“DPR is currently recruiting community members who wish to start composting their food waste at DPR gardens”

Critterproof Compost Bin via DPR

From DPR:

“DC Parks and Recreation (DPR) is currently recruiting community members who wish to start composting their food waste at DPR gardens to join the new DPR Community Compost Cooperative Network. This will be a network of trained compost cooperatives at each DPR garden that will work towards creating high quality compost from garden and food waste.

To create this network DPR has designed (with the help of Eriks Brolis at BroBroGrow) an amazing new critter proof compost bin to be installed at all 27 of our gardens and other non DPR gardens who wish to participate in our compost cooperative network. We have over 20 bins constructed so far and will be working to install the rest this coming winter/spring.

In order to ensure quality control and investment of each compost system DPR has created a volunteer cooperative governance structure for each system to be operated as a community compost cooperative. Each cooperative will have at least one compost manager and as many compost members as each bin can handle (approximately 30-50 depending on future data). The compost manager and compost member agreements are attached for more details. The basic requirements are listed below

Compost Manager (can’t start a cooperative without a manager)
1. Ensure quality control
2. Coordinate communications with members
3. Conduct future 1-hour trainings (will be trained to do this)

Compost Member
1. Take a 1-hour training on compost best practices/cooperative governance
2. Provide an active form of communication (email, phone number, etc)
3. Volunteer to turn/shift/remediate compost once every 3 months or more if needed

There are 3 active (making compost from food and plant waste right now!) compost cooperatives currently but we will be recruiting and training to activate as many compost cooperatives as possible this winter/spring. If you are interested in joining a compost cooperative please find the nearest one to you (regardless if its activated or not) and email either me or the compost manager if there is one yet for further information. If the nearest garden hasn’t installed a compost bin yet you can also sign up to volunteer to help build the bin. Email me for that one too.

Do not start using a compost bin or dropping food scraps off without taking a training!!! All bins are locked to ensure quality control and only members who have been trained will get the combination.

If you know of a garden or a site that is interested in joining a DPR compost cooperative please contact me for further details.

Joshua Singer
Community Garden Specialist
DC Department of Parks and Recreation
1250 U Street NW | Washington, DC 20009
P: 202 262-2138 | E: [email protected]

10 Comment

  • …except for the gardens they want to turn into parking lots, presumably.

  • This is nice. But I want to know why DC doesn’t compost. In many cities, you have your trash, your recycling, and your compost!

  • Super cool. I’m a geek about this but I couldn’t wait to compost when I moved from an apartment to a house with a yard. It’s actually really fun and interesting. I’m sure there are a lot of yard-less folks who will jump at this.

  • I emailed the contact listed in the posting but haven’t heard back yet – has anyone else had any luck?

    • Please post if you hear anything. DPR is one of DC’s worst agencies. There is high turnover, and staff are not very knowledgeable about much of anything. (People who don’t know better casually say it’s much better than NPS. It is so not.) The photo is great though! It looks like it’s being done right judging by the phot. Also, there will be places where this works better than others. For example, some community gardens are run by people who will not leave even though it is written into their bylaws that there are fixed amount of years to be involved. They simply re-write the bylaws. At those gardens, you see demoralization and neglect.

      However, it is a good idea. As with everything in DC, it’s all about the execution. Good luck!

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