Webinar Resources: Community-Scale Composting Systems with James McSweeney

Date: 5 Mar 2019 | posted in: Composting | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

View the recording of ILSR’s webinar with James McSweeney below!

As communities, cities, and states push to divert food and other compostables from disposal, the demand for organics recycling infrastructure has never been greater. Yet for a multitude of reasons, there are few places where processing capacity aligns well with demand, and many sites find themselves undersized and lacking the tools to expand. Drawing from his newly released 2019 book Community-Scale Composting Systems: A Comprehensive Practical Guide for Closing the Food System Loop and Solving Our Waste Crisis and his experience working with hundreds of composters, large and small, James McSweeney will walk through core concepts related to planning compost site operational capacity. In scaling composting systems, the details matter. Every operation is different and relying on poor assumptions can create large problems, which are hard to recover from. James will cover both conceptual and practical methods for understanding and planning food scrap composting capacity across different composting methodologies. 

This webinar is one in a series ILSR offers to share working models and tips for replication. View our webinar resources here.

To learn more about ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative, click here.


James McSweeney is a composting consultant, educator, and author of Community-Scale Composting Systems, a comprehensive designer’s and practitioner’s manual for food scrap composters. Through his work at the former Highfields Center for Composting and current consulting company, Compost Technical Services, James has worked with hundreds of composters, large and small, on everything from site planning, design, and management to compost heat recovery and livestock feeding systems. He co-authored with ILSR’s Brenda Platt, Growing Local Fertility: A Guide to Community Composting, and has been an ardent proponent and collaborator in the community composting movement in the United States. With a background in agroecology and permaculture, restoring ecological integrity to local farm and food systems is at the heart of James’s work.