EPA Recognizes the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Washington D.C. for its Community Composting Initiative, Diverting Food Waste from Landfills
PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 27, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is recognizing the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Washington, D.C., (ILSR) as an awardee in the Regional Grantee category.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national nonprofit promoting recycling, composting, zero waste, decentralized energy, independent businesses, and other facets of a homegrown economy. Since its inception in 1974, ILSR has provided research and technical assistance to convert wastes from environmental and economic liabilities into valuable resources that create community development opportunities.
The organization continues to share lessons learned from model programs and policies to facilitate the expansion of resilient and healthy communities. ILSR’s Composting for Community initiative advances local composting to meet food recovery infrastructure needs; build a culture of composting know-how; and enhance soils for local food production, carbon sequestration, and stormwater management. ILSR’s Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Composter Training Program, for instance, is teaching community leaders how to compost at gardens, farms, and community centers.
“Composting can be small scale and large scale and everything in between but too often home composting, onsite composting, community scale composting, and on-farm composting are overlooked,” said Brenda Platt, Director of the ILSR Composting for Community Initiative.
“By offering training and support to demonstration sites, we are proving that food recovery can be local and engage the community through participation and education.”
In 2020, ILSR focused its efforts on the mid-Atlantic region. In Philadelphia, it collaborated with the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department to offer training and support to its newly launched Community Compost Network Program. In Baltimore, together with the Office of Sustainability, ILSR established a dozen community-scale compost demonstration systems at urban farms and community gardens, which, when fully implemented, will serve as education sites and models for replication. In Montgomery County, Maryland, ILSR supported the development of compost education hubs. And, in the District of Columbia, ILSR worked with the D.C. Department of Public Works to run its home composting training and rebate program.
“EPA congratulates the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for their notable achievements and innovative approach to reduce residential food waste in Philadelphia and Baltimore communities,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “By addressing food waste, there is an opportunity to lower our carbon footprint and increase climate resilience, while also addressing inequities in food security and public health.”