Master Composters

Master Composter Volunteer program

The Master Composter program was established in Seattle, WA, in 1986 and is now offered in locations in the USA , Canada and the UK

 Typically,  the programme provides participants with  25 - 40 hours of lectures, demonstrations, and field trips as part of a formal  training process. Topics may include the importance of composting and diverting waste from landfill, the theoretical and applied aspects of composting,  information on a range of techniques as well as delivery and presentational skills. Presentations are usually by specialists and qualified  MCs will provide instruction and experience. On completion of the initial training,  20-30  hours of practical internship or activity are normally required within the first year often assisting qualified MCs to  complement and reinforces the material learned in class.

Schemes will normal issue a Master Composters Manual and will expect volunteers to sign up to terms and conditions. Always read these carefully before signing.

Garden Organic Master Composters UK

Garden Organic’s national mentoring scheme to promote and advise on home composting.

National charity Garden Organic have been at the forefront of organic horticulture since the 1950’s.  Established by journalist and writer Laurence Hills as the Henry Doubleday Research Association, the charity now based at Ryton Organic Gardens, has a large membership base and works to promote, learn, and educate in organic practices.  Composting is recognised as the cornerstone of organic gardening and as such the charity strive to work with local councils and partners around the UK to promote the benefits of it.  Home composting is a fantastic sustainable solution to reducing the burden of household waste.  Not only that, it provides fantastic, rich compost to use in your own garden.

Alongside our partners we recruit, train and support volunteer ambassadors who help us to share the virtues of composting to a wide audience.

The Sustainable Communities and Education Teams at Garden Organic have a wealth of experience in composting, organic growing, volunteer management and community engagement.  The team have been training both the public and waste professionals since 2001.

 

What is a Master Composter Programme?

Garden Organic's Master Composters are volunteers who spend time promoting home composting in their local community, encouraging householders and allotment holders to take up composting and ensuring those already composting continue to do so effectively. Master Composters come from many backgrounds and age groups; their unifying feature is their enthusiasm for encouraging more environmentally friendly waste management practices.

Master Composter Programmes are funded to operate in particular geographical areas. Working alongside local authorities and waste service providers, we tailor programmes to meet the demands within that respective area.

 

How can Garden Organic help you?

Our pioneering work in the establishment of Master Composter schemes in the UK and the training of home composting and recycling advisors has helped to bring composting into the mainstream. We are often the first port of call for anyone interested in learning more about home composting or setting up a Master Composter programme.

The Garden Organic Master Composter programme is a flexible list of services and resources that local authorities and/or NGOs can buy into. Garden Organic provides the technical expertise necessary to the scheme and provides various options for the day to day operational support to the volunteers.

As well as the Master Composter programme, we can also provide a suite of training courses, promotional resources, and a technical support package of information and advice on composting either on a small scale at home or on a large scale for businesses, schools, etc.

To find out more about Master Composters, Garden Organic’s current projects, and their wider portfolio of work click here. <https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/master-composter-schemes>

Master Composter Details & Contacts: Cumbria

  

Established in May 2017 with funding from Cumbria County Council, Garden Organic are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to promote home composting.  As a rural county, food waste collections are not feasible and so a large part of this project is to encourage residents to not only compost the ‘typical’ organic waste items but also cooked food waste in specialist compost bins designed to process it.  Alongside trained volunteers active around the county, residents are able to purchase heavily discounted composting bins designed to accept cooked food waste.

MC’s are volunteers who spend time promoting home composting in their local community, encouraging householders to take up composting and ensuring those already composting do so effectively. MC’s come from many backgrounds and age groups; their unifying feature is their enthusiasm for composting and their ability to engage with and make a difference to their local community.
People’s attitudes and behaviour can be influenced by family, friends, neighbours or work colleagues and it is for this reason that our volunteers can provide a unique and much needed role.
 

How you can get involved

  • Become a Master Composter: If you are interested in attending one of our training courses to become a Cumbria Master Composter please email our local coordinator Emma Lynch on ELynch@gardenorganic.org.uk
  • Request the help of a Master Composter - do you need advice, want a composting talk or have an event Master Composters could attend?

