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Our Hubs | Our story of expanding a community based composting model and taking it to the next level

The Our Hubs project will create a sustainable and replicable model of a community driven composting operation scalable for any community.

Photo of Eli Park
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Our Hubs BY LA Compost

Project: Our Hubs is a project to document and analyze existing successful models of community driven compost hubs in order to provide other communities the necessary knowledge, support and network to successfully build and sustain their own models.

Our goals are to:

  1. Enable communities to build their own sustainable composting hubs.
  2. Provide an easily accessible platform to connect, build, maintain and grow the community.
  3. To design tools and methodology communities can use to find their own solutions to overcome roadblocks they face.


Who is LA Compost?

LA Compost is a Los Angeles based non-profit organization specializing in creating communities by helping them build sustainable composting hubs. We want to build new compost hubs that invest in food and people. We do this by creating compost. We literally give life to people when we distribute compost and teach them how to grow their own food. We work to create life-giving experiences when we create a space where people can coexist and think of their surrounding community. By strengthening our current compost hubs and building 10 more in new communities across Los Angeles, we will continue to decrease the amount of food waste that is sent to landfills and increase the amount of quality compost that we can distribute to local communities throughout Los Angeles.(For more info, visit www.lacompost.org.)

LA Compost hub construction photo

CURRENT OPERATION GROWTH

LA Compost started as a food waste diversion program which piloted its first community hub in 2013. Within 3 years, the number of hubs grew to eight despite having limited resources, community volunteers and partners. The success of LA Compost proves that most communities, even when faced with very little resources, can still build and maintain a composting hub to divert food resources, produce compost and create a sustainable resource within the community itself, provided they have a firm organizational structure and support from the community. (Come and visit our hubs.)

LA Compost workshop photo

PLANNED RESEARCH

We’ll be conducting initial research to systematically organize data about the structures of composting hubs and compile it into a central database. Our plan is to create a program we can prototype to test on new or existing community hubs and will be able to implement based on real data collected from community members as well as the metric data collected on the diversion rate of organic waste(input source) to final compost(outcome).

Student volunteers with their harvest of carrots

If you would like to share ideas and get involved in the Our Hubs project, don’t hesitate to contact Eli Y. Park directly at eli@lacompost.org.


What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

There are already pre-existing sustainable composting hubs supported by the surrounding community who have partnered with LA Compost. We will document the current operational structure and collect user data. Then the collected data will be used to find a community-centered organizational structure and methodology which could be replicated on a variety of scales . The selected hub community will be presented with the prototypes. When approved, onsite user testing will be conducted.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Because the site of data collection would be a fairly open environment with many external variables, creative ways to (1) collect user input and (2) arrive at a valid inference based on collected user data would be something we would really value as input from the OpenIDEO community. Furthermore, we could gather what other communities outside of our partner communities are doing and incorporate new ideas to create a better suited organizational structure and methodology to share.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a UX designer who specializes in mobile app and organization development. I am capable of creating UX based visual interpretations of research and collected data, building wireframe and information structures, designing mock-ups and prototypes and branding. Currently, I work as a freelancer UX designer. I collaborate with few different companies on per project basis. I also volunteer my time and skills as the director of development at LA Compost.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

How far along is your idea?

  • It was in the works before this challenge – it’s existed for 2-6 months

6 comments

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Photo of Adeline Cohen
Team

That is such a great idea! Do you guys have a website? 

Photo of Eli Park
Team

Adeline Cohen Yes, we do. Visit us! www.lacompost.org 

Photo of Eli Park
Team

Ahmed Your idea definitely is in line with ours! Thank you so much for sharing. For presentation purposes, we have been trying to find a way to map out available land available in the city as a form of community parks or gardens to illustrate how much composting can be created using those resources. I would love for you to join in that conversation. Let me know if you like to get connected. Thank you!

Photo of Ahmed
Team

Thank you Eli Park  for your reply. May be the two ideas are merged to find a comprehensive one.

Photo of Eli Park
Team

Hello, Ahmed Thanks for the offer but I'm currently posting the idea for an organization I work with but if you like to chime in any ideas to help us along the way, I'm happy to collaborate! 

Photo of Ahmed
Team

Nice idea.Please see this idea which is very much in line with yours.

https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/ideas/the-most-sustainable-and-efficient-utilization-of-food-wastes-in-urban-settlements