Compost Hubs throughout Los Angeles

submission by mikelacompost

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

L.A. Compost and Kiss the Ground

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

Organization(s) instagram handle(s):

Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


LA Compost equips and empowers people to create their own green spaces.
Kiss the Ground inspires and advocates for the restoration of soil worldwide.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


L.A. Compost and Kiss the Ground are partnering to create a local solution to composting in Los Angeles. We are currently composting over 2,000lbs of food weekly across 5 hubs countywide. Over the next 5 years we plan to expand our work by building 20 more hubs and establishing composting programs that will keep unnecessary food scraps out of landfills, providing communities with the tools and education needed to compost locally.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency index

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Housing affordability

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the healthiest place to live.


Our goal is to reconnect the city of L.A. with the soil that feeds us. We want people to understand that completing the entire loop (farm to table, table to compost, compost to farm) is a significant goal. In order to reach this goal L.A. Compost and Kiss the Ground are teaming up to expand an entirely local compost model.

Our hub model currently diverts waste from landfills and provides rich compost to neighborhoods and school gardens in Monrovia, Elysian Valley Community Garden, and at USC and the Natural History Museum. The creation of 20 new hubs will provide ongoing education to local communities and change the way individuals look at “waste”. Instead of having only one option where residents throws away countless organics in the trash, a large truck hauls them over an hour away, creates compost, and sells it back to the same individuals whose waste created the compost, we want to help localize it. By localizing the process and keeping it within the community, we continue to divert thousands of pounds of organics from reaching the landfill, and we create a valuable product through compost. This is then distributed to local growers in the area, as well as edible school and community gardens, to contribute to the growth of their green spaces.

The composting hubs we build for LA communities create a space where individuals can coexist and create change side by side. They are a tool for educating the public about composting for soil health, a testimony to the practicality of composting, and a distribution center from which we send compost made on-site into the local community.

Composting is a beautiful, regenerative process that is collaborative, self-giving, and exemplifies the type of city we want to embody. Localized food systems will be the way of the future… LA can lead the way.

Why Compost?

Diversion: Collectively, 20 new hubs will have the capacity to divert 1,500 lbs. of organics per day, 10,500 lbs. per week, and over 540,000 lbs. per year.
Drought: Compost acts as a natural sponge, storing water and holding moisture in the soil for plants to use when needed. When it rains, water that falls on land covered in compost can actually soak into the soil, rather than washing off into the storm drains.
Climate change: Healthy soil helps removes excess carbon from the air and stores it in the ground.
Healthy Food: Viewing food scraps as a resource and keeping it in the community allows for Healthy soil=healthy plants =healthy people.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


1) Track weight of organics diverted from landfills: Prior to depositing organics into one of our composting systems, we weigh and record the amount of food or yards scraps. This record gives us a clear picture as to how many organics are being diverted from landfills each week, month, and year.

2) Record attendance at workshops/hubs: By tracking how many people are interacting with their local compost hub, as well as tracking attendance at workshops we will be able to measure the interest from the local community. As interest and educational opportunities increase, more individuals will have the tools needed to compost on their own.

3) Measure how much finished compost is being created: By weighing the finished product we can determine how much finished compost is being used and kept in the same community where it was created. This will allow us to gauge how many gardens and farms we are contributing to throughout the county.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

10 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

Good stuff

by RegenJonConnors
2 months ago

LA Compost and Kiss the Ground are two of the most inspirational orgs in LA reconnecting us to the earth and community in profound ways!

by clarefox
6 months ago


by hutcehmo
6 months ago

This is exactly what LA needs.

by Lizzkahn
6 months ago

Are you not aware of the fact that LA DOS already does this?!?! Just throw food and yard waste into the green bin, they'll pick it up and compost it for you. Then go to any one of the spots listed on their website, for kick-ass FREE compost.

The perks of living in a big city, kids. No need to buy worms. Try doing some primary research before starting a business.

by pinkyracer
6 months ago

Thanks Clare!

by mikelacompost
6 months ago

: )

by mikelacompost
6 months ago

: )

by mikelacompost
6 months ago

here's the direct link: And I was told all plant waste, even food plant waste, but no animal waste. By the DOS guys dumping mulch at my nearby mulch station.

by pinkyracer
6 months ago


Thanks for sharing your thoughts

We are well aware of the systems that are in place now, as well as the changes that will be taking place in the future. We’ve been in conversations with local haulers, the Zero Waste LA team, and state policy makers as we’ve continued to move forward with our local compost hub model.

Although there is a system in place, organics are still reaching landfills at an alarming rate. Also, it’s difficult to contain contaminants that are placed in the green bin when such a large system is in place (glass, plastic, and other unwanted material end up in the finished product). Most agree that all food is not grown the same and we believe the same to be true with compost. By keeping it local, a community can control what goes in the compost piles and can produce a finished product that stays in that community.

Our model will not only be implemented in the city of L.A., but throughout the entire county. There are 88 cities throughout the county and most don’t have composting solutions. The hub model invites people back into the process and encourages individuals to be part of a regenerative system.

We understand that partnerships are required to take on this issue. We believe that working alongside haulers has worked and will continue to work as we move forward. Through these collective efforts, L.A. can become a model city.

by mikelacompost
6 months ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
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Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015