7th National Cultivating Community Composting Forum & Field Day

Date: 7 Mar 2023 | posted in: Composting | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In January 2023, ILSR convened the 7th National Cultivating Community Composting Forum & Field Day in Ontario, California, in partnership with the US Composting Council and its annual conference and trade show. The Forum was held Monday, January 23rd, at the Ontario Convention Center. The Field Day was held the next day at the CalPoly Pomona’s Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies. Presentations from the Forum are below, followed by short videos from some of the Field Day stations. Audio recordings of all presentations and panels – coming soon.

For more information on the CCC Forum, check out these links:


FEATURE ILSR ARTICLE: Community composters make their mark on industry at national conference

ARTICLE (BioCycle, March 6, 2023): Community Composters Grow Into A Movement



Photo & video slideshow (all events):

To view full screen, click the three dots in the lower lefthand corner and then “Enter full screen.”

Opening Session: Welcome & Introductions

Our opening plenary featured a recognition of indigenous lands; a welcome from Kourtnii Brown of the California Alliance for Community Composters; a presentation on the growing community composting movement by Clarissa Libertelli, Coordinator, Community Composter Coalition (ILSR), and keynote remarks by Elinor Crescenzi of Food Cycle Collective/ECOFARM Initiative (Pomona, Calif.).

Audio of the session coming in the future. In the meantime, here are links to view the one slide deck.

The Growing Community Composting Movement — Clarissa Libertelli, Community Composter Coalition, Institute for Local Self-Reliance



Concurrent Track 1: Community-Rooted & Volunteer Run Programs


Generating Excitement About Community Composting in an Urban, Chronically Marginalized Community — Marvin Hayes & Kenneth Moss, Baltimore Compost Collective


Youth Composting Programs — Nando Rodriguez, The Brotherhood Sister Sol & Open Road of NY (New York, NY)

Download here


Expanding Access to Composting through Community Partnerships — Kyleen Sanchez, Lower East Side Ecology Center (New York City)


California Alliance Launches 120 Community-Led Compost Hubs — Kourtnii Brown, California Alliance for Community Composting


Concurrent Track 2: The Business of Community Composting

Funding & Adapting to Changing Economic Climate — Brittany Forslind, Java’s Compost (Orange, NJ)


Operations & Facility Design for Small-scale Collection & Composting Businesses — Karl Johnson, YES Compost LLC (Belgrade, MT)

Scaling Collections and Composting: The Finance and Operations of Growth at Rust Belt Riders — Aramay Moss, Rust Belt Riders (Cleveland, OH)

Building a Resilient Business — Molly Lindsay, Community Compost Company (Kerhonkson, NY)

Panel: Composting Systems

This panel featured a sampling of community composting systems. Each panelist had only a few minutes to share photos of their system and then we had a 20-minute discussion moderated by James McSweeney, Compost Technical Services and author of the book Community-Scale Composting Systems.  Admittedly, we did not have nearly enough time for this panel. The idea was to set the stage for the following day’s Field Day, which included demonstrations of small systems.

Solarized Three-Bin Aerated Static Pile Systems & Integrating Composting at an Urban Farm – Natasha Dyer, Zero Waste Atlanta, and Khari Diop, Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture (Atlanta)

Retrofitting Shipping Container Composting System for Farm-Based Sites – Benny Erez, ECO City Farms (Bladensburg, MD)

Small ASP Piles for Schools – Gretchen Losano, West Maui Green Cycle (West Maui, HI)

Rural Farm-Scale ASP System – Ryan Green, Happy Trash Can Curbside Composting (Bozeman, MT)

Super Cube Design & Making Vessels from Reclaimed Materials – Van Calvez, Green Mountain Technologies (Bainbridge Island, WA)


Closing Plenary Panel
Building a Community of Practice: Next Steps to Cultivate Community Composting

This session – moderated by Brenda Platt of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance – featured a panel discussing next steps and strategies for building the movement.

Michael Martinez, LA Compost
Jeffrey Neal, Loop Closing (DC)
Ella Kotner, Groundwork Rhode Island
Tim Bowater, The CarbonCycle Company (New Zealand)
Eileen Banyra, Community Compost Co. and USCC Board member (NY/NJ)
J. Olu Baiyewu, Urban Agriculture & Food Systems Team, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Resilience
Kourtnii Brown, California Alliance for Community Composting

Closing Poem
Marvin Hayes, Baltimore Compost Collective

Video clip of most of poem by Amanda Edwards (Eat South, Montgomery, AL)

January 24th Field Day at the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies

Disclaimer: These videos are not professionally filmed.

Jamie Blanchard-Poling and Max Poling of Compost Queen (Fort Collins, CO) thrilled to be at the Field Day.


DIY Electric-Assist Bike Trailer Rig, Food Cycle Collective, Pomona, California – explained by Drew Felix


DIY Food Scrap Drop-off Bin, Food Cycle Collective, Pomona, California – explained by Nate Satrape


Small-Scale Sifters, LA Compost, Los Angeles – explained by Megan Laird and Erica Montelongo

USCC Panel
Community Composters – An Emerging Sector

Note: This panel was a part of USCC’s programming and not the Cultivating Community Composting Forum & Field Day.


Thank You to Our Sponsors! We love you!

Your contributions primarily covered our scholarship fund, but also our networking reception, printed agendas/materials, and other direct expenses. The scholarship fund helped us bring 63 community composters to the event – many from underserved urban areas – and cover their travel, lodging, and registration costs.


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