We build and facilitate composting communities throughout LA County. We retell the story of food to include its life beyond the plate, and the profound impact healthy soils have on our communities. Our mission at LA Compost is to connect the people of Los Angeles to the soil, and each other. In pursuit of our mission we are building local infrastructure and educational programs to support the just transition of food waste into a resource.
What is Compost?
Composting is the process of decomposing organic matter. Food scraps provide the nitrogen source. Yard clippings and paper materials provide the carbon source. Together, with water, air, time and help from bacteria, these materials break down and become a nutritious soil additive for healthy plant growth.
Finished compost is a nutrient rich soil additive used to replace synthetic fertilizers. Applying finished compost to garden beds and soils will increase water retention, decrease erosion, and provide a habitat for microbial biodiversity. This means healthier soils, healthier plants, healthier food, and healthier people.
When left to decompose in landfills, food scraps produce harmful amounts of methane gas and combine with toxins which leach into our groundwater and waterways. This food waste, currently harmful to our environment, can be a beneficial resource. By diverting food scraps from landfills and properly processing them to become compost, we can reduce these concerns, while creating a nutritious soil additive and teaching the complete story of food to our communities.
Why Healthy Soils? Healthy soils are a vital living ecosystem, creating the habitat for many microbial organisms that are essential for plant health. Healthy soils increase carbon sequestration and balance carbon emissions. There are many additional environmental, social and physical benefits to healthy soils. [link to reference page: healthy soils, articles & research]
How do we build healthy communities?
What inspires us the most are the connections made around the compost pile. On community turn days we see youth interacting with older community members, people who otherwise spend their week glued to a computer screen getting their hands dirty in the soil, and neighbors who meet each other's families. Compost is an introduction to looking at the world as a holistic, interdependent, living exchange of energy. At LA Compost we learn from the product we create. We mimick compost. By mimicking compost, we see that we have the resources to heal communities, and to heal ourselves, becoming more resilient because of our diversity and our togetherness. [link to reference page: national composting efforts, ILSR]