Soulful to Soilful: Cultivating Community Through Urban Composting

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EcoJustice RadioMichael Martinez, Founder and Executive Director of LA Compost illustrates how composting should and can be available to everyone and explores how his organization has grown a successful urban composting model by developing spaces and collaborations with a wide variety of partners including the community, nonprofits, business, and city departments.

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LA CompostComposting is Social Justice; Supports Food Security and Localized Food Systems

The act of composting ensures that food scraps and green waste are never wasted, but returned to enrich the soil. It sequesters carbon, and helps to minimize greenhouse gas emissions from landfills. Furthermore, it also enriches the community, creating cooperative human networks, inclusive spaces, and green jobs.

Our guest Michael Martinez, Founder and Executive Director of LA Compost, illustrates how composting should and can be available to everyone (no matter if you are in an apartment or single family home). We explore how his organization has grown a successful urban composting model by developing spaces and collaborations with a wide variety of partners including the community, nonprofits, business, and city departments.

For an extended version of this interview and other benefits, become an EcoJustice Radio patron at https://www.patreon.com/posts/soulful-to-urban-68931890

LA Compost cultivates community through their extensive network of accessible compost hubs including food-scrap drop-off locations and urban composting sites. They have even set up infrastructure at Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America.

Composting is an act of social justice; supporting food security and localized food systems. This, in turn, improves the environment by implementing restorative practices, which can mitigate negative health impacts and empower communities.

Michael Martinez, Founder and Executive Director of LA Compost – Michael is a former elementary school teacher, a father of two, and the Founder and Executive Director of LA Compost. Michael has grown LA Compost from a group of volunteers collecting organics using bikes, to a decentralized network of community compost hubs that span the most populated county in the country. LA Compost now oversees over 40 compost hubs, all in partnership with existing communities, nonprofits, and organizations committed to healthy ecosystems , while also honoring the community’s perspective, lived experience, and leadership.

Jessica Aldridge, Co-Host and Producer of EcoJustice Radio, is an environmental educator, community organizer, and 15-year waste industry leader. She is a co-founder of SoCal 350, organizer for ReusableLA, and founded Adventures in Waste. She is a former professor of Recycling and Resource Management at Santa Monica College, and an award recipient of the international 2021 Women in Sustainability Leadership and the 2016 inaugural Waste360, 40 Under 40.

Listen to our interview from 2018 on Urban Farming and Composting in Los Angeles, featuring Michael Martinez: https://wilderutopia.com/ecojustice-radio/ecojustice-radio-empowering-community-through-urban-farming-episode-15/

Podcast Website: http://ecojusticeradio.org/
Podcast Blog: https://www.wilderutopia.com/category/ecojustice-radio/
Support the Podcast: https://www.patreon.com/ecojusticeradio

Guest: Michael Martinez
Host and Producer: Jessica Aldridge
Engineer and Original Music: Blake Quake Beats
Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Created by: Mark and JP Morris
Episode 141
Photo Credit: LA Compost

Updated 18 August 2022

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About Jack Eidt

Novelist, urban theorist and designer, and environmental journalist, Jack Eidt careens down human-nature's all consuming one-way highway to its inevitable conclusion -- Wilder Utopia. He co-founded Wild Heritage Partners, based out of Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com. Follow him on Twitter @WilderUtopia and @JackEidt