In The News

Sept. 18, 2023 Baltimore receives federal funding to build composting facility

“Baltimore has received $4 million of federal funding to build a composting facility at the city’s Eastern Sanitation Yard, which would accept organic waste such as food scraps and turn it into a fertilizer mixture.

Supporters say the East Baltimore facility would be the first of its kind to be managed by city government, calling it a meaningful step toward achieving the city’s “zero waste” goal.”

Baltimore City sells Filbert Street Garden, once a trash-filled lot, to South Baltimore nonprofit for $1

June 22, 2023

“On June 7, the Baltimore Board of Estimates approved the sale of the property to Filbert Street Garden Inc. for $1… “I call the Filbert Street Garden the Wakanda of South Baltimore,” Hayes said. “Being rich is being able to grow your food, know where it comes from, how to take that seed and that food once you’ve eaten it and take the scraps and turn it into black gold to be able to grow more food because you feed the soul that feeds you.”

The Future is Now: The Power of Indomitable Youth to Spark Action

ReFED Food Waste Summit: St. Louis, Missouri May 16-18, 2023

Launching Yuba Electric Bikes, Becoming the First All-Electric, Zero-Emissions Compost Fleet!

Launching Yuba Bicycles for the First Electric Compost Fleet!

My Block Counts: Food Waste and Composting

March 9, 2023

“Dr. Sacoby Wilson discusses food waste and composting with guest Marvin Hayes of the Baltimore Compost Collective. The organization is a local service that collects food scraps from residents in Baltimore neighborhoods and composts the material at the Filbert Street Community Garden in Curtis Bay, where it is used to grow fresh produce and build urban food security.”

Local Composting Integral To Reducing Urban Heat Island Impacts

Sept. 13, 2022

“The Baltimore Compost Collective at Filbert Street Community Garden in Curtis Bay is a youth-led composting initiative that composts food scraps and garden waste, returns compost to local soils, and creates jobs for local youth.”

The Baltimore Sun: Readers Respond

August 18, 2022

“The Baltimore Compost Collective under Marvin’s leadership is a true community labor of love. Composting happens here, an animal sanctuary happens here, youth leadership development happens here and a community comes together in the heart of Baltimore to work toward a cleaner environment for themselves and all of Baltimore.”

A Compost & Environmental Justice Poem by Marvin Hayes, Presented at South By Southwest Conference SXSW, Austin Texas 2022

Natural Resources Defense Council: City and Community Leaders Chat Food and Climate at SXSW

Marvin Hayes spoke at South By Southwest Marvin kicked off the panel with a powerful spoken word poem about the importance of composting in the midst of the environmental injustice of the polluting incinerators. He emphasized the importance of engaging youth to take action on environmental racism in his community of South Baltimore, and describing that the goal of the Baltimore Compost Collective is to “starve the incinerator and feed the soil.”

The Austin Chronicle article covering South by Southwest conference. The article is titled "Chefs, Researchers, and Activists Write the Climate Change Cookbook." A fish farmer in a reflective jacket is pictured holding a responsibly farmed salmon.

The Austin Chronicle: SXSW

Check out The Austin Chronicle’s early coverage of South by Southwest, where Marvin Hayes is a panelist on “City Food Waste: A Burgeoning Climate Solution.”

“‘Eighty-five percent of Baltimore city trash can be composted, recycled, or reused,” [Marvin Hayes] said. ‘You’ve gotta learn so you don’t burn.'”

Waste Wise invites listeners to join the conversation with this event promotion. Feb. 16, 2022 at 2pm UTC. Featured speakers photographed are Cole Rosengren from Waste Dive, Meredith Danberg-Ficarelli from Common Ground Compost, and Marvin Hayes from the Baltimore Compost Collective

How Local Organics Recyclers in the US Are Weathering the Pandemic

“The pandemic years have been disruptive throughout the waste and recycling sector, especially for smaller operators. Learn how organics recyclers in two major U.S. cities have approached this challenge while remaining vocal advocates for change in their communities.”

The Aljazeera logo, cream outlines on an orange background

The cost of food waste on our planet

“Americans are wasting about $408bn in food every year, but the biggest consequence of food waste is not financial. Pollution from methane gas generated at landfills accounts for about 8 to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Today, we explore food waste — how to avoid it, and what steps local and national governments in the United States are taking to solve the problem.”

