live / 2016
Building Community and reducing organic waste via Community Compost Hubs throughout LA County
Please describe your project proposal.
LA Compost is working to create an entirely local solution to food waste through composting. Our community supported compost hubs will keep organics within the same community in which they were consumed, and provide finished compost for local growers. By expanding our current countywide compost hub network, we will continue to divert thousands of pounds of organics from reaching landfills monthly, while also providing residents with the tools and education needed to compost on their own.
Which of the live metrics will your proposal impact?
- Access to healthy food
- Resilient communities
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- East LA
- San Gabriel Valley
- San Fernando Valley
- South LA
- County of Los Angeles
Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to live?
LA Compost will help make LA be the best place to LIVE by reconnecting communities across LA County with their food, their soil, and their neighbors.
Communities across the country are proving that local food systems not only work, but also are the way of the future. Areas such as New York, Austin, and Washington D.C have proven that local composting within larger cities can succeed, and have gained the support from their local city departments. Los Angeles is slowly moving in the right direction by appreciating the local food movement, but due to its expansive size, LA still has a long way to go.
Los Angeles County is the most populated county in the country with over 10 million people eating daily. This ongoing purchase and consumption of food for over 10 million people leads to large amounts of food going uneaten, and if not donated to a local food recovery agency, ends up in landfills. Due to our unique situation in Los Angeles, the solutions for these problems need to be as creative and beautiful as the cities that make up our county.
LA Compost is creating a countywide composting program neighborhood by neighborhood. The hubs we place throughout the county keep organics within the same zip code where the food was originally grown or consumed, and they create a space for educational workshops and workdays to take place. They are a tool for educating the public about composting for soil health, a testimony to the practicality of composting, and a distribution center from which we send compost made on-site into the local community.
By keeping organics in the same zip code where the food was grown or consumed, communities become less reliant on trucks hauling their “waste” away. The material that trucks often haul away still has value, and can help with many issues that communities across the county are facing. Creating compost locally improves the way our soils store water, sequester carbon from the air, and produce healthy food. The act of composting locally increases a community’s ability to become self sufficient, as residents now have the means to grow a portion of their own food and manage their excess organics from the kitchen and their landscapes.
Beyond composting locally our hubs serve as an educational platform for residents to coexist well and learn alongside their neighbors. Our monthly workshops and workdays encourage residents to slow down, get outside, and interact with both their neighbor and the soil. When neighbors come together and are working towards a common goal, there is an undeniable sense of community.
We believe that taking responsibility for the environment you live in can be empowering and healing, and that Los Angeles needs just this. Composting is a beautiful, regenerative process that is collaborative, self-giving, and exemplifies the type of city we want to embody.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
The success of L.A. Compost will be measured by pounds of organics diverted from landfills, community involvement, attendance at workshops, finished compost/seedlings given back to the local community, and community feedback. Organics diverted from landfill: Scales, journals, and visual trackers have been placed at all our hubs and residents will continue to weigh and track the organics they deposit in our compost systems. Community involvement and attendance at workshop: Our current diversion logs show how many people are visiting our hubs and using the compost bins weekly. By taking attendance at our monthly workshops, we will be able to measure the overall interest from the local community surrounding each hub. Distribute finished compost and seedlings to local community: The compost created at each hub will be weighed, recorded, and distributed to local growers. By providing this compost to local growers, individuals will have the starting block to grow their own healthy food. Along with distributing finished compost, seedling starters are made using old newspaper and finished compost. We will continue to keep track of how many seedlings are made and given away each month using the same method as our diversion tracking system. Community Feedback: Community message boards will be used at specific hubs to address specific needs. Quarterly surveys will be emailed to all those engaged with the compost hubs and surveys will be given out at all workshops and workdays.
How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?
- Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles
- Network/relationship support