Compost Design Competition

Update: FPAC is pleased to announce a $500 cash prize for the winner of the competition, and cash prizes for top high school designs. Submit your design by March 15!

Calling all engineers and environmentalists, designers and dirt nerds: we want YOUR ideas for how to make a compost system to serve Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Compost is the nutrient-rich, earthy-smelling material created by the managed decomposition of organic matter. Community composting transforms organic matter into valuable soil amendments, keeps organic waste in a local closed-loop system, and engages communities through participation and education.

The Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council seeks designs for neighborhood-scale, in-vessel composting systems that can be used by schools and community organizations. Successful designs will be:

  • Fully-enclosed and rodent-proof;
  • Able to function year-round outdoors in Philadelphia’s climate;
  • One to three cubic yards in capacity; and
  • Easily constructed and maintained.

View a full list of specifications.

Submit designs by March 15, 2017. Finalists’ designs will be selected by March 29. If you are a finalist, we will provide funding for you to build your design. Finished compost systems will need to be transported to a testing site in Philadelphia by April 26. Finalist compost systems will then be tested over the summer and a winner announced in Fall 2017.

Designers agree that their design will be shared open-source if they win, so that we can help support community composters throughout the city.

Learn more about submitting a design.

Hosted by the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council, The Dirt Factory, and Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Special thanks to our partners:

  • Bennett Compost
  • BioCycle
  • Crazy About Compost
  • EPA Food Recovery Challenge
  • Philly Compost
  • Summer-Winter Garden

FPAC recognizes that a strong composting infrastructure requires a range of small, medium, and large-scale facilities. As one approach, FPAC promotes the growth of responsible, community-based composting efforts to foster a culture of composting in the city. The Community Compost Design Competition is intended to raise awareness of the value and importance of composting by developing an affordable, neighborhood-scale system that can be used by groups throughout Philadelphia.

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