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Study: Composting by households in Canada

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Released: 2013-07-10

Over half of Canadian households (61%) participated in some form of composting activity in 2011, more than double the rate in 1994. Overall, 45% of all households reported composting kitchen waste and 68% of households with a lawn or garden reported composting yard waste.

In 2011, 63% of Canadian households that had composted their yard waste and 60% that composted their kitchen waste used a curbside collection system. The rest used a compost bin or pile or some other method to compost.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Composting, Canada and provinces, 1994 and 2011 - Description and data table
Composting, Canada and provinces, 1994 and 2011

Chart 1: Composting, Canada and provinces, 1994 and 2011 - Description and data table

Households in Prince Edward Island (96%) and Nova Scotia (94%) were most likely to have composted. These rates reflect the presence of strict waste management regulations in both provinces. Households were least likely to compost in Quebec (42%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (43%).

The type of dwelling a household occupied was directly related to the rate of composting. Over 50% of households in detached or single dwellings reported composting their kitchen waste, compared with 22% of households living in apartments, reflecting the fact that many apartment dwellers can find it difficult to compost.

  Note to readers

This study examines composting behaviours by Canadian households. The study was based on data from the 2011 Households and the Environment Survey, conducted as part of the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators project.

The article "Composting by households in Canada" is now available in EnviroStats, Vol. 7, no. 1 (Catalogue number16-002-X), from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136;

For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Iman Mustapha (613-951-3040;, Environment Accounts and Statistics Division.

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