From Trash to Treasure: Compost Conference March 22nd

Erika Rumbley, SCLT's Community Gardens Network Coordinator (left) and Rich Pederson, SCLT's City Farm steward (right), recently met with representatives from Rhode Island Resource Recovery and AgResource to examine their compost.

Many cities across the country have implemented municipal composting programs to divert food waste from overburdened landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By composting organic material, we can accomplish these goals and at the same time produce high-quality fertilizer that improves soil health and productivity.

With a Community Food Project grant from the USDA, Southside Community Land Trust has been supporting a compost initiative in Providence spearheaded by Greg Gerritt of The Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI). Our Community Gardens Network Coordinator Erika Rumbley has also been sourcing a supply of compost generated from collected yard waste by Rhode Island Resource Recovery for community gardens and members of the Providence Community Growers Network (right).

Now, we are proud to be partnering with ECRI, ecoRI.org, and RISD to put together a conference to explore ways to institute a large-scale composting system for food scraps in the state. It will be held Tuesday, March 22nd from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Metcalf Auditorium in the Chace Center at RISD (20 N. Main St.); to register, click here. The conference will bring together state and local officials with representatives from industry, institutions, non-profits, and the hospitality sector. Anyone with a stake or an interest in composting in Rhode Island is invited and encouraged to attend.

Confirmed speakers at the conference include Angel Taveras, mayor of Providence; Michael O’Connell, executive director of Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation; Janet Coit, Director of the Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management; Michael Merner, owner of Earthcare Farm; Reese Howell, president of Orbit Energy Inc.; and Michael Bradlee, vice president of Ecotope.

To read more about the conference and municipal composting, see these related stories from The Providence Journal and ecoRI or this comprehensive white paper developed by Greg.

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