Resources from Cultivating Community Composting Workshop and Forum

Date: 9 Feb 2017 | posted in: Composting, waste - composting, Waste to Wealth | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On January 23rd and January 24th, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and BioCycle hosted the Cultivating Community Composting Workshop and Forum. [See notes from the workshop and forum]

These events brought together community composters in order to network, share best practices, and build support for community-scale composting systems and enterprises. The Cultivating Community Composting Forum 2017 was the fourth national forum sponsored by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and BioCycle.

Below, you’ll find the presentations that the speakers brought with them to the events.

Thank you again to our sponsors!

Best Practices in Community Composting Workshop

Monday, January 23rd, 2017 • Los Angeles, California

8:30AM TO 4:30PM

Agenda available here for download


Welcome & Who’s Here


Part 1: Key Ingredients of Community Composting


David Paull, Compostwheels, Atlanta

Dustin Fedako, Compost Pedallers, Austin

Guy Schaffer, BK ROT, New York City

Part 2: Small-Scale Composting Systems/Processing BMPs

Moderator: Brenda Platt, Institute for Local Self-Reliance


Composting in an Urban Setting at Howard University Garden, Jeffrey Neal, Howard University Community Garden Compost Manager, Washington D.C.


Small-Scale Systems & Technologies, Jean Bonhotal, Cornell Waste Management Institute, Ithaca, N.Y.


Establishing Best Management Practices for Community Compost Sites, Renee Crowley, NYC Compost Project hosted by Lower East Side Ecology Center Project Manager, New York City


Part 3: Hauling, Bike, & Other Logistics

Moderator: Dan Matsch, Eco-Cycle, Boulder


Composting Logistics: Material, information, and Money, Michael Robinson, Rust Belt Riders, Cleveland


Hauling Logistics & Service Design, Justin Senkbell, CompostNow, Raleigh, N.C.


The Unique Challenges and Opportunities of Bike Hauling, Kathryn Nigro, Tilthy Rich, Durham, N.C.


Part 4: The Business of Community Composting

Moderator: Kyle Isaacksen, Reno Rot Riders, Reno


Dustin Fedako, Compost Pedallers, Austin


Jennifer Mastalerz, Philly Compost, Philadelphia


Mary Ryther, Compost With Me, Falmouth, Mass.


Part 5: Community Engagement & Building Community Power via Community Composting

Moderator: Linda Bilsens, Institute for Local Self-Reliance Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders, Washington D.C.



Agenda available here for download


4th National Cultivating Community Composting Forum

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 • Los Angeles, California

Agenda available here for download

Part 1: Cultivating Community Composting Forum

Community Composting – Distributed, Diverse, and Growing


Forum Keynote: Empowering Neighborhoods Through Compost, Michael Martinez, LA Compost


Panel: Community Composters Drive Local Programs

This panel will showcase how community composters bring public attention to composting and the potential partnerships. Commercial scale composters and haulers – along with local government – will learn the benefit of these programs and how to support/partner with community-based efforts.


Sustaining Business through Collaboration, Jennifer Mastalerz, Philly Compost and Tim Bennett, Bennet Compost, Philadelphia


Connecting Composting to Creating Jobs in Marginalized Communities, Atlanta. David Paull, Compost Wheels, Atlanta

Part 2: Cultivating Community Composting Forum

Panel Discussion: Supporting a Distributed Composting Infrastructure – Dollars and Rules

This panel will address the importance of local and state financing and policies to the development of a diverse and distributed composting infrastructure that includes community scale operations. How can state agencies such as CalRecycle’s create funding incentives to support community composters? How can local government revisit districting rules to allow for community composters to compete? What local governments are already financing and supporting community scale composting?

Moderator: Brenda Platt, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Washington D.C.

Bridget Anderson, Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability NYC Department of Sanitation, New York City

Michael Martinez, LA Compost, Los Angeles

Christina Oatfield, Sustainable Economies Law Center, Oakland, Calif.

Kyle Pogue, CalRecycle, Sacramento

Chris Hunt, ReFED (formerly of Grace Communications Foundation), Healdsburg, Calif.


Agenda available here for download



Community composting is the radical idea that compost is used within the same community where the material is generated and that the community participates in some way. Community composters keep the feedstocks, process and product as local as possible while engaging the community through participation and education. Projects range from urban to rural and include small enterprises, demonstration/training sites, schools, universities, pedal-powered collection systems, worker-owned cooperatives, community gardens and farms.

For more information on community composting, download our report:
Growing Local Fertility: A Guide to Community Composting

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Nick Stumo-Langer

Nick Stumo-Langer was Communications Manager at ILSR working for all five initiatives. He ran ILSR's Facebook and Twitter profiles and builds relationships with reporters. He is an alumnus of St. Olaf College and animated by the concerns of monopoly power across our economy.