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URI Outreach Center

Master Composter Training

"Most people don't realize that we are facing a crisis with capacity at our state landfill - we are literally running out of room." said Sejal Lanterman, coordinator of the URI Master Composter training.. "We can all take action to address this problem. About 25-30 percent of the waste created in the home and garden is compostable material. Backyard composting is cheaper for society, better for the environment and great for the garden. So we're looking to train interested individuals to help us spread the word and get the job done."


The Master Composter program trains volunteers to compost and to become advocates for composting and recycling within their local community and around the state. To earn the title " URI Master Composter," participants in the program attend a 16 hour course and fulfill a volunteer commitment of at least 30 hours.

The program offers a number of opportunities for individuals to become more active in their community, to tour various composting facilities within the state (including the Rhode Island Central Landfill), and to learn practical composting skills through hands-on activities and listening to the experiences of knowledgeable composters. Students also have the opportunity to 'create their own' volunteer opportunity! The deadline to fulfill the 30 hours is flexible, but students are encouraged to try and complete within one year.

Class topics include:

  • Introduction to the Master Composter Program
  • Fundamentals of Composting
  • What's Now, What's Next in RI Recycling
  • Vermicomposting
  • Microbes: The Power Behind Compost and Biogas
  • The Science & History of Composting

Field trips include:

  • Earth Care Farm, Charlestown, RI
  • RI Resource Recovery Corp., Johnston, RI
  • Southside Community Landtrust, Providence, RI
  • The Worm Ladies of Charlestown, RI

Who should become involved?

Any individual, from a beginner to an experienced composter, who has an interest in learning more about composting or recycling and is passionate about spreading this knowledge to the public.

What do you gain?

  • Practical composting skills from URI faculty and staff, experienced composters and hands-on activities
  • The knowledge and resources to create a valuable soil amendment
  • Admission to impressive composting & recycling facilities
  • Connections with other interesting and passionate individuals
  • The ability to make a difference in your community!

The URI Master Composter training normally takes place in the spring and fall. Sign up for our emails, join the conversation on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to stay connected to the next training session or year-round compost workshops.