How to properly compost brush and other stalky materials.

Master Composter volunteer leading a compost education class.

Icebreaker at Master Composter Volunteer training session, 2009
Image by Sandy Repp

Icebreaker at Master Composter Volunteer training session, 2009

Become a Master Composter


Master Composter training includes ten classroom sessions or field trips, as well as practical education through volunteering in the community. In the classes, trained Master Composters or experts provide in-depth instruction about various aspects of composting and the importance of composting in waste management. Additionally, trainees receive instruction on how to be effective teachers for a variety of age groups and in a range of settings.

The Volunteer Job Description provides additional details about the program, including qualifications for trainees and descriptions of the components of the program and volunteer activities. The job description is also available as a PDF (471kb). Contact us if you would like us to mail you a copy.

Training Dates

The 2020 Master Composter volunteer training will be held each Thursday evening, 6:30 to 8:30pm from February 6 to April 30, 2020 at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, 615 Willow Avenue.

To accommodate school breaks and holidays, class will not be held on three (3) Thursdays during this time period: Feb 20, Mar 12 and Apr 2. There are a total of 10 training classes, including a class that we prepare for the Compost Fair (to be held on Sunday, April 26, 2020) and graduation during the final class.

How to Apply

To become a Master Composter, please review the Volunteer Job Description (see above) and:

1. Apply online


2. Obtain an Application form by:

a. Downloading a PDF of the 2020 Master Composter Application

     (3 pages, 481 kb)

b. Call Cooperative Extension at (607) 272-2292

c. Pick up a copy at CCE-Tompkins, 615 Willow Avenue in Ithaca

Please complete the application (3 pages total) and either email it to Adam at, fax it to us at (607) 272-7088, drop it off in person, or mail to: Compost Education Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, NY 14850.

When to Apply

Please apply online or return your completed application by 11:59pm on Monday, January 27, 2020 to be considered for the 2020 training program. (The deadline for Ithaca College Students who wish to enroll in the internship for credit is 11:59pm on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 *PUSHED BACK BY ONE DAY*.)

After the application deadline, we will contact you and possibly schedule a short interview.

Last updated January 20, 2020