Master Composter is a community-based program of citizen education and volunteer development to promote cost-effective and environmentally responsible yard-care practices, with backyard composting as its main focus.
STAR serves as the statewide administrator for this program, and we provide the curriculum, resources, and technical assistance to communities wanting to host Master Composter trainings in their area. As part of this program, STAR also provides dedicated training opportunities for both local community coordinators and potential Master Composter course instructors. Master Composter trainings consist of 20 hours of education and training, followed by 20 hours of volunteer service. This volunteer commitment ensures the program is perpetuated throughout the community and that the benefits of compost reach as many Texans as possible.
One of the ways we do this is through presenting on the benefits of composting and our program at events like:
- Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability
- Compost Camp
- Keep Texas Beautiful Conference
- 2014 STAR annual summit
Previously the Master Composter program was run by TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality). Since STAR took over the program last year the cities of San Marcos and Houston have joined the ranks of Master Composter and are hosting training sessions in the spring and fall.
The great thing about Master Composter is that it’s truly a program that gives back to the community through volunteer work. Examples of volunteer activities include:
- working informational booths at events – City/Community events – at Farmers markets – for Earth Day and America Recycles Day
- presenting on composting to interested groups – Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America – School or church groups – neighborhood groups
- Establishing/maintaining community compost sites and community gardens.
- and so many others!
To see if your city has a composting program already we suggest calling or visiting their website. If they don’t and you are interested in getting one started STAR hosts Community Coordinator Orientations every few months where we train community representatives on how to start the program in their area. If you want to attend one of these events, join our Master Composter mailing list and see when the next orientation will take place. Feel free to email us at [email protected].