Master Composters of Rodale Institute

"In the compost heap, a transformation from life to death and back again is taking place."  -J.I. Rodale

According to the US EPA, in the United States food wastes and yard debris represent approximately 45% of the garbage generated by Americans.

At the community level, composting is a cost effective means for managing organic wastes and IMG_4672diverting these wastes from the landfill. In addition to environmental and social benefits, backyard composting creates financial incentives by reducing trash collection fees. Part of the problem with implementing these basic themes into the community is a lack of educated personnel.

Through the Master Composters of Rodale Institute training program, we train individuals to become “Masters” of backyard composting, waste management, and outreach education with the goal of encouraging a wider adoption of organic waste composting.

See the program announcement here.


The training program will begin on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 and continue for six weeks on September 9, 16th, 23rd, 30th and October 2nd. Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 6-8 pm. The day and times for site visits will be discussed at the first class.

Program highlights:

  • ♦  The Master Composter Program will focus on the areas of composting, solid waste management, community outreach and education.
  • ♦  Topics discussed during the classes include compost biology, chemistry and physics, vermicomposting, compost systems and uses, and how composting fits into a larger picture of solid waste management.
  • ♦  Speakers include Coach Mark Smallwood, Rodale Institute Executive Director; Rick Carr, Rodale Institute Compost Production Specialist and additional Rodale Institute staff; Peter Hyde, ERM Group Foundation; and J.P. Mascaro and Sons
  • ♦  Site visits include JP Mascaro & Sons composting facility, materials recovery facility and landfill, City of Allentown Parks and Recreation operating facility, and Kutztown’s waste water treatment plant.

Who should apply:

The training program is open to all individuals who wish to become leaders in waste management and backyard composting in their respective communities. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Prior experience in composting, gardening or agriculture is not required.


All Master Composter trainees will be required to complete 40 hours of community service on projects or activities related to composting. Rodale Institute will provide numerous volunteer opportunities but trainees are encouraged to participate in self-directed outreach and education within their communities. Certification of completion will be delivered to trainees upon complete of volunteer service. In addition, each new graduate of the Master Composter program will be featured on Rodale Institute’s website to announce their completion of the program.


Registration is $300. To register for this class, click here. To complete a scholarship application, click here. For more information on the Master Composters of Rodale Institute, contact Rick Carr, Compost Production Specialist at or by phone at 610-683-1415.

3 Responses to “Master Composters of Rodale Institute”

  1. Sonal Mathias

    wanted to know when would the next session of this program start

  2. Holly

    Please email me any information you may have about upcoming compost classes


  3. Holly

    Please email me with any info you may have on upcoming compost clases.



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