The Composting Association of Vermont (CAV) was founded in 2002 with the support of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and the Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation Waste Management Division (ANR/DEC) with the purpose and vision to build a thriving composting sector in Vermont. CAV promotes the production and use of compost as a vital link between soil health and sustainable agriculture and communities. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit we rely on a cooperative, stakeholder driven approach in our work.
Natasha Duarte joined CAV as Director in April 2017 and represents CAV in policy initiatives, and coordinates with partners for outreach and education projects. Natasha comes to CAV after serving for almost a decade as the Director of the International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE), a non-profit based in Bristol, VT dedicated to preserving the vital links between human societies and the natural world. During her tenure as the ISE Director, Natasha strengthened and professionalized the Society’s administrative and programmatic capacity. Prior to this, she was a Research Soil Scientist for the USDA Forest Service. As a member of the Forest Sensitivity Mapping Group, she assessed the effects of acid rain on forest ecosystems and tree health, focusing on individual sites throughout New England, New York, West Virginia, Tennessee, and California. Community scale composting was the cornerstone of Natasha’s Peace Corps work in Senegal, West Africa, where she helped farmers reclaim land from termite mounds and turn the poorest areas of their fields into the most productive. Natasha has been a backyard composter for over 20 years and has helped family members and friends begin composting. A dedicated localvore, she enjoys learning about wild edible foods and edible landscaping in her free time. She earned an M.S. in Soil Science from N.C. State University and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Vermont.
CAV members provide hundreds of hours in-kind each year, contributing policy, planning, site management, product quality and composting expertise, in addition to decades of experience within the food system and management of organic residuals.
Through strategic relationships with many other stakeholder groups, CAV is expanding the composting network, markets for end uses of compost, and a knowledge base about composting within the state of Vermont. CAV conducts projects and advocacy on emerging trends, issues and technology.
Stakeholders groups that CAV has worked with include:
- Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
- Generators of compostable materials
- Solid Waste Management Districts/Entities
- Watershed protection entities
- Compost producers & facility operators
- Educators and researchers
- Legislative groups & regulatory agencies
- UVM Extension
- UVM Plant and Soil Science Department
- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
- Farm to Plate
- Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
- and many others