The Institute for Local Self-Reliance Launches a New Online Community Composting 101 Course

Date: 13 Jan 2022 | posted in: Composting | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

ILSR unveils a new self-paced certificate course to improve access to high-quality training for community-based composting


Contact: Jess Del Fiacco,


WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 13, 2022) – A new online course from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) will support the expansion of locally-based composting initiatives at community gardens, farms, schools, and other sites. Composting transforms food scraps and other materials into a valuable product that improves soil health, while recycling nutrients that would otherwise be disposed. Composting also helps communities reduce wasted food and combat climate change.  

The Community Composting 101 Online Certificate Course will provide a thorough overview of how to compost, and is specifically designed for small-sized composters operating in community settings. “Local composting solutions can be implemented quickly, can be scaled up, and can engage and educate citizens, all while supporting broader composting efforts and local agriculture,” says Linda Bilsens Brolis of ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative. “We created this virtual course to make our training more accessible to anyone interested in starting their own community composting initiative.”

The Community Composting 101 Online Certificate Course encompasses seven self-paced modules:

  • Module 1 – The What & Why of Composting
  • Module 2 – Composting Systems & The Role of Community Composting
  • Module 3 – Composting Fundamentals & Recipe Development
  • Module 4 – Building a Compost Pile 
  • Module 5 – Managing the Composting Process
  • Module 6 – Site Design & Management
  • Module 7 – Getting Started & Engaging the Community  

The new course is part of ILSR’s Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Composter Training Program, which is supporting small and community-based composters around the country to succeed, troubleshoot on their own, and produce high-quality compost. Bulk discounts are available for groups enrolling together. 

More information about the course: 

ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative is advancing composting to enhance local soils, support local food production, cut waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and create community development opportunities. Its focus is to catalyze distributed food waste composting options – home, community, and on-farm composting – in addition to larger facilities by identifying and sharing best practices and lessons learned from practitioners on the ground. 




About ILSR

Founded in 1974, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s (ILSR) mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development. We are a national research and advocacy organization that partners with allies across the country to build an American economy driven by local priorities that is accountable to people and the planet. 


About the Trainers

Linda Bilsens Brolis is the Senior Project Manager for ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative. She has managed the Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Composter Training Program since it launched in 2014. Linda was the lead author of ILSR’s 2019 report, Community Composting Done Right: A Guide to Best Management Practices. She is a certified Compost Facility Operator in the state of Maryland, and leads ILSR’s participation in the Million Acre Challenge, a collaborative focused on expanding the implementation of regenerative soil health practices in Maryland and the Chesapeake Region. 

Brenda Platt is the Director of ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative. She has conducted a variety of technical projects during her 35-year affiliation with ILSR, including evaluating the best recycling and composting programs in the US, writing numerous reports, and providing technical assistance to community groups, government, and industry around the country. Brenda has been certified as a MD compost facility operator twice, and has completed numerous composting training courses. 

Together, Linda and Brenda have led dozens of composting classes around the country based on the NSR program.