Norfolk Master Composters are volunteers recruited, trained and supported by Garden Organic to help raise awareness of the benefits of composting and encourage people to compost at home.
Norfolk Master Composters started in November 2006. The main aim of the programme is to raise awareness amongst the wider public of the benefits of composting, through a network of volunteer advisors.
Since its inception, 307 trained volunteers have spent over 11,000 hours promoting home composting in the county.
The Norfolk programme operates as a partnership between Garden Organic and Norfolk County Council.
Waste Management in Norfolk and the disposal and recycling costs of waste produced, has been highlighted as one of the important issues that Norfolk County Council has to address, in an effort to minimise costs to the taxpayer and respond to the reduction in budgets across the department.
By working with residents across the county the Master Composter volunteers play a very important role in helping to realise this, help with the reduction of residual waste, and achieve maximum rates of diversion.
The aims of a Master Composter volunteer are to:
- Raise awareness of the benefits of composting
- Encourage more people to compost at home
- Support those already composting to ensure they are successful in their home composting activities
The first step to becoming a Master Composter is to attend a training course. The purpose of this training is to ensure that all volunteers have the same basic level of knowledge.
Your place on the Master Composter scheme will be fully funded and you will not have to pay for the training course or any resources.
You can claim expenses incurred whilst carrying out volunteering within the project area. You will be supported in your role by a Volunteer Coordinator.
Master Composters come from many backgrounds and age groups; their unifying feature is their enthusiasm for composting and their ability to engage with and make a difference to their local community. People’s attitudes and behaviour can be influenced by family, friends, neighbours or work colleagues and it is for this reason that our volunteers can provide a unique and much needed role.
This role will suit people who:
- Have an interest in composting and sustainable waste management
- Have good communication and listening skills
- Enjoy talking about and promoting home composting
- Would be happy to participate both individually and as part of a team
- Are able to share knowledge and/or present information to others
- Have a positive, organised and flexible approach to volunteering
- Are looking to extend their knowledge in sustainable waste management and horticulture
- Are able to attend Master Composter training events
The Master Composter volunteer role is designed to be flexible and suit the strengths and opportunities volunteers have. We ask volunteers to promote home composting in their local communities, but how this is undertaken is at the discretion of the volunteer. Some of the commonly undertaken volunteer activities are listed below:
- Attending events - stands at small, local, or larger regional or national events, allotment or parish fayres
- Giving talks and demonstrations at schools and neighbourhood events e.g. village fetes, fund raising events and community days, Local garden centres
- Demonstrating to your next-door neighbours - set up a home compost demonstration site
- Producing written articles about the benefits of homemade compost for promotion in the local press, Parish/Community/Church/Allotment Magazines or on websites and social media
- Helping to promote future sales of compost bins
- Setting up or helping to run a community composting site
Most Master Composters spend around 30 hours annually in their compost promotional activities. These 30 hours include all travel and preparation time. This figure however is not compulsory.