Recycling Education
Image by Holly Boname
Master composter volunteer (right) shows contents of worm composting bin to Nathalie Smallidge, Stephanie Terwilliger, Annie Seichepin & Adelaide Smallidge at Farm City Day 2005
Image by Sandy Repp
Master Composter display booth

Master Composter / Master Recycler

Who are Master Composters/Recyclers?

Master Composters/Recyclers are a network of trained volunteers who work in partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension office to help educate the local public about the importance of recycling and composting.

Volunteers extend the reach of the community programming offered by Cooperative Extension in a number of ways and under the guidance of CCE staff.

Who Becomes a Master Composter/Recycler?

Anyone with an interest in volunteering can become a Master Composter/Recycler. The only requirements are willingness to gain and share new knowledge about composting and recycling, and an interest in volunteering time and enthusiasm as part of a collaborative team.

Master Composters/Recyclers are usually people who already have some knowledge about recycling and/or composting and would like to gain leadership experience by sharing their knowledge with others. Master Composters/Recyclers come from many different backgrounds and are united by their enthusiasm for improving our environment and community.

How Do I Become a Master Composter/Recycler?

Complete our Volunteer Application, indicate your interest in the Master Composter/Recycler program, and return it to the CCE, SC office along with a signed copy of the MCR Volunteer Description.

The 2019 application deadline is August 7th (extended from August 2nd). 

Cornell staff will review your qualifications and professional references, and contact you to schedule an interview.

As trainings are announced, you will be notified of the next training date and location.

Trainees will receive approximately 30 hours of course instruction in the form of twelve (2-3 hour) sessions and two (2 hour) fieldtrips. Training sessions cover a wide variety of topics related to environmental science and technology, the benefits, uses, and methods of composting, recycling, waste reduction, pollution prevention, as well as professional development skills related to being an informal community educator. 

Is There a Cost to Become a Master Composter/Recycler?

Yes, there is a one-time $80 fee that helps cover the costs of teaching materials and other expenses associated with the training program. A limited number of scholarships are available. Indicate on the Volunteer Application if you'd like to be considered for a scholarship.  

What Does A Master Composter/Recycler Do?

Upon completion of the training program, Master Composters/Recyclers are asked to share their training with the community in the form of 30 hours of volunteer work with Schenectady County Recycles/Cornell Cooperative Extension within Schenectady County. These hours can be spread out over a one year period, and volunteers work closely with their volunteer coordinator to choose the events or activities they'd like to contribute to. Independent projects may also be considered toward service hours, but must be approved by the volunteer coordinator. 

Example Activities for Master Composter/Recycler Volunteers:

  • Answer questions about what & where to recycle, donate, and dispose of various items
  • Assist with teaching classes that are open to the public
  • Help with giving demonstrations to youth groups and community organizations
  • Put together exhibits and educational displays for special events
  • Offer support to improve recycling programs for special events, schools, apartment complexes, etc.
  • Answer questions and offer technical assistance/advice related to backyard composting
  • Write articles to contribute to a monthly e-magazine
  • Attend Master Composter/Recycler meetings
  • Help develop special events in Schenectady County to celebrate America Recycles Day and Earth Day 

And much more!

Class size is limited, and preference is given to Schenectady County residents if capacity is reached.

Volunteer Description 2019.pdf

Volunteer Application

Agenda 2019

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Last updated January 1, 2020