Compost leaders identify strategic recommendations for scaling community-based composting in Metro Atlanta

Food Well Alliance’s latest Working Table gathered for its final convening where it made strategic recommendations for ways to systematically advance community-based composting in Metro Atlanta.

The March 29 meeting was one of four convenings that took place this year, during which community leaders gathered to understand the challenges and opportunities around community-based composting in the city. The group has been working since January.

The 15 leaders - who include compost experts, entrepreneurs, educators and advocates - identified a total of nine strategic recommendations to scale and increase infrastructure for community-based composting in Atlanta during the latest meeting.

The sessions were facilitated by Adam Saslow of the Institutes for Local Innovations.  

The recommendations will be published in a White Paper and will inform possible funding from Food Well Alliance to support community-based composting.

To learn more about the Community-based Composting Working Table visit here and check out the working table’s strategic recommendations below:

1. Atlanta Recycles or a similar organization needs to explore convening an Atlanta Community-based Composting Council with a concrete charge and explore opportunities to advance community-based composting and its nexus with urban farming and community gardens in Metro Atlanta.

2. Increase awareness of the importance of abundant healthy soil and the nexus with water conservation and where our food is grown among communities of interest and particularly the millennial demographic.

3. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to explore the establishment of a “hub and spoke” system so as to increase the density of participation, expand collection of organic material and increase compost production within a bounded geography.

4. It is essential that community gardeners, urban farmers, haulers and composters collaborate to identify long-term capital funding sources and then prioritize systemic capital needs for transportation, equipment, logistics, and compost production across Metro Atlanta.

5. Stakeholders are encouraged to collaborate and define baseline measures and performance indicators for assessing and increasing community-based composting in Metro Atlanta.  Those measures and indicators must, at a minimum, addressing: (A) the volumes of organic material generated; (B) processing capacities; and (C) demand from community gardens, urban farms, orchards, and even local residential use.

6. The Atlanta Community-based Composting Council and Georgia Restaurant Association need to explore systems, technologies, and hands-on training that will demonstrably reduce contamination of feedstocks destined for community-based composting facilities.

7. Provide annual community-based compost operator training, including site management, best practices, policy, and compost use and application.  

8. Local government interests in Metro Atlanta need to work closely with federal government agencies  to align the regulatory structure across jurisdictional boundaries.

9. The community-based composting stakeholders should support state leadership and federal partnership that encourages the convening of a collaborative dialogue designed to develop a Statewide Soil Strategy and create a cutting-edge campaign for soil building across Georgia.

To learn more about the Community Composting Working Table visit here.