Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pay your 2011 membership at the new Compost Iqaluit BMHS website

The BMHS is launching a website in addition to this blog at

Easy online payment of membership dues!

And BHMS form for download!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BMHS in NFB of Canada's Never Lose Sight

Another great gift idea besides the $10 pack of bio bags is Never Lose Sight, a documentary by Sarah McNair-Landry from The National Film Board of Canada.

The BMHS is there - watch and be inspired to join in the cause.


As we Iqaluimmiut head towards Christmas, what better than the Gift of Membership in the Iqaluit Compost, Bill Mackenzie Humanitarian Society and a pack of bio-bags?

Contact us and we can email you the membership form. You can remit your $25 fee by cheque, cash, and maybe PayPal.

Thanks for supporting waste diversion and the compost greenhouse!

Btw, Don't forget to vote!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

No Compost Collection this weekend

Due to holidays, there will be no compost collection this weekend.
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Compost collecting on Saturday

Time to put out your bins, members!

If you are not using a BMHS bin, please label your bin. Putting "Compost" with your name and house number might be helpful.

We need more members to help with the collection of compost. Please contact Jim by email. (And a friendly reminder to pay your annual membership fee.)

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

BMHS at farmers market hosted by Jessica Lott

Our flowers on sale, thanks to the initiative of composter, Jessica Lott.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Compost Iqaluit's First Transplant Party! (1 pm to 5 pm - Sat July 24 and Sun July 25, 2010)

Come to the BMHS Greenhouse next to the old power plant across from KRT in Iqaluit for our First Transplant Party!

Our compost, soil, and hard work has sprouted an assortment of flowers! They are ready to be transplanted into the boxes that we deliver annually to the elders in Iqaluit.

Come with your friends and family and transplant! See the lettuce and radishes and more in the cold frame too! Plus, sign up for your annual membership! (Only $25 and a commitment of 15 hours volunteer work.) Maybe even learn about how YOU can be a director of BMHS.

We are also organizing the team to deliver the flowers next week, approximately starting Monday.

TBA is a compost site clean up party.

*** Anyone who helps out with transplanting and delivery can pick up a free plant for your own home.

For more information, please email or or call Jim Little.

See you!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Compost at your home in Iqaluit

The Bill Mackenzie Humanitarian Society - Ethical, Economic and Efficient Waste Management Solutions

Just what are you getting yourself into!

We welcome your desire to divert your organic waste from Iqaluit’s waste stream. We believe your family will find it rewarding for a variety of reasons. Besides protecting the environment and saving the city landfill space you are helping create a valuable local resource – a nutrient rich soil. And that will improve our city in many ways. Although diverting your organic waste at home requires some effort we believe you will soon find it highly efficient and that protecting the environment in this small way actually saves you time and money.

To make life easy for you we are providing all the necessary hardware to efficiently divert the organic waste from your home waste stream. Provided by the BMHS at no cost is one 10 liter kitchen collection bin and one (more if required) 46 liter storage container, wheeled if you prefer. We are also including some free big bin liners. They are simply garbage bags that will help keep the big bin clean but most importantly to us they help keep the organic waste from freezing to the inside of the big bin.

What we would like you to do at home.
Place your new 10 liter kitchen bin in a convenient location in your kitchen. Some place the bin on the cupboard, some under the sink. Some are hung on the inside of the cupboard door. Others hang the bins right inside their existing kitchen garbage receptacles.

Most people place a folded paper towel or newspaper on the bottom of the kitchen bin before adding food scraps. This makes the removal of the scraps easier when the bin is full. Then a quick rinse is usually all that is necessary to keep the bin clean. As an alternative you may want to try biodegradable bin liners. We have included a few sample biodegradable bags for you to try. Although they are rather expensive at about 15 cents each they will help keep the interior of your bin clean. We currently have a few boxes for sale. A box of 25 is $10. Most people find a paper towel and a quick periodic wash with detergent works just fine. Your choice. Also if you find that the bin starts to smell wash it out with detergent and let it sit in the sunshine for a few hours – that usually does the trick.

You can divert any form of organic material you wish. All food scraps in any form, if it’s going to rot, if its stinks or is going to stink, if it’s wet, if it was ever alive or part of something alive, we’ll take it. Coffee grounds including filters, apple cores, that half can of beans in the back of the refrigerator with the green stuff growing on top - we’ll take it, but please not the can. Vegetable peelings by themselves or wrapped in newspaper can go directly to the bin. Please drain the liquids from things like old pickles first. As a general rule we’ll take generally anything that will keep your other regular garbage container from getting wet and stinky and messy to handle. Bacon grease, fat, cheese, meat, bones, soiled paper towels, sour milk and cream, clam and lobster shells, hair, feathers, dead plants, will all compost. Left over country food in whatever form is full of nutrients that add to the quality of the compost. Dog and cat feces (and litter) will all compost well but we are not set up to handle it especially in large quantities at this time. The composting process generates the heat required to kill the harmful bacteria etc that may be present in feces and spoiled meat but doing the required mainteneace to produce a “Class A” compost is not possible by hand simply because our volumes are to great without the proper machinery. And no diapers please. It should go without saying but do not put glass, plastic or metal in any form in the bins. Some participants feel it necessary to use old plastic grocery bags. It does make extra work for us but we allow it as long as the grocery bags are not tied shut. The folks that use grocery bags are usually apartment dwellers. Emptying tied grocery bags at the compost pile is labor intensive. A rotten onion in a zip-lock bag is absolute torture.

