Master Composter Recycler

four icons, one showing a leaf, a recycling symbol, two sheets of paper, and an organics bin

Master Composter Recycler (MCR) is a free five-week online education program offered in the Fall. Through online education sessions and virtual facility tours, you will become more knowledgeable about how waste is managed in the Halifax Region, from collection to processing. You will also learn how to reduce waste through backyard composting and other at-home solutions.  

The MCR program is open to all Halifax Regional Municipality residents interested in becoming waste champions within their families, communities, and work places. MCR has been offered in Halifax since May 2019 but has been a popular and long-standing program in other municipalities in Canada and the United States.  


We are now accepting applications for the Fall 2023 program. Please email with a few sentences about why you would like to partake in the program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until September 30th. Class starts October 17th, and will run Tuesdays from 6pm-8pm until November 14th. 

Class Details: 

Class 1

The introductory session will provide a course overview, addressing the importance of proper waste management and waste reduction. The session will also include an interactive "What Goes Where" presentation about proper waste sorting at home and at work, addressing questions of compostable vs biodegradable, and recyclable plastic items vs garbage. The presentation will feature examples of recycled products made from our everyday waste items.

Class 2

This class will cover the history of landfills in Nova Scotia and will include virtual tours of:

  • The Otter Lake Waste Management Facility which includes the landfill and its unique features.
  • The Material Recovery Facility Facility in Bayer's Lake which will provide a "behind the scenes" look at how our waste is diverted from the landfill and processed for market.
  • The Organics Processing Facilities in Burnside and Ragged Lake which will show you how we take all the organics collected and make it into compost.
Class 3

Topics of waste diversion and waste reduction will be discussed in greater detail during the third session. Information will be provided about product stewardship programs in Nova Scotia and beyond the blue-bag recycling options in HRM. We will share tips and strategies for reducing plastic and food waste. 

Class 4

This session will focus on how to turn your food scraps into a valuable resource! The session will start with in-depth information about the science of composting and how to build and maintain your own compost pile at home. Then you will learn to vermi(worm)-compost, make “compost tea,” and finally, how to use your finished compost. This session will also include WasteLess Gardening Tips to reduce waste and create a healthy yard. 

Class 5

The final session will provide a review of all course topics and a discussion of the various connections that participants identify. Following the closing discussion, each participant will receive a Master Composter Recycler certificate of completion and will complete a program evaluation. Finally, there will be time for facilitated virtual social time to celebrate course completion.