Frequently Asked Questions


No. The finished, cured fish/food waste/biosolids compost smells like dirt. The smell that is sometimes experienced at Salish Soils is from the raw, unprocessed Fish Residuals, Food Waste, and Biosolids.

No. All of the compost streams are kept completely separate.

The main reason sand is used in the soil blends is because it is a locally sourced product here on the Sunshine Coast. All other potential soil additives, like peat or coconut coir, would have to be sourced from other parts of the country or world, increasing the environmental impact of the soil. For example, the closest peat bog is in Manitoba. Sand also has the added benefit of increasing the drainage of the soil.

Compostable products are designed to breakdown into its natural components under industrial compost standards, specifically with the right amount of moisture and heat. Biodegradable products are designed to breakdown in landfill conditions, typically within a much longer timeframe compared to compostable products. That means if a biodegradable bag is accidentally placed into the composting stream it will not breakdown and after the composting process is complete, it will come out as a plastic pieces or bags and contaminate the compost.


Biosolids are the stabilized residuals that is created after going through the wastewater treatment process plants at the District of Sechelt or the Town of Gibsons. Before being used to make soil, the already treated Biosolids goes through the full composting process, which includes heating it to over 55°C for a minimum of 3 days to kill all weed seeds and pathogens as well as a 5 month curing phase.

Yes, just like our Fish and Food Waste Compost, the Biosolids Class A Compost passes all required tests from the OMRR (Organic Matter Recycling Regulation of British Columbia). On top of the standard tests, the OMRR has additional requirements when selling Biosolids Compost if the area where the compost is being applied is not being monitored, which Salish Soils also passes. That being said, Salish Soils currently only sells a soil with Biosolids Compost that is designated for lawns, due to the high content of sand in the soil blend, called Biosoil. However, we are experimenting with a garden soil blend that we hope to offer in 2021, something to look out for!

Fish Residuals

All the compost streams, including the fish residuals, are classified as Class A Compost under OMRR. To be classified as Class A Compost the finished compost is rigorously tested and must follow strict parameters regarding fecal coliforms and metals. Class A Compost is completely safe for your gardens.

Food Waste

Recently Salish Soils has made the decision to not allow compostable plastic bags in our Food Waste drop off.

The reason why is there has been an increasing amount of contamination which has been affecting our feedstocks. Contamination that has been found the in the Food Waste drop off includes general plastic bags, biodegradable bags, plastic containers, foam meat trays, absorbent meat pads, and saran wrap.

Since all the Food Waste collected through the various programs are used in the composting process, and later sold as soil, it is vitally important that Salish Soils receives clean feedstocks. As they say, garbage in out means garbage out, so please do your part to ensure the waste from food can be successfully turned into a resource.