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Earth Day: Composting gets sixty times faster at UGM!

Vancouver, BC—For Earth Day 2015—Wednesday, April 22—Union Gospel Mission is pleased to announce a new machine helping us go greener and keep food scraps out landfills. As an organization that serves over 320,000 complete meals every year there is an inevitable significant volume of waste that accumulates. But UGM agrees with the city—food scraps do not belong in landfills. Instead of paying the high cost of organics removal every week, UGM has invested in a second generation GreenGood Composter machine, the first of its kind in Canada. Through this new method, scraps are recycled and turned into soil in just 24 hours—instead of the regular 60 days it would normally take.

“There is an eighty-percent decrease in volume and weight from what goes into the machine,” says Bill Mollard, UGM president. “We are decreasing our carbon foot-print and instead of contributing to the landfill problem, we are helping create a nutrient-rich compost starter.”

Louise Schwarz, a composting expert at Recycling Alternatives explains how the process works:

“The composter increases the speed of the natural digestion process by biologically maintaining optimal levels or aeration, moisture and temperature,” she says. “Under these controlled conditions the microbes can safely digest food waste at a much faster rate than natural conditions.”

She continues to explain.  “Up to 95% of the volume of waste is reduced through evaporating waster and discharging of carbon gas. The rest become compost in 24 hours.”

For UGM this means food scraps don’t need to be collected all week, taking up precious space while waiting for pick-up and given rise to offensive odors and inviting pests. Instead they can be immediately be put in the composter machine.

UGM’s Earth Day Initiatives

  • Composter Introduction for UGM’s kid’s afterschool program – a 15 orientation at 3:45PM
  • The UGM Earth Day Challenge – UGM is encouraging all staff members to walk, bike or carpool to work on Wednesday.

o Each participating staff will receive a healthy snack (donated) and their name in a draw for a gift certificate to a DTES business.

o UGM’s President will be outside the UGM’s bike room and parking garage from 8:30am – 9:30am to high-five “green” staff as they come in.


Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing lives of men, women, youth, and children for 75 years. Through its seven locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides counselling, education, safe housing, and alcohol and drug recovery to those struggling with poverty, homelessness, and addiction. The heart of the mission is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of the most vulnerable, rebuild the lives of the broken, and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit

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