For urban community composting centers, the proper selection and use of bulking agent is a key element in not only the cost but also the quality of the finished compost. Besides wood chips (WC) widely used as BA, readily usable cereal residue pellets (CRP) can provide biodegradable carbon and sufficient free air space (FAS) to produce stabilizing temperatures. The objective of the present project was to test at a community center, the effectiveness of CRP in composting food waste (FW). Two recipes were used (CRP with and without WC) to measure: FAS; temperature regimes, and; losses in mass, water, carbon and nitrogen. Both recipes were composted during three consecutive years using a 2 m(3) commercial in-vessel composter operated in downtown Montreal (Canada). For all recipes, FAS exceeded 30% for moisture content below 60%, despite yearly variations in FW and BA physical properties. When properly managed by the center operator, both FW and CRP compost mixtures with and without WC developed within 3 days thermophilic temperatures exceeding 50 °C. The loss of total mass, water, carbon and nitrogen was quite variable for both recipes, ranging from 36% to 54%, 42% to 55%, 48% to 65%, and 4% to 55%, respectively. The highest loss in dry mass, water and C was obtained with FW and CRP without WC aerated to maintain mesophilic rather than thermophilic conditions. Although variable, lower nitrogen losses were obtained with CRP and WC as BA, compared to CRP alone, as also observed during previous laboratory trials. Therefore and as BA, CRP can be used alone but nitrogen losses will be minimized by adding WC. Compost stabilization depends on operator vigilance in terms of aeration. The measured fresh compost density of 530-600 kg/m(3) indicates that the 2 m(3) in-vessel composter can treat 6.5 tons of FW/year if operated during 7 months.