When required or whenever you choose the contents of the kitchen bin is transferred to your new 46 liter big bin. But first the big bin should be lined with a sturdy garbage bag. You can locate the 46 liter bin anywhere that is convenient for you. We strongly recommend that the big bin be kept in an unheated area and as close to your kitchen as possible. But on collection day place the big bin out by the road so the collection crew can easily see it. They need to be able to empty it with as few steps as possible. We will notify you by email in advance of the next collection day. We will put the bin in a safe location if there are high winds that day.

We know you will soon discover a system that works well for your personal circumstances. We are also available to pass on the benefit of our past experiences so please give us a call anytime. We would also like to hear how you are doing from time-to-time.

We know that producing a Class A compost in Nunavut is possible because we surpassed the federal guidelines for windrow composting in 2004. Not only is it possible but we can do it with 1/3 the labour of a similar sized southern based facility. Unfortunately we lack the infrastructure to repeat the process every year since the volume of diverted organic material has increased substantially. Therefore it is not legal to grow food in the compost we produce in Nunavut. We know that will change soon.

If you want to return to the old system?
We would like you to make organic diversion a long term commitment. We will help you make this lifestyle change a habit you can be proud of. But if you choose to return to the old system of one big mixed bag going to one big garbage pile we would like you to return the bins to us or forward us a cheque to cover their cost. The replacement cost of the kitchen bin is $15 and $30 for the larger bin. Thank you again for your participation.

You can contact us for membership application at
Phone 979-3261
P.O.Box 1829 Iqaluit Nu. X0A-0H0

Providing Iqalummiut with a Choice!

about Compost Iqaluit - a part of the Bill Mackenzie Humanitarian Society

The Bill Mackenzie Humanitarian Society

The Bill Mackenzie Humanitarian Society is a non-profit organization committed to improving the quality of life for Nunavummiut. One of our primary goals is to promote and implement responsible waste management practices for Iqaluit. We develop and advance initiatives that:

Foster civic pride;
Encourage community involvement;
Are environmentally and economically responsible;
Work to beautify our City, and
Enhance our way of life.

Who was Bill Mackenzie?

Bill Mackenzie was a long term resident of Iqaluit who passed away in 2001. A man with a proud Scottish heritage was well known and loved throughout Nunavut. He was a strong proponent of responsible waste management practices.

How We Are Succeeding !

Our Society can now make a direct connection between responsible waste management practices, City beautification or the lack thereof, and the social well being of our community. Our compost pilot program has clearly illustrated its economic viability, its potential value to beautify our City , impact the price of food and perhaps most importantly inhance the civic pride of our citizens.

We have initiated a number of community-based projects involving compost enriched local soils to grow flowers, local plants and vegetables. These projects first designed specifically for our Elders have clearly demonstrated how individual empowerment, community involvement and pride, can be enhanced by these activities. We believe similar projects designed to promote the “Greening” of Iqaluit and involving local people, particularly those at risk, will not only save the City landfill space and money, improve our community’s appearance but will cultivate in those participating a sense of belonging, a strong connection to the community, new feelings of self worth, and personal pride.

Composting our food waste is a simple way for families to reduce their carbon footprint. The scientific community estimates the methane produced by the anaerobic decomposition of organic waste in landfills amounts to 4% of the greenhouse gasses produced in North America. Composting is therefore an opportunity for all northerners to take some responsibility in protecting the environment. BMHS is proud to offer this service to our fellow Iqaluimuit

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

AGM 2010 Highlights for Iqaluit composters

Compost Iqaluit is officially part of the Bill Mackenzie Humanitarian Society which hosted its AGM at 3 pm on Sunday February 29, 2010 at Building #655 downtown Iqaluit.

*Yes, at the same time they dropped the puck at the gold-medal game between Canada and the US for the men's hockey. So our AGM quickly dealt with the business at hand. (In case you have been hiding among the Society's compost heap, Canada won the Olympic gold medal.)

Jim Little outlined the issues and challenges for composters in Iqaluit including communication, partnering with other organizations, getting to A.

Volunteers stepped up to form the new board of directors and will be meeting in the next few days. Everyone wanted to pitch in - you too?

Keep your eyes posted and keep composting!

***Contact to join or renew your membership or volunteer to pick up compost. Please share your ideas and energy. ***

Iqaluit Greenhouse blog

Right now they are hibernating so you have time to catch up on the Iqaluit Greenhouse activities

Media reports about Compost Iqaluit

Want to read more before you hop on aboard? Click on these links:

Compost Council of Canada about composting in Iqaluit

Arctic Weather ideal for composting article

Composting is key to solving Iqaluit's garbage woes article