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Featured Article filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Feb 27, 2015

Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Advanced Composter Training Course

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

The Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders training program is a community composter training program with a community service component. This program was developed by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and ECO City Farms.

Dates and Times: We will meet March 20th-22nd and April 24th-26th, from 9am-6pm on Fridays and Saturdays (with a 1-hour break for lunch), and 1pm-5pm on Sundays.

Location: We will meet at ECO City Farms at Bladensburg at 6100 Emerson Street, Bladensburg, MD 20710.

Cost: The fee for this course is $200. However, a sliding scale is available to those in need. A space for requesting financial assistance is provided in the online application.

To Apply: To apply for our spring 2015 training in DC-MD (March 20th-22nd, April 24th-26th), fill out the online application by Monday, March 9th. Upon review, qualified applicants will be contacted to arrange a phone interview.

As one goal of this program is to provide trained composting operators to community, school and educational gardens in the DC-MD area, applicants working in these environments will be given preference. Preference will also be given to pairs of applicants from the same community – Find a friend, colleague, or neighbor to take the course with you!

Application Deadline: The deadline for applications is the end of the day on Monday, March 9th.

Course Description: The Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders’ Advanced Composter course provides an integrated experiential learning environment: half in the classroom and half doing hands-on training. The course also includes a compost site tour and a compost bin build day.

This course covers the following topics:

o the small-scale composting process
o vermicomposting (worm composting)
o how to use finished compost
o how to design and build on-site compost systems
o techniques for teaching others about composting
o techniques for engaging community participation

Course Requirements: The Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders’ Advanced Composter course has three main requirements: attendance of all classes; implementation of a capstone project; and the completion of 30 hours of supported community composting service. Participants will have six months from the last class to complete the capstone project and community service components.

For the capstone project component, participants will initiate or support a community composting project based on their interests and the needs of the community they are serving. Potential projects might include building and managing compost bins at community gardens, schools, churches, or working at compost demonstration sites. In addition, participants will provide NSR staff with brief monthly progress updates throughout the six-month, post-class period.

For the community service component, participants will be expected to log 30 hours of community composting service. Half of these hours will be spent providing composting-related support to a community in need – this is the minimum amount of time we expect you to dedicate to your capstone project. The other half of these hours are required to be spent composting with one of our approved composter mentors.

Upon successful completion of the Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders’ Advanced Composter course requirements, participants will be eligible for receipt of a certificate and will be qualified to apply to the Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Master Composter train-the-trainer apprenticeship.

Questions? Contact: