2020 Grants Challenge

Community Scale Composting across L.A County

Idea by L.A. Compost

LA Compost’s programs serve individuals with home composting opportunities, communities with education and access to a decentralized network of composting infrastructure, and the broader Los Angeles County area through regional sites for organics processing, compost creation, and continued education. By establishing new composting communities throughout Los Angeles, we will further reduce food waste, empower local food production, and regenerate land for climate resilience.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

Over one million tons of compostable food goes into LA's landfills every year, causing severe negative impacts on the environment. Rotting food scraps emit methane, one of the largest contributors to global warming, and liquid from the organic matter in landfills mixes with chemicals and contaminates our groundwater supply.

LA Compost mitigates these harmful effects by turning waste into a resource for healthy soil development. Our compost systems help to reduce landfill methane emissions and increase carbon storage capacity in soils, while supporting the creation of a sustainable, locally-based food system in LA County.

One of the root causes of environmental destruction is a disassociation with the natural world and there is a growing disconnect between our overall ability to trace food to back to the soil. LA Compost works to heal the disconnect between people and the soil and create healthy soil through participation, empowerment and education in the benefits of compost.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

LA Compost oversees 33 compost hubs throughout LA County that are available for food scrap drop off and compost education. Collectively these hubs have the capacity to divert one million pounds of food waste to be recovered as a valued resource for local communities.

We understand that soil health is vital to the health and wellbeing of individuals and the environment. By completing the story of food from farm to table and back to the land, we empower communities to participate in regenerating the health of our soils and our souls.

Our programs result in positive social, economic and environmental impacts throughout Los Angeles, including:

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing carbon sequestration;

Shifting individual and cultural perception of a broken food system into a regenerative food system;

Developing healthy connections to the diverse ecology in LA;

Healing our soils and communities through participation, empowerment and education in the benefits of compost.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 4,000

Indirect Impact: 12,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

LA Compost seeks to benefit local communities and the environment in the following ways:

* Natural Solutions to Climate Change. Healthy soil removes excess carbon from the air and stores it in the ground.

* Water Retention for Drought Tolerance. Compost acts as a natural sponge, storing water in the soil for plants to use when needed.

* Reducing Waste and Emissions at Landfills. Making food waste part of the solution to climate change as opposed to part of the problem is an enormous benefit to composting.

* Growing Healthy Food and building local resiliency. Compost supports local food production while providing green jobs, allowing people to support their communities through soil building and food growing.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

In the coming year, LA Compost will continue to build local infrastructure, expand educational programs, and grow our network in furtherance of our mission. We will define success as achieving our goal of establishing four new farmers market drop-off locations for food scraps and opening a total of five new community and regional compost hubs – with the potential to divert an additional 270 tons of inedible food waste each year.

Food systems are inextricably intertwined with health, environmental, social and economic issues. LA Compost envisions a model for our food systems that is focused on soil health, rooted in equity and invested in individual empowerment. Our work developing healthy soils addresses issues including access to clean food, air and water pollution, access to green spaces, and job creation in a sector that is aligned with regenerating natural resources and stabilizing our climate.

Our vision is that our programs: (1) shift individual and cultural perception of a broken food system into a regenerative food system, (2) allow people to develop healthy connections to the diverse ecology in LA, and ultimately, (3) heal our soils and communities through participation, empowerment and education in the benefits of compost.

Which of the LIVE metrics will your submission impact?​

Access to healthy food

Food insecurity

Resilient communities

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the best place to LEARN

LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Communications support

Strategy assistance and implementation