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 (TRACS) Summit
- Compost Summit & Training
- Keep Texas Beautiful Conference
- STAR annual Texas Recycling Summit
Master Composter is 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 a few times a year 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]. Please note: all new Community Coordinators MUST attend an orientation.
Our next Community Coordinator Orientation will be Monday, June 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at the annual Keep Texas Beautiful conference in Georgetown, TX. Registration is $25. You can register to attend the orientation here under the “Pre-Conference” section. You do not need to attend the KTB conference to attend orientation, but can add it to your registration if you already plan to attend.
Here are some additional resources and forms for those wanting to start a Master Composter program in their community:
- Notification of Event Training– submit notice to STAR at least one month in advance of event
- Event in a Box– you can purchase materials for 20 people for a discounted price through STAR
- Master Composter Program Roles– general instructions for the program and rules
- Standards for Consideration– standards for training and volunteer commitments
- Training Sign In Sheets– to keep track of attendance at classes
- Volunteer Log– distribute to attendees to keep track of volunteer work and for Community Coordinator to collect within one year of start date for candidate to be considered a Master Composter
There are additional resources available that STAR will provide such as trainer/instructor application, planning and promotion tips, example agendas and events, recommended materials, volunteer activities, and an official coordinator manual. Once we receive a notice of event, the STAR office will reach out to the community coordinator to send over these additional handouts.