A properly managed backyard composter doesn’t have to be a bear or wildlife attractant. The Backyard Composting Guide has tips to help you set one up.

You can also contact the Sunshine Coast WildSafeBC coordinator for tips and strategies to learn how to reduce human-wildlife interaction.

If you’re looking for tips on how to reduce how much waste visit our Reduce Food Waste page for best practices.

Home Composter Rebate Program

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) offers a Home Composter Rebate Program through the Composting on the Coast Community Program.

Rebates of up to $100 are available from May 1 to September 1. The rebate is only for the purchase of a new composter unit or the materials to build a composter.

How to apply:

If you can answer  “yes” to all of the following questions then you are eligible to apply.

  1. Are you a homeowner of a residential property or a tenant with homeowner approval on the Sunshine Coast? This includes any SCRD Electoral Area, District of Sechelt, shíshálh Nation Government District, Town of Gibsons and any of the SCRD islands.
  2. Will the composter be used on a residential property on the Sunshine Coast?

Choose which composter you would like to purchase and confirm it is available for purchase.

It is recommended that residents consider the following before committing to having a composter at home:

The type of food waste you want to compost will impact your selection. Food waste that you do not want to home compost can be placed in your Green Bin or dropped-off for composting.

  • It is also important to consider the location where you place your composter. Outdoor composters will need to receive enough sunlight to generate heat for the composting process and the moisture content needs to be monitored.
  • Not all products create “compost” some create soil amendments or only dehydrate your food waste – so be sure the end product is something you will utilize.
  • At this time plastic composters are not currently recyclable, so choosing a well-built composter that will last for a long time is a good consideration.

Composting Options

These options are meant to be a guide for residents in choosing the type of composter that works best for them. Detailed information about each composter type can be found here.

If you are unsure if your composter does not meet the requirements, email


These composters are designed to be located outdoors because they require natural occurring bacteria and worms that are located outside and placement location may affect functionality.

Traditional/Static Composter

This composting unit can be purchased or built and does not move. The materials must be mixed and moisture content monitored. The location of the composter will affect the time it takes for materials to be turned into compost. Once composted, the compost needs to be removed from the unit.

Looking to build your own? The supplies to build your own composter can be covered by the home composter rebate, we just need the details on the application, including what you’re going to build and an estimate of approximate material costs to get pre-approved.

Lots of information and build and cut lists exist online to build composters out of lumber, pallets or chicken wire. Take your time finding options that will work for the volume you’ll generate. For example if you have a lot material you might want to consider a system that incorporates multiple bins.

In-Ground Composter/Digester

Designed to stay in one location for a period and utilizes the sun’s heat to breakdown food waste. The materials are not removed from the digester. The Ridge Meadows Recycling Society has great information on how this type works.

Vertical Stacked Composter

Designed to compost in stages, requires similar conditions to on the ground versions of traditional composters and may require inoculation of dirt/soil/worms to work.


Rotating or tumbling composters use heat from the sun and make the mixing the material easier.


These options are designed for indoor use or small spaces and if needed, can be scaled up. They do not create compost or nutrient rich top soils but instead create either a “soil tea” or fertilizer like substance that provides nutrients for your soil for both indoor and outdoor use.

If you are choosing an indoor option because you do not have an outdoor space please ensure you have reviewed your options for where the created materials will end up as these cannot go to garbage and may or may not be allowed in your food waste bin.

It is recommended that residents review available options before proceeding.

Worm Composting

A worm composter or a vermi-composter uses worms to breakdown food waste into “castings”. This type of composter can be a great indoor alternative and a fun family project. Fishing supply stores, garden centres and local farms can be contacted to find the “red wiggler” worm which is typically the preferred worm for this composter type. You can purchase pre-built or build your own using old plastic bins.

Food Fermentation

Fermentation units like Bokashi do not make your traditional compost but turn your food scraps into nutrient rich materials to boost your soil’s and plant health. Information about this process and how it works can be found here.

Electric Food “Recycler”

The material generated by electric food recyclers varies by the type of product. Confirm what you will do with the materials after they’ve been processed by the product.

Read the terms and conditions linked here.

The application form can be found here.

You will receive either a pre-approval letter or a waitlist letter

  • If you receive a pre-approval letter, proceed to steps 5 to 7.
  • If you receive a waitlist letter the SCRD will have allocated the available rebate and you will be notified if you will be able to proceed with a rebate or if the rebate is no longer available.

Purchase the composter you planned to buy.

Attach the receipts and complete the home composter claim form.

The SCRD will issue the rebate cheque once the claim form is complete.