What it does
If Congress passes it, the Cultivating Organic Matter through the Promotion of Sustainable Techniques, or COMPOST, Act would add composting as a conservation practice for USDA conservation programs, so that both the act of producing compost from organic waste and using compost on a farm would qualify as a conservation practice. It also would create new USDA grant and loan guarantee programs for composting infrastructure projects, including both large-scale composting facilities as well as farm, home, or community-based projects.
In awarding grants and loans guarantees, USDA must prioritize projects that include the greatest number of the following factors:
- Located in or serving a location with significant access to food waste and no or limited prior access to food waste composting
- Demonstrate the potential to create new capacity for the volume or weight of food waste collected and processed, or make significant gains in the number of people with access to food waste composting facilities or systems
- Demonstrate a plan for following best management practices and producing a high-quality compost product
- Incorporate the participation of small and diverse businesses (e.g., minority-, woman-, and veteran-owned businesses certified by the Small Business Administration);
- Create opportunities for hiring and leadership development practices that are inclusive and provide living wages
- Serve disadvantaged and low-income communities
- Engage Black farmers, Indigenous farmers, and other farmers of color, or incorporate an environmental justice plan or principle
- Are for a facility or system that accepts or plans to accept and process only source separated organics.
Who supports this bill?
The COMPOST Act is a bicameral bill, which means that it has some support in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The bill as introduced by Senators Cory Booker and Tina Smith, as well as Representatives Julia Brownley, Ann McLane Kuster and Chellie Pingree. In the Senate, this bill is referred to as S.179 and these Senators are already supporting the bill. In the House, this bill is referred to as H.R.651 and these Representatives are already supporting the bill.
This bill is endorsed by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, U.S. Composting Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council, among others.
Want to support this bill?
If your Senators and House Representative aren’t already on the list of cosponsors for the bill:
- Ask your two Senators to “cosponsor the COMPOST Act, S. 179.”
- Ask your House Representative to “cosponsor the COMPOST Act, H.R.651.”
If your elected officials are already supporting this bill, you can always contact them to thank them and help spread the word among your networks.
If you’d like to learn more about the COMPOST Act, you can:
- Find instructions for calling or writing your Senators and Representative (tip: enter your address)
- Track the bill’s progress on Congress.gov or GovTrack
- Learn why lawmakers are supporting this bill (Representative Kuster’s press release, Senator Cory Booker’s press release)
- Read the full bill text
See more bills worthy of your support in the 2023 Farm Bill.