The National Zero Waste Conference logo, a blue circle with the recycling icon embedded

National Zero Waste Conference 2021

December 8-9, 2021

“BCC anticipates that the success of the Baltimore Compost Collective as a model for community-oriented composting operation that will lead the City to invest in a distributed composting infrastructure that builds community and equity.”

Marvin Hayes and members of the Baltimore Compost Collective team stand outside the Filbert Street Community Garden holding green compost buckets

Inside Climate News: A Bridge to Composting and Clean Air in South Baltimore

November 12, 2021

“At the Filbert Street Community Garden, Marvin Hayes helps teenagers produce ‘black gold’ and embrace farms and green spaces… But the collective, the city and all of those involved in this effort have their work cut out for them: A recent report found that only 0.7 percent of city waste is composted, while 7.6 percent is recycled and 91.7 percent is landfilled or incinerated… ‘The wind doesn’t segregate or discriminate, so we’re all breathing in bad air,’ Hayes said.”

WYPR logo, each letter in a colorful circle, stacked in a block of four.

Baltimore City pilot program turns food scraps into compost

October 12, 2021

“Marvin‌ ‌Hayes‌,‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Baltimore‌ ‌Compost‌ ‌Collective,‌ ‌gives‌ ‌us‌ ‌a‌ ‌how-to‌ ‌on‌ ‌backyard‌ ‌composting,‌ ‌including‌ ‌making‌ ‌sure‌ ‌your‌ ‌mixture‌ ‌is‌ ‌moist. Check out youth entrepreneur @kenny.captures on Instagram.”

Baltimore Fishbowl, text on black background

Composting expands in Baltimore with new drop-off pilot program

July 20, 2021

“Hayes says that he hopes city officials make future considerations to keep collection and processing local and provide economic development opportunities for communities in Baltimore hit hardest by the environmental impacts of landfill and incineration.

Hayes pointed to his Baltimore Compost Collective as a small-scale enterprise that hires locally, pays living wages and provides opportunities for area youth.

‘We want to starve the incinerator, and feed the soul and feed the community,”’ he said.”

Baltimore Compost Collective logo. Compost Collective is written in green in a mound of black compost. Baltimore is written overtop. The "o" is styled as a shovel in the compost.

At Baltimore’s First Annual Zero Waste Event, we celebrated the youth initiatives on Earth Day!

April 22, 2021

Marvin Hayes joins Baltimore’s First Annual Zero Waste Day which unites Labor and the Environment to create Healthy Communities, Work with Dignity, and a Planet that survives!

The Guardian logo, white text on a blue background

Baltimore is burning trash, so we’re starving the fire

April 12, 2021

Residents in South Baltimore are fighting to ‘starve’ their nearby Bresco incinerator due to health concerns over the amount of pollution it creates. Read more.

CBS Baltimore, WJZ 13 written in yellow and blue, with iconography of an open eye

Filbert Street Garden Composts Food Waste Into ‘Black Gold’ To Grow Produce For Community

March 23, 2021

Every Sunday morning, Federal Hill residents drop off their compost with Marvin Hayes and he brings it to the Filbert Street Garden, also known as the Wakanda of South Baltimore. Read more.

The Post Magazine logo, white text on a black background

Travels as a Tourist in My Hometown of Baltimore – Visiting Baltimore Compost Collective at the Filbert St. Garden

March 10, 2021

“I don’t know anybody who has “visit a composting site” on their travel wish list, but this place is wholly different — and entirely worth it.” Read more.

The Institute for Local Self Reliance website publishing an online article. Pictured is a composting team with newly built rotating screener.

ISLR: DIY Compost Screeners — Baltimore Community Compost Sites Build Their Own

“In collaboration with the Baltimore Office of Sustainability and its Food Matters Project, ILSR partnered with ECO City Farms and ECO’s compost guru, Benny Erez, to adapt and build his two rotating screener (aka trommel screener) designs. One design is people-powered with a simple hand crank. The other has a motor. Both designs rely on repurposed bicycle wheel rims.”

CBS Baltimore, WJZ 13

Demonstrators Call For BRESCO Trash Incinerator To Shut Down

CBS Baltimore covers the demonstrations against BRESCO Trash Incinerator. Read more.

The Land Talk Newsletter by Baltimore Greenspace. Graphic of two people wearing hats with gloves, carrots, a shovel