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!

News, Announcements, Things to Know

Fire in commercial compost
Click photo for KRQE story

What Causes Compost Fires and How Can We Prevent Them?

Albuquerque recently 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 has 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.

Are You Looking for More Materials to Compost?

Please see our new 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.

Next Master Composter Volunteer Training Dates Tentatively Set for April 3-27, 2019.

Check back a few months before the date for details and an application at Master Composter Volunteer Training Course.

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.

Compost bin from the top

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.

composer's logo