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Coquitlam is handing out free large bags of compost on Earth Day. Here's why

Gardeners can help Coquitlam reduce its waste by learning about environment-friendly strategies and using compost soil.
Composting provides organic matter high in nutrients to the soil for further decomposition.

One day it's sunny, the next it's raining.

Then, it's cloudy and cool with a hint of warmth from the sun rays peaking through.

The signs of spring are prompting Coquitlam to begin educating the public on how to reduce waste in their community, especially when it comes to breaking out the garden tools and touching up the yard.

City staff, as part of Earth Day celebrations, are set to hand out free 32-litre bags of compost soil to families that attend its giveaway event in Town Centre Park later this month.

The annual event also provides opportunities for residents to learn about composting and its eco-friendly benefits.

In fact, the compost being distributed on April 22 was made by the green waste in green carts collected across local neighbourhoods, acting as a fertilizer for plants and helps retain soil moisture.

This means very little watering is needed, according to Coquitlam environment manager Caresse Selk.

"It's a great example of waste diversion — keeping organic material out of the landfill by transforming it into a usable product: nutrient-rich soil," she said in a news release.

"Because Green Cart materials eventually end up in a garden as compost, it's important to separate waste correctly and only put organics in the Green Cart. Contaminants like plastic bags — even ones labelled compostable or biodegradable — interfere with the composting process and bring micro-plastics into your yard."

The compost bags are also part of the city's environmental sustainability plan, Selk added, with a goal to reduce waste and divert organic materials from residential streams.

You can visit the City of Coquitlam's compost page for more information.

Earth Day giveaway

The free large bags at Town Centre Park are limited to one per household, and eligible recipients must present ID with a Coquitlam address.

Interested families will find them in Parking Lot C, and are asked to visit the info booth to get a compost stamp card.

Then, cards must be taken to a Coquitlam city environment tent, where residents will show identification in order to receive a stamp for a compost bag.

Once confirmed, families can bring their vehicle to the nearby drive-through area to pick up the bag.

The giveaway will be held during Coquitlam's Earth Day event on April 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when workshops, children's activites and environmental displays will be held.

For more information, you can visit the event's page on the city's website.