The City of Brandon Is Celebrating 10 Years of the Green Cart Program During International Compost Awareness Week

May 8, 2023

Brandon, MB – The City of Brandon is celebrating 10 years of the Green Cart Program in the City of Brandon during International Compost Awareness Week, May 7 – 13, 2023. 

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is an annual international event that celebrates the benefits of composting and the role which compost plays in creating healthier soil and healthier food. This year's theme is "For Healthier Soil, Healthier Food...Compost."  

The City’s Green Cart Program started as a pilot project in 2013 with 500 participants and has grown to include over 9,500 participants. Over the last ten years, over 17,000 tonnes of compostable material have been diverted from the landfill and greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by approximately 4,800 tonnes. 

From 2015 – 2019, the City of Brandon Solid Waste section partnered with several local and national organizations to complete a study on the use of compost derived from the City’s Green Cart Program and its benefits. The study, which was conducted by Dr. Lord Abbey of Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture, showed that compost materials used from the City’s Green Cart Program had many benefits including improved soil quality, higher yields, and healthier plants. More on this study can be found here.  

“The Solid Waste Section of the City of Brandon is excited to provide residents of Brandon a quality compost that contributes to the health and well-being of residents who choose to grow their own food,” notes Scott Haddow, Manager of Solid Waste. “We take pride in the fact that the product we are producing is recognized as a Class A compost that meets the most stringent requirements through the Compost Quality Alliance.” 

Testimonial from a local resident, Greg Brown, noted “I use the City’s compost in my flower beds and in my vegetable containers. I even put it on my lawn as a top dressing once year. The grass had never been so green.” 


The City of Brandon’s Solid Waste Section has several events planned for this week to promote the benefits of using the compost created from the City’s Green Cart Program, including: 

  • “Soil your Undies” Challenge Kickoff on Monday, May 8 
  • Compost giveaway at the Keystone Centre (near 18th Street Entrance by the recycling depot – while supplies last): 
    • May 9 from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon 
    • May 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. 
    • May 13 from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon 
  • Landfill Tours with schools on Wednesday, May 10    
  • Celebrating community partnerships with various community gardens, horticulture groups, the City of Brandon’s Parks Department 


How To Participate in the “Soil your Undies” challenge 

  • Bury a pair of 100% white cotton underwear in 15 cm of topsoil 
    • A limited supply of cotton underwear is provided by the City of Brandon on a first come, first served basis. One pair per household. Supplies can be picked up from the Eastview Landfill, located at 765 – 33rd Street or during the Compost Giveaways at the Keystone Centre on May 9, 11, and 13. 
  • Use a shovel to dig a hole and bury the underwear in 15 cm of topsoil 
  • Leave the waistband showing a little and mark the spot with a marker so it will be easier to locate in a couple of months 
  • Leave the underwear buried for 60 days (Example: May 8 to July 7, 2023) 
  • Dig it up carefully and wash in a bucket of water to remove the soil 
  • Tag the City of Brandon and Soil Conservation Council of Canada social media accounts with before and after pictures using the #SoilYourUndies 


If you have more than one garden plot, you can check the soil health of multiple plots by doing the same experiment in each plot. At the end of the 60 days, uncover the underwear and if there is not much left of the underwear it means you have good biological activity, which is an indicator of healthy soil. If the underwear is still intact, with little to no decomposition it may mean your soil is lacking something. 


Composting Reduces Waste & Helps the Environment 

The more kitchen and yard waste we compost, the less waste goes into our landfills. Keeping organic waste out of landfills reduces the production of methane, which is a greenhouse gas 30 times as potent as carbon dioxide.  

Not only does diverting organic decomposition from the landfill help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it also helps save money! For every tonne that is diverted, residents of Brandon are saving $93 in landfill tipping fees. Visit for more information on the benefits of composting.