594 Zenda Line

Oxford County Waste
Management Facility (landfill)

384060 Salford Road, Salford
Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Closed Statutory holidays.


18 Hendershot Street


50 Newell Road
Hours vary, refer to


944 James Street 


783045 Road 78