Backyard Pet Waste Composting Allowed in Hamilton

City of Hamilton staff member Angela Storey (Manager of Business and Support Services in the Operations & Waste Management Division) confirms that “there is nothing in the solid waste or yard maintenance by-laws that would prevent composting of pet waste” in accordance with the bylaws listed below.

Municipal Law Enforcement has advised that what goes in the back yard composter is not regulated, just that they require that its use meets the standards listed below. The Yard Maintenance By-Law (10-118) includes information about waste that accumulates on private property:

4(5) Every owner or occupant of property shall ensure that all waste which accumulates on their property is:

(a) when not placed out for collection, in containers:

(i) made of rigid, watertight construction;

(ii) provided with a tight-fitting cover, which may be removed only when the container is empty or is being actively loaded;

(iii) maintained in good condition without holes or spillage; and

(iv) closed, or emptied, rinsed and cleaned when not in use, to prevent the escape of offensive odour or waste; and

(v) kept in a rear yard located against a building, structure, fence or retaining wall and arranged in an orderly manner.

A copy of by-law 10-118 can be found on the city of Hamilton website under 2010 by-laws ( ).

The Solid Waste Management By-law (09-067) does not address pet composting on private property, however, it does define the following:

(u) “Household Pet Waste” means animal excrement generated by a domesticated animal that is not living on a farm;

(00) “Unacceptable Organic Waste” means:

(xii) Household Pet Waste;

(nn) “Unacceptable Garbage” means:

(vii) human and animal excrement, except for Household Pet Waste and diapers;

A copy of by-law 09-067 can be found on the city of Hamilton website under 2009 by-laws (

This means that pet waste is not accepted in your Green bin. You may dispose of pet waste by flushing it down the toilet, or double bagging it and placing it in the trash.  More information here:

Pet excrement contributes approximately 12,000-30,000 pounds of waste to Hamilton landfills every year. Composting the waste from one medium sized dog eliminates about 122 pounds of this each year.  Imagine the difference we could make if every pet owner used one of these….

Using a pet waste composter is a great way to manage your pet’s waste and save room in our landfills. Compost Away!

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