Bernalillo County Extension Master Composter Program


Outdoor classroom centered around composting bin
Photo courtesy of Danny Skinz

Welcome to the Bernalillo County Master Composter website. The Master Composter organization provides basic composting classes for the general public and trains volunteers to teach these classes.

And remember...when in drought, spread the compost out!

New Backyard Composting Series to Begin at Gutiérrez-Hubbell House

September 14 and November 9, we'll offer the first of a quarterly series of free composting workshops on various topics at the beautiful and historic Gutiérrez-Hubbell House in Albuquerque's South Valley. See Gutiérrez-Hubbell House Backyard Composting Series for details about the workshops.

Concerned about Odors in Compost?

We've added a document to the website about Avoiding Unpleasant Odors in Composting. Check it out.

Looking for More Materials to Compost?

Please see our page Sources for Compost Feedstock. This lists local business who have food waste to contribute as well as ideas for where to find feedstock in your neighborhood and around your home.

Fire in commercial compost
Click photo for KRQE story

What Causes Compost Fires and How Can We Prevent Them?

Last summer, Albuquerque experienced a large fire in a commercial composting facility caused by spontaneous combustion of the compost. Spontaneous combustion in home compost piles is rare. However, the dramatic fire in Albuquerque inspired us to provide some information about the conditions that might lead to such a fire and how to prevent one. See Spontaneous Combustion in Compost.

Woman holding plastic bucket with holes

See Our Presentations on Homemade Compost Bins

Please check out our presentations for four types of compost bins you can make at home that are especially suited for our desert climate.

Learn How Best to Compost in the Desert

Composting in New Mexico has its special challenges. Composting in the Desert is our flyer specifically about composting in our part of the world, and newly revised May 2018. Also see Desert Composting Recommendations. For teachers, these materials are available on our composting handouts page.

Drawing indicating air flow in a compost pile (small)

Learn More About Convective Air Flow in a Compost Bin

Read our new webpage Convective Air Flow which includes a beautiful drawing by Master Composter intern Jenn Myers.

Sign Up for Our Mailing List

If you'd like to receive email about our longer workshops and master composter training you can sign up for our mailing list.

You Can Help Support BCEMC via AmazonSmile

Our organization has signed up to benefit from the AmazonSmile program. If you shop at Amazon and specify Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters as your charity, a percentage of what you spend will be donated to BCEMC. It's very easy to set up. Please see our Donations page for the details. Your support of BCEMC is much appreciated.

Master Composters in the News

Our very own John Zarola was interviewed about composting by KRQE News 13. Watch the video.

We Are

You can get to our site via the URL Master composters, please share it with your students. The URL,, works as well. Both will get you to the page you are on now.

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