Back to top Jump to featured resources
Featured Article, Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth

Cultivating Community Composting Forum and Workshop Bring Composters Together

| Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Feb 16, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at
localism community level planing

ILSR and BioCycle magazine teamed up for the National Cultivating Community Composting Forum at the US Composting Council’s International Conference & Trade Show January 25-28, 2016, in Jacksonville, Florida.

More than 70 community composters from all over the US gathered in Jacksonville to discuss best practices for community composting. From bike pedallers to urban farmers and local public works and sanitation departments, experts and entrepreneurs brainstormed ways to make their businesses and organizations more effective and efficient in recovering compostable materials from the waste stream at the community level.


Moderated by Brenda Platt of ILSR, this half-day workshop featured community composters sharing their best practices in a peer-to-peer format. Topics included: creative financing, operator training, food scrap collection, equipment and small-scale systems, outreach and communications, cooperative structures, volunteer management, and best management practices for the compost process. Our goal was for participants to learn about other initiatives and how to adapt lessons learned to their projects.




In collaboration with the US Composting Council (USCC) and BioCycle, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance held this Forum in conjunction with the USCC’s International Conference and Trade Show, #COMPOST2016,  in Jacksonville, Florida. This was the first time the USCC’s annual conference featured Pechu Kucha-style lightning presentations followed by interactive panels of responders to spark dialogue. Community composters presented on three core topics: equipment needs, collaboration with commercial haulers and sites, and government-supported programs.

The first session featured innovative strategies to grow community composting – from the NYC Compost Project to DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation, best management practices, and why local and state government should care about community composting. The second session focused on why equipment manufacturers, commercial food waste haulers, and commercial composters should care about community composting.


Why Local Government Should Support Community Composting:

Community Composting: Why You Should Care:

Why Equipment Manufacturers Should Support Community Composting:

Why Commercial Haulers & Composters Should Support Community Composting

Links to community composter blogs and other articles:

Dustin Fedako, “A Composter’s Dream” Compost Pedallers

Jorge Montezuma, “COMPOST2016: Community Composting & ReFED” (2/3/16) Soil Masons

Andrea Carter, The Falmouth Enterprise (2/6/16) Local Composter Represents Community At National Compost 2016 Conference: article featuring Mary Bunker Ryther and Compost With Me

Peter Moon, O2 Compost Winter 2016 newsletter Food Waste Collection, Composting and Urban Farming 



Tags: / / / / / /

Rebecca Toews

About Rebecca Toews

Rebecca is ILSR’s Communications Specialist.  For media inquiries, reach Rebecca by e-mail at:
Rebecca’s experience lies all along the media spectrum. Her communication focus originated in the news field, with more than seven years experience in newsroom settings and professional & university teaching positions. More

Contact Rebecca   |   View all articles by Rebecca Toews