Master Composter/Soil Builder

Sheet Mulching

The Master Composter/Soil Builder (MC/SB) volunteer program is a key partner in Seattle’s waste reduction and recycling efforts. We help city residents to recycle food and yard waste at their homes, build healthy urban soils and support thriving landscapes throughout the city.

Receive in-depth compost education with a team of diverse Seattle residents, then share your valuable knowledge and experience with the wider community.

Master Composter/Soil Builder (MC/SB) Training

Are you interested in learning more about compost and teaching others? Once a year we invite Seattle residents to apply to participate in the Master Composter/Soil Builder course, a train-the-trainer program with a community service component.

Each Master Composter/Soil Builder candidate participates in 28 hours of classroom learning (which includes fieldtrips) and 35 hours of volunteer outreach, which includes giving composting classes at schools and civic associations, assisting schools and community gardens with setting up a compost system and/or staffing compost info tables.

MCSBThis course covers the following topics:

  • improving soil health and building soil life
  • the small-scale composting process
  • how to use finished compost
  • how to design and build on-site compost systems
  • how to manage stormwater and protect water quality
  • techniques for teaching others about composting and other resource conservation practices

The training is a four week (8-session) in-depth educational experience with four Tuesday evenings and four Saturday sessions.

Class Dates and Times

  • Four Tuesdays from 7-9p.m. on 3/24, 3/31, 4/7 and 4/14
  • Four Saturdays from 10a.m.-3p.m. on 3/28, 4/4, 4/11 and 4/18

Location: Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N., Seattle, WA 98103

MC/SB Community Outreach

Following your MC/SB training, you will become part of a select team of Seattle residents empowered to share what you have learned with friends, neighbors and the community at large. You will have the support you need to be successful at teaching others.  Community outreach is an essential component of the MC/SB program and a powerful form of environmental action!

Requirements for Applicants

  • RESIDENCY.  Only Seattle residents are accepted (other composting education programs exist across the country, search for others near you).
  • DEPOSIT.   A deposit of $150 is required to participate in the program.  The deposit will be refunded when 35 hours of volunteer outreach are completed within one year of training.  Deposit details will be covered further following notification of acceptance into the program.

MC/SB Application Instruction

The application period for the 2015 Master Composter/Soil Builder training closes on March 14. To apply, please complete the application form and either email to or mail to:

Seattle Tilth
Attn: MC/SB Program Coordinator
4649 Sunnyside Ave N., Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98103

Applications must be received by March 14, 2015 to be considered.

Learn more about the program and find out how you can become a Master Composter/Soil Builder.

Questions?  Contact Justin Maltry at (206) 633-0451 x125 or

JustinJustin Maltry’s eyes were opened to the incredible worlds of plants and soil when he went through the Washington Native Plant Society’s Stewardship program in 2010. Since then, he has completed the Sustainable Agriculture program at Seattle Central Community College and volunteered with Alleycat Acres. Justin joined Seattle Tilth as a garden educator on The Garden Hotline in the winter of 2014. Before that, he volunteered with our Seattle Youth Garden Works and garden education programs. He is happy to live in a region with so much awareness around food justice and so many people wanting to build a better, healthier food system, and is excited to kick off 2015 as our new Master Composter/Soil Builder program coordinator.

When he’s not speaking effusively about the staggeringly fascinating nature of soil, Justin may be found bicycling, running, or hiking through the magical wonderland that is the Pacific Northwest, reading about soil microbes, or trying to get bees to land on him.



Find helpful information and keep tabs on what current and past program participants are doing below.

  • Compost Culture Facebook page, by Tasha Mosher (2012 program participant)

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