Long months of composting are paying off for Calgarians who came out to get free compost from the city depot on the weekend.

Since the city’s green cart program began, 53 million kilograms of organic material has been turned into compost. 95 per cent of it will be sold privately, but five per cent is being made available for free this month, and Calgarians can't wait to get their hands on it.

“We were just really excited to get some compost to add to our garden this year,” said Megan Parker.

She isn’t the only one, with long lineups of vehicles winding through the facility roads and out toward Stoney Trail Southeast. The wait was anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to get in, but people were undeterred as they enjoyed the warm, sunny day, saying the event was well-organized.

“Quick service, very well laid out,” said Victor Oliverira.

“That’s why we set up as big as we did, so you can see there can be thousands of vehicles on site at any time, so that is why we chose this location, lots of room for lineups and we can really flow people through,” said Sharon Howland, City of Calgary Waste & Recycling Services.

Once inside, people shoveled the black gold into bins, buckets and trash cans. Each person was allowed to take 100 litres of compost.

“Clearly Calgarians are very excited about this program, compost can go a long way so it’s well worth it to get in line, the 100 litres of compost is more than enough for three garden beds,” said Howland.

“We have next to no garbage now and our compost bin is filled, the boys love helping out with it and it’s pretty amazing that we get to take advantage of the end product too,” said Megan Parker.

Even though the lineups were long, there were no concerns about running out… yet.

“It is potentially an issue, we’re just going to keep monitoring weekend by weekend. There is only so much compost from this facility allocated to the free giveaway weekends,” said Howland.

The City of Calgary’s free compost giveaway will go every weekend in May. For more information, log on here.