Master Composter Certification

If you enjoy working with people, digging in the dirt and talking “trash”, we want you to become a volunteer Master Composter with the Athens-Clarke County Master Composting Program! Become a home composting expert and teach your family, friends, neighbors, and fellow community members, “How to Compost”.

Master Composters are an elite group of volunteers who have undergone an extensive training class in all aspects of the composting process, and then use that information to teach others how to turn their organic material into a beneficial soil amendment.


Established in 2011 as a partnership between Athens-Clarke County Extension and the Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department, the Georgia Master Composter Program is an adult education course and Extension Volunteer program.  Master Composters complete a nine-week training course that covers all aspects of the composting process.  Classes are taught by UGA faculty, Athens-Clarke County and US Forest Service staff, and small and commercial business owners.  Topics include the chemistry and microbiology of composting, types of and reasons for composting, composting techniques and teaching tools.  As Extension volunteers, Master Composters then use this information to share composting basics with their family, friends and the community.  


  1. Must consent to a background check (UGA requirement)
  2. Complete the training course and field trips -  (8 classes and 2 field trips)
  3. Complete class project
  4. Volunteer a minimum of 40 hours back to the program

Typical Volunteer Duties

  1. Teaching or assisting staff with compost workshops.
  2. Staffing composting information booths at various public education and outreach events.
  3. Giving lectures on composting to various civic, community, and garden groups.
  4. Giving hands-on presentations or assisting staff with school compost programs.

Participant Comments

  • “What a great program. I am so excited to do my volunteering.”
  • “You told me I would get a lot for my money, and I totally agree! [The program is] a great investment!”
  • “I learned so much more than I expected! I really enjoyed it!”
  • “Thank you for helping me restore a love for my yard again.”


$200 (includes 20 hours of instruction, the Georgia Master Composter handbook, your name badge, shirt, reference materials and handouts, refreshments during class, certificate of completion and graduation reception) 

Stay tuned for the announcement of the next Master Composter Program!

UGA Extension              green yellow i am eco logo_thumb.JPG