Webinar: Census of Community Composters – Key Findings, Challenges & Future Outlook

Date: 30 May 2023 | posted in: Composting | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Are you interested in learning about the growing community composting movement, its benefits, potential for growth, and how you help spur community-scale composting? Or perhaps you are a funder looking to invest in food waste recycling solutions that benefit underserved communities and promote local circular economies. Check out the recording of this webinar to hear the highlights of ILSR's report, A Growing Movement: 2022 Community Composter Census, the first census of community composters to track the nature and growth of this sector, identify its key challenges, and demonstrate its benefits. The report found that community composting is rapidly growing with remarkable job creation potential and other benefits to a broad community base, including traditionally marginalized populations. Yet, despite these benefits, challenges remain: scaling up operations, funding and financing, access to land, and lack of adequately sized equipment, to name a few.

This webinar featured a presentation from lead author Clarissa Libertelli, followed by a moderated panel discussion addressing key challenges to growth and what's needed to support future innovation and investment. The panel included representatives from local government and community composting.


This live webinar took place on: June 22nd, 2023

A recording is available at the link below for those who did not register for the live session.



The fee to watch this webinar recording is $20
Participation in this series is free for Community Composter Coalition members (use code CCC), farmers (use code FARMER) and for local government (use code LOCGOV)!

This webinar is Part 6 in a Government Support for Community Composting webinar series the Institute for Local Self-Reliance offers to support a distributed and diverse composting infrastructure that includes community-sized and on-farm composting. To view and listen to our library of past composting-related webinar recordings, click HERE.


Clarissa Libertelli – Coordinator, Community Composter Coalition
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Clarissa coordinates the Community Composter Coalition, a network of 289 organizational members in 42 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 7 other countries. In this role, she convenes networking events, organizes webinars/workshops, and facilitates monthly peer learning community sessions. Clarissa also creates original posters and infographics as well as signage templates for community compost sites. Her latest infographic is How Composting Combats the Climate Crisis. She received her Bachelor’s at the University of Vermont in Environmental Studies and Political Science. As the lead author of A Growing Movement: 2022 Community Composter Census, Clarissa finalized and sent out the survey, led the data analysis, and wrote and designed the final report.
Kourtnii Brown – Co-founder
California Alliance for Community Composting Kourtnii Brown co-founded and serves on the Steering Committee for the California Alliance for Community Composting. In this role, she is expanding small-scale composting infrastructure and training in low-income communities throughout the state. She is also a worm wrangler, soil slinger, and the Founder and Director of Common Compost in Oakland. Her on-site community compost projects empower sustainable resource recovery and improve local food systems in Alameda, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles counties. Before Common Compost was hatched, Kourtnii spent 15 years as an environmental policy analyst.
Sophia Hosain – Zero Waste Manager
Baltimore City Department of Public Works Sophia is Baltimore City's first ever Zero Waste Manager. In this role, she is leading the newly created Office of Waste Diversion in the City's Department of Public Works. She formerly worked at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance where she led the Baltimore Composting for Community Project. Prior to that, she worked with the Baltimore Office of Sustainability on its Food Matters program in partnership with NRDC. She is passionate about enriching and empowering communities through circular economies and sustainable food systems.
Sandy Briggs – Program Manager
City of Boulder, Climate Initiatives Department As a program manager in the City of Boulder, Colorado’s Climate Initiatives Department, Sandy is working to reduce consumption and waste through establishing a more circular materials economy. She was previously engaged with outreach and implementation of Boulder's Universal Zero Waste Ordinance. She is currently developing a strategy to create a circular, localized and equitable organics economy that addresses the materials management needs of the community while simultaneously increasing climate change adaptability and resilience.
J. Olu Baiyewu – Urban Agriculture Director
City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Resilience As the City of Atlanta Urban Agriculture Director, J. Olu leads the strategic planning process for Atlanta’s urban agriculture activities and fresh food access policies, recommends new policy initiatives, facilitates inter-agency connectivity to support urban agriculture in Atlanta, works with the various City of Atlanta Departments and external partners on soil suitability for potential gardens, green stormwater infrastructure projects, and more. Prior to joining the City of Atlanta. J. Olu was Director of Programs and Outreach at the Atlanta nonprofit, Food Well Alliance.
Caroline Vance – Capital, Innovation, & Engagement Director
ReFED Caroline Vance serves as Capital, Innovation, & Engagement Director at ReFED – the national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste by advancing data-driven solutions – where she oversees initiatives that drive more investment into solutions to food waste. Prior to joining ReFED, she spent 12 years in the impact investing unit of Deutsche Bank and its asset management firm, DWS, where she managed portfolios of investments in microfinance institutions and social enterprises operating in the developing world. She currently serves on the Board of Upaya Social Ventures, a non-profit organization that makes seed-stage investments in companies that provide dignified employment to the lowest-income members of society in India, and she is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.



Brenda Platt - Director, Composting for Community Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), Washington, DC

Brenda and her team at ILSR are supporting community-scale composters via forums, webinars, podcasts, guides, policies, training, and more. In 2017, the US Composting Council awarded her its H. Clark Gregory Award for outstanding service to the composting industry through grassroots efforts. In 2019, BioCycle magazine featured Brenda as one of its organics recycling trailblazers. She has a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from The George Washington University.


Photo credit: Meredith Heuer

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Brenda Platt directs ILSR's Composting for Community project.