 

Master Composter Details & Contacts: Gloucestershire

The Gloucestershire Master Composter programme is delivered in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council. Master Composters have been promoting home composting to Gloucestershire residents since 2010.

The programme aims to reach any Gloucestershire resident who wants to start composting at home and offer support to people who are already home composting and may be having difficulties or need encouragement.

There are around 15 Master Composters in Gloucestershire who attend a variety of events to promote home composting and give advice to the general public. They also give talks, go into schools and write blogs and articles about composting.

Anyone can be a Master Composter. You do not have to be an expert in composting as Master Composters are trained in 'how to compost' before they start their activities. There are Master Composters from a wide variety of age, background and culture. This contributes to the effectiveness of the scheme – Master Composters can reach parts of a community that other compost promoting activities cannot.

Get involved

  • Become a Master Composter – Please contact either Garden Organic or Gloucestershire County Council if you are interested in becoming a Master Composter
  • Request the help of a Master Composter – do you need advice, want a composting talk or have an event Master Composters could attend? Please contact us and let us know.
  • Visit the Recycle for Gloucestershire website

Garden Organic, enquiry@gardenorganic.org.uk, tel. 024 7630 3517

Environment Action Volunteers: Details & Contacts: Leicestershire

Leicestershire Master Composter is now subsumed into of the EAV programme

Environment Action Volunteers (EAVs ) encourage and support people in Leicestershire to take action to reduce their impact on the environment. 

The EVA scheme is managed by Leicestershire County Council’s Environment and Waste Initiatives teams in partnership with the charities Love Food Hate Waste and Garden Organic. The Environment Action Volunteers help to support the County Council in meeting its aims and objectives as set out in its Environment Strategy, the Waste Disposal Authority Plan, the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy. It also helps the council to meet its commitments to the Courtauld 2025 agreementSCAP and the Leicestershire food plan.

As part of the EAV  training volunteers will be given an overview of these initiatives, to provide  a basic awareness and understanding of them. They  can then choose to specialise on one or more initiatives and undertake more in-depth training on the  chosen topic(s) such as becoming a Master Composter

The Environment Action volunteer role is about fostering positive behavioural change and is as much about people and communities as it is about the environment. The role of Environment Action Volunteers is as diverse as the people they support.  Examples of the types of activities Environment Action Volunteers get involved with include:

Raising awareness, giving advice and providing education

  • Attending events and talking to people about topics such as; food waste prevention, home composting, waste reduction, reuse and recycling, the use of reusable nappies, carbon footprints, climate change and biodiversity.
  • Supporting social media campaigns, initiatives and events designed to help people in Leicestershire to live more sustainably and less wastefully. For examples of current social media campaigns see here.
  • Delivering talks, presentations and workshops for community groups and educational establishments on topics related to waste, the environment and sustainability.
  • Promoting the availability of grant funding designed to help Leicestershire communities to undertake projects which minimise waste and / or which protect or improve the environment. Environmental Action Volunteers can also lend advice and support to such projects.
  • Providing practical support:

    • Supporting community fridgescommunity kitchens or other projects that make good use of surplus food that would otherwise go to waste.
    • Supporting Parish councils to be more aware of, and take practical actions to protect biodiversity.
    • Running cooking classes and teaching people to buy, prepare, cook and store food with minimal waste.
    • Helping to promote and run the council-supported reusable nappy scheme and helping the parents of young children to make the change from single use disposable nappies to reusable alternatives.
    • Supporting community groups that deliver carbon emissions and tackle climate change.
    • Establishing compost demonstration sites where people can visit and learn about home composting, the different types of bins and composting techniques available, and where people can get involved with community composting.
    • Contributing materials for publication via a range of media including; print, social media, video and radio. For example see here.
    • Develop projects to demonstrate environmental good practice and show community leadership.
    • Provide informal advice to friends, family and neighbours on a range of  topics relating to waste and the environment.
    • Help to establish community events where people can swap,  swish or donate unwanted items.
    • Support or develop projects that support sustainable travel.
    • Help to establish or run community events where people can learn to complete maintenance or basic repairs to broken items that might otherwise go to waste.
    • Help to establish and run sharing schemes in Leicestershire such as tool libraries or book swaps.

