Now in its fourth year, the town's free compost event remains as popular as ever.

Held last Saturday, May 1, early birds once again lined up before the scheduled 10 a.m. opening. and by 4 p.m. over 600 vehicles came to collect the nutrient-rich compost.

"There were many enthusiastic residents who wanted to get some compost to get their garden going. It was a perfect day, and we got lucky because the rain showed up shortly after 4 p.m.," says Fabrizio Bertolo, Cochrane's waste and recycling manager.

He estimates they gave away 50 metric tonnes of the rich substance.

For those residents who missed out, a second event is being held on May 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the overflow parking lot of the Cochrane RancheHouse.

COVID-19 health restrictions require residents to bring their own shovels and containers. Face coverings must also be worn. The number of people shovelling at one time is controlled.

Each gardener can fill two large pails.

The compost is extremely high in nutrients, and shouldn't be used uncut, explains Bertolo.

Valuable tips on the makeup of the compost and how it's best utilized can be found here.

Compost crewManning the compost station were, from left, Angie, Fabrizio, and Ian.