Ever wondered about our Compost Winnipeg Courier team? Who are these mysterious folks picking up our organics and what kind of shenanigans do they get into each week? Learn more about a day in the life of a compost courier!

Compost Courier – one who takes pleasure in collecting organic matter from the masses with the intention of converting it to black gold (soil).

As the old saying goes ‘Compost is as Compost does’. Well, maybe it’s not that old a saying. I invented it last week. But it makes sense and has become my mantra. Compost it is both a verb and a noun (colloquially speaking anyway, back off you word elitists). And for the past year and a half it has been the focus of my work life. Watching it decompose. Smelling it. Touching it. Tasting it (not on purpose).

I am a Compost Courier.

As Compost Couriers, we’ve seen it all. There always seems to be something new and exciting in our world, and we’re going to share some of our favourite adventures with you! Over the next few months we will be sharing some of the unusual and interesting things that we come across on our routes while picking up your compost.

Before we delve into the juicy compost gossip, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about who we are and what we do:

Compost Couriers are the folks who hit the streets and collect organic material from all sorts of places; offices, restaurants, homes, schools, malls, etc. And we have a good time doing it! We work for Compost Winnipeg; a mid-scale composting service that caters to offices, multi-family residential buildings, on-site composters, small restaurants and cafes.

We are a social enterprise of Green Action Centre, aiming to achieve a triple bottom line that is socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable.  We love compost! For more information on our services, or to sign up as a client, visit our website or call 204-232-0025. You can also read more about us at blog post or by visiting website and liking our photos on Green Action Centre’s Facebook page!

Compost Winnipeg was started was started over a year ago, and in that time we’ve seen (and smelled) a lot. Some of these adventures have been difficult (freezing windchills at the top of a hill on the Northwest side of the city) while some have been just beautiful (being outside almost all day during the spring bird migrations). Anyway, without further ado I give you the first installment of the Compost Courier Diaries!

It’s the small things that matter most…

Sowbugs in a compostable cup! No bugs were harmed during this photoshoot.

Sometimes in life it’s the little things that matter most. Like Sow Bugs! For years I’ve frowned upon these little buggers (what?) that I find in my basement or under stones in my garden. They nasty. In the past I never really thought about how amazing they truly are. As in integral part of the compost pile ecosystem, they are our special invertebrate friends and they really excel at geting things started. They are Primary Consumers in the compost chain of life. Among other things, they strait up eat our food waste and the molds and slime that go with it. There are a whole slew of other Primary Consumers, like millipedes, moulds, whiteworms, snails and slug. They also make a great meal for the Secondary Consumers in a compost pile (more on that next week). Oh, and you’ll never guess how sow bugs breathe! Through gills. Like fish. That’s why they are always in moist environments. They have to keep their gills wet to breathe. Fun Fact: Sow Bugs are actually crustaceans – not bugs. This makes them distant relatives of Mr. Krabs from Spongebob Squarepants!

Sometimes the little things in life of a compost courier are not literal, but figurative. Like the time Vicki (a fellow courier – more on her in the future) and I were driving down route 90 and saw this:

Neither Vicki nor I are George Strait fans, but still. And to be completely honest, I was pretty sure it was Randy Travis for the first little while. When you spend a lot of time in traffic anything with a little colour can be inspiring. When I first spotted it, I made one of those huge inhales that scares people around you, like as if you just saw a mouse or something. Poor Vicki thought we were in danger, but luckily she’s a skilled driver and kept her cool. Until she also saw George. Then we both lost our cool.

That day, we were so inspired by this person’s love of George Strait, that we went and bought Vicki a new pair steel toed boots, which are the compost version of cowboy boots – yee haw! Aw yes, the little things…

Sign up for home or office pick up and join the growing composting community in Winnipeg. We’ll be happy to add you to our daily adventures! Visit www.CompostWinnipeg.ca for more info.

Read more: Compost Diaries Episode 2: The Birds and the Bees