Food Scrap Composting at Community Gardens – Funding & Pilot Project

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:  Assess your group’s readiness.

Review our Community Composting Readiness Guide for an overview of community composting and to assess your group’s readiness to start a project. Give us a call if you have questions or need guidance: (802) 861-4769. Additional resources are 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 a Solid Waste Management District that is involved with the Food Scrap Composting at Community Gardens pilot project.  Contact Natasha Duarte, from Compost Association of Vermont, at, for the most up-to-date information.

Step 3: Contact Vermont Community Garden Network if you’re interested in applying.

If your group seems ready and you meet the pilot site requirements, please consider applying. Start by contacting Vermont Community Garden Network to discuss your proposal: (802) 861-4769.
We will help you further assess the readiness of your project and assist you with the next steps.

Step 4:  Apply for a New England Grassroots Environment Grow grant.

Grow grants range from $1,000-$3,500. The typical Grow grant deadline does not apply. Review Grassroots Fund eligibility criteria before applying. These grants can help pay for materials, stipends, program development, expert assistance, and more. Sites are asked to include a stipend in their budget for one or two persons to serve as ‘compost stewards.’

Click here for a sample budget. Please review for essential purchases and staffing. Also, bin plans and estimated materials costs can be found here.

Apply for a Grassroots Fund Grow grant at: Before applying, please contact us to let us know we should look out for your application.

**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

Step 5:  Pilot sites are selected and receive assistance.

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 late summer or early fall 2017. As a pilot site, in addition to your Grassroots Fund grant, you will receive resources and ongoing project support, including:

  • Community Compost Management Training –summer 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 6: Pilot sites collect data and report back to project partners.

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

  • Collect data on volume of food scraps coming to the site; number of participating households
  • Complete a grant report
  • Complete a project survey at the end of year one
  • Set up and maintain a pile monitoring schedule (technical assistance provided)


Primary project contact: Natasha Duarte, Compost Association of Vermont, at
Secondary contact: Libby Weiland, Vermont Community Garden Network, at or (802) 861-4769.

More info on Composting Association of Vermont at:
More info on Vermont Community Garden Network at:

Also more tools and tips can be found on our Community Composting page.