We are excited to announce the launch of a new community composting initiative in Yancey County! We will be collecting organic material from our community and turning it into fertile compost for our garden. Thanks to a grant by the Mountain Air Community Fund, we will be building infrastructure this spring at our garden on Blankenship Creek Rd.

Why compost?

Did you know that food waste is the most common material sent to landfills? According to the EPA, 24%, of the material sent to landfills is food. Unfortunately, food and other organic materials like yard trimmings and paper don’t break down in a landfill like they would in nature. Under anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions, organic materials produce the powerful greenhouse gas methane as they decompose. But when those materials are composted instead of thrown away, they have the potential to both pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and grow healthier, more nutritious food to feed our communities.

Many households in Yancey County already compost at home or feed their kitchen scraps to pets or livestock. But for those who are throwing their food waste in the garbage, we aim to offer an alternative through our community composting project.

How to join us

There are multiple ways to join our initiative. We’re looking for folks to join our volunteer compost crew. We’re looking for folks with large amounts of food scraps, wood chips, shredded paper, or other organic materials to donate. To volunteer or donate material, please reach out to Katie Anne at towner@diginyancey.org or 828-536-0414. Finally, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for announcements throughout the season about our community waste collection events.

Let’s practice and learn together about the process of reclaiming our “waste.” With enough community participation and interest, we hope to expand to permanent waste drop-off sites next year. And even generate enough surplus to share. Together, we can reclaim this valuable community asset that builds healthy soils, climate resiliency, community connection, and empowerment!