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City of Richmond Pilots Community Composting Program

City of Richmond Pilots Community Composting Program

Initiative seeks to reduce food waste from local landfills

The City of Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities (PCRF) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service to receive a $90,000 grant to pilot a community composting program. The Richmond Compost Initiative is currently funded through early Fall 2023. The initiative seeks to divert food waste from the landfill by providing options for composting at convenient, citywide drop-off locations and then cycle that organic waste into high quality compost for community use.

Funds will be spent on the planning, design, and construction of a medium scale compost processing site, materials for neighborhood drop stations, and a contract with a dedicated site manager. PRCF and the Department of Public Works are providing support for the pilot in the form of a site, personnel, and equipment. RealRoots Food Systems LLC has been contracted to manage the processing of the food scraps into a high quality finished compost.

Engaging the community is a focal goal of this pilot program. In total, there will be approximately 20 neighborhood drop-off stations across the City of Richmond, housed by community gardens, public libraries, and other community organizations. Outreach will focus on both existing composters and people new to composting. For those who are already composting, this is an opportunity to contribute to a collective effort that will produce compost both at a larger scale and at more rapid rate than individual efforts. For those less familiar with composting, this initiative aims to introduce the concept of cycling organic waste while providing an accessible opportunity to begin diverting waste from the landfill. The combined results will yield compost that will be provided to community gardens and public greenspaces.

A team from Public Works will service the collection bins weekly, bringing the organic matter to a central site. There, members of Park and Recreation’s Workforce Development Program will transform it into high quality, usable compost for redistribution. The Richmond Compost Initiative is an important step in progressing towards the city’s sustainability goals as outlined in the RVAGreen 2050 plan, slated for adoption by city council later this year.

For more information about the Richmond Compost Initiative or the department’s Community Garden program, visit For more information about the department, follow PRCF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.