Training Master Composters and Analyzing a Model of Bicycle Based Food Scrap Collection in Central Texas
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The practice of depositing compostable materials into landfills is contributing to unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions and wasteful land use (Brown, 2013; U.S. EPA, 2012). Composting residential organic wastes such as food scraps, food soiled paper and dead leaves offers a simple solution to the degradation of local watersheds and soil (U.S. Compost Council, 2008). Local education, participation, and the cost of transporting collected organic waste are significant factors that limit the sustainability of resource recovery and processing (Shayka et al., 2014; Rai, 2011; World Bank, 2014a). Awareness and education of composting can increase participation and demand for organic waste collection and is a growing trend in both developed and developing countries (World Bank, 2012). Community leaders who are certified as local composting resources may be able to inspire and enhance grassroots composting efforts by promoting a comprehensive understanding and stewardship of soil, water, and waste management within communities. In an effort to reduce the harmful impact of fossil-fuel transportation, bicycles are increasingly used for low budget transportation methods in small-scale compost collection programs (Clark, 2014). Based upon criteria set by the State of Texas Association of Recycling and in conjunction with the City of San Marcos and Texas State University, this paper investigates the structure of a twenty-hour Master Composter Certification Course and analyzes the model of the bicycle-based organic food-scrap collection business, Compost Pedallers, in Austin, Texas to provide insight into effective community-based composting programs.