Food Scrap Composting at Community Gardens – Grant applications due March 15

Is your community garden interested in recycling garden residuals on-site and producing your own compost? Are your gardeners or neighbors looking for ways to divert food scraps and yard trimmings from the landfill, as required under Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, Act 148?  Community-scale composting can help you manage these materials as a local resource.

Your garden may be eligible to be a part of a new pilot project: Food Scrap Composting at Community Gardens.

Composting Association of Vermont (CAV) and Vermont Community Garden Network (VCGN) are looking for community garden pilot sites to start food scrap composting during the 2017 season. The project is in partnership with select Solid Waste Management Districts (SWMD) and New England Grassroots Environment Fund (Grassroots Fund) and provides groups with funding and technical assistance for community composting at, or in association with, a community garden.

Want to be a part of this food scrap composting pilot project?
Here’s what to do:

You can also download a copy of the following steps.

STEP 1:

Review our Community Composting Readiness Guide for an overview of community composting and to assess your group’s readiness to start a project. Additional resources available on VCGN’s Community Composting webpage.

STEP 2:

Review requirements for pilot sites:

  • The community compost site must be located at, or working with, a community garden.
  • The site must be located in one of the following Solid Waste Management Districts. *We will select one pilot site per district. Click the links below to see the lists of Member Towns in each SWMD.

* Sites outside of these areas can still apply for a grant, but will not be part of the pilot project in 2017, or receive additional project funding, technical assistance or materials described in step 4.

Step 3:

Apply for a New England Grassroots Environment (Grassroots Fund) Grow Grant by March 15th. Grants range from $1,000-$3,500. Review Grassroots Fund eligibility criteria before applying. Apply for a grant at: https://grassrootsfund.org/dollars/apply. These grants can help pay for materials, stipends, program development, expert assistance, and more. Click here for a sample budget. Please review for essential purchases and staffing. Also, bin plans and estimated materials costs can be found here.

**We are especially interested in sites willing to test insulated compost tumblers as a component of your garden’s food scrap composting pilot project. If you’re interested in incorporating a Jora Compost Tumbler into your grant proposal you can find more information about them, including a video at http://www.joracomposters.com or call Pat Sagui at (802) 744-2345 with your questions.

Step 4:

Grant decisions will be made by late May. If your group is selected as one of our pilot sites we will be in touch to discuss next steps. Pilot projects will begin construction in summer 2017. Your NEGEF grant is matched with funds and in-kind to provide additional project support, including:

  • Community Compost Management Training – early June 2017
  • Ongoing technical assistance (in-person and by phone)
  • Reduced or no cost food scrap collection bins or totes
  • Free carbon material from SWMD (quantity varies)

Step 5:

Once your project is operating (receiving food scraps), pilot sites are required to:

  • Select and compensate one or two persons as stipend ‘compost stewards’
  • Collect data on volume of food scraps coming to the site; number of participating households
  • Provide a copy of your grant report to VCGN
  • Complete a project survey at the end of year one
  • Set up and maintain monitoring schedule, including time/temperature, and germination tests (technical assistance provided)

Questions??

If you have questions about the application process contact Libby at libby@vcgn.org or (802) 861-4769.
If you have questions about composting systems or how to manage your community garden composting site contact Pat at saguipat@gmail.com or (802) 744-2345.

More info on Composting Association of Vermont at: http://compostingvermont.org.
More info on Vermont Community Garden Network at: http://vcgn.org.