Compost Design Table: Update


Food Well Alliance’s Compost Design Table is well underway as the design fellows continue to design a potential solution for increasing community-based composting in Metro Atlanta.

The Compost Design Table kicked off in August 2017 with our three fellows Compostwheels, Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture and Georgia Institute of Technology. Since then, Food Well Alliance has convened 8 sessions with the fellows.

The Compost Design Table works as a process accelerator, focusing on the design of an innovative pilot project to test a solution that will lead to the long-term goal of increasing community-based composting at farms and gardens across Metro Atlanta. The Design Table process consists of five phases including the (1) Orientation Phase, (2) Design Phase, (3) Pilot Pitch Phase to Food Well Alliance, (4) Decision from Food Well Alliance to fund/not fund the pilot program and (5) Implementation of the pilot program, pending funding is awarded. Currently, the fellows are completing the (2) Design Phase of the process. Their proposed solution is to collect uncontaminated feedstock from high-density residential complexes to bring to an urban farm so they can produce compost for the farm.

"The Compost Design Table has been an amazing collaborative experience drawing on the resources, talents, and expertise of the fellows,” said David Paull, Compost Design Table Fellow and Founder/Chief Composting Officer at Compostwheels. “The result of this process will be a pilot project that will further the composting movement in Atlanta through focusing on the collection of compostables from high density residential complexes, and partnering with a local farm to create valuable finished compost. Our organization has benefited primarily through the collective voice furthering the overall mission of more people composting for healthier soils."

During implementation of the proposed pilot project, the team will also be conducting research on social and emotional drivers to better understand why residents choose to participate in a composting service. They plan to test emotional drivers by connecting residents to urban farms through lunch and learns with farmers and farmer involvement in info sessions. They are also considering a pop-up farmer's market at the residential complex.

“My experience as a fellow for the Compost Design Table has been greatly rewarding, in both a professional and personal sense,” said Malte Weiland, Compost Design Table Fellow and Senior Sustainability Project Manager at Georgia Tech. “On a professional level, the work of the Design Table has brought Georgia Tech into the forefront of composting in Atlanta along with other truly talented individuals, and we will be able to utilize that work to pilot new compost collection services on campus. Personally, I have enjoyed meeting and engaging with passionate individuals in the local food movement and hope to continue those connections throughout my career here in Atlanta.”

The Compost Design Table will last for a maximum of 10 months.

Check back for more updates about the fellows' progress, and to learn more about Food Well Alliance's work supporting composting efforts visit here.