Become an Environment Action Volunteer

Applications to join the Environment Action Volunteer scheme are invited from:

  • Leicestershire residents (this excludes residents of Leicester City and Rutland owing to the way the EAV scheme is funded)
  • People aged 18 years or over (for insurance purposes)
  • People with an interest in helping Leicestershire residents / communities to reduce waste, recycle more, protect and improve the environment and to live more sustainably.

For further information, please contact the Waste and Environment team by emailing wasteprevention@leics.gov.uk or call 0116 305 7005.

 

 

Master Composter Details & Contacts: Norfolk

If you’re a resident in Norfolk and want to know how to start composting, have a problem with your compost or need help to decide if a darlek, wormery or hot bin is right for you then we have 80 trained Master Composters (MC’s) here to help.

Norfolk Master Composters started in November 2006. The main aim of the programme is to raise awareness amongst the wider public of the benefits of composting, through a network of volunteer advisors.

Since its inception, 246 trained volunteers have spent over 8,500 hours promoting home composting in the county.

The Norfolk programme operates as a partnership between Garden Organic and Norfolk County Council.

MC’s are volunteers who spend time promoting home composting in their local community, encouraging householders to take up composting and ensuring those already composting do so effectively. MC’s come from many backgrounds and age groups; their unifying feature is their enthusiasm for composting and their ability to engage with and make a difference to their local community.

People’s attitudes and behaviour can be influenced by family, friends, neighbours or work colleagues and it is for this reason that our volunteers can provide a unique and much needed role.

Norfolk County Council (NCC) has a target to reduce 1kg of left over rubbish per household per week. By working with residents across the county the volunteers play a very important role in helping to meet this target and achieve reduction of residual waste and maximum rates of diversion.

Get involved

  • Become a Master Composter - The initial training is a two-day foundation course and the next one will take place in Spring 2020. If you are interested in attending the training course and becoming a Norfolk Master Composter email mastercomposters@norfolk.gov.uk or call Norfolk County Council’s Customer Service Centre on 0344 800 8020.
  • Request the help of a Master Composter - do you need advice, want a composting talk or have an event Master Composters could attend? Please contact us and let us know.

Garden Organic, enquiry@gardenorganic.org.uk, tel. 024 7630 3517

Master Composter Details & Contacts: Shropshire

Shropshire Master Composters are volunteers who encourage home composting and waste prevention. The group was established in 2006. Over 90 volunteers have since graduated from a special course which is run by Garden Organic with funding and support from Shropshire Council and Veolia Shropshire.

There are volunteers across Shropshire and Telford who encourage composting in their local community by attending events as diverse as school assemblies, farmers markets, flower shows, green days, village fetes and music festivals. They have also run environmental education projects, made video guides, established allotments and set up community composting schemes!

If you are interested in gardening, the environment and particularly composting, and willing to give your time then get in touch. Full training is provided.

Get involved

  • Become a Master Composter – Please contact Garden Organic if you are interested in becoming a Master Composter
  • Request the help of a Master Composter – do you need advice, want a composting talk or have an event Master Composters could attend?

Please get in touch with our Master Composter Co-ordinator for Shropshire

Rachel Phillips-Street, email: rphillips-street@gardenorganic.org.uk, tel: 07584 343846

Master Composter Details & Contacts: Suffolk

The Suffolk Master Composter programme is delivered in partnership with Suffolk County Council. Master Composters have been promoting home composting to Suffolk residents since 2007.

The programme aims to reach any Suffolk resident or group that wants to start composting at home and offer support to people who are already home composting and may be having difficulties or need encouragement.

There are around 60 Master Composters in Suffolk who attend a variety of events to promote home composting and give advice to the general public. They also give talks, go into schools and write articles about composting.

Anyone can be a Master Composter. You do not have to be an expert in composting as Master Composters are trained in 'how to compost' before they start their activities. There are Master Composters from a wide variety of age, background and culture. This contributes to the effectiveness of the scheme – Master Composters can reach parts of a community that other compost promoting activities cannot.

Get involved

Garden Organic, enquiry@gardenorganic.org.uk, tel. 024 7630 3517