REGINA -- The City of Regina was planning to offer free compost to residents until Monday, however the material was so popular the city ran out before the end of the day Friday.

The compost comes from material collected at the Yard Waste Depot over the past two years. The city said it is currently in the process of creating compost from the Food & Yard Waste Pilot but that material is not available yet.

“This is just giving back to the residents and showing the results of keeping the material out of the landfill and what it turns into, which is valuable, high quality soil that you can use in your gardens and on your lawns,” said Janet Aird, City of Regina manger of program development and delivery for water, waste and environment.

Melanie Tiefenbach was one of the residents who took advantage of the free compost. She picked up some to use in her garden.

“Our soil is just so depleted, so just to get some real, live, organic nutrients in it, is just the best thing you can do. Better than any synthetic fertilizer,” said Tiefenbach.

The city said it reached it’s first “pile flip” at the pilot processing site in March, meaning the organic material collected has turned into compost.

The compost is located west of the Yard Waste Depot entrance on Fleet Street. Residents are asked to to bring their own shovels and containers, with a maximum of 60L or three, 5-gallon pails per household allowed. If you need more, you can always do your own composting at home - like Tiefenbach.

“I compost all our yard waste for about eight months of the year, and I empty vacuum cleaners and hair brushes, anything to get some extra matter in there,” she said.

Environmentalist, Naomi Hunter, said anyone can compost, no matter where they live. For those living in a condo or apartment, she recommends using an electric composter.

“You plug it in, it uses very little power, and it cooks it and turns that fresh compost into soil within three to six hours,” Hunter said.

In a larger, outdoor space, you can build a compost bin. Hunter said to add materials to the bin in layers, alternating between dry material - like twigs and leaves - and wet material - like food scraps. She said it’s also very important to water your compost.

“You can actually take your fresh compost, and in three to six months, it can be ready to put into your flower beds or your garden,” Hunter said.

The city is using the pilot project to determine how the composting process works for Regina, and what tweaks may be needed before a potential city-wide program rollout in 2023.

City Administration is expected to present a report on the pilot to Regina City Council near the end of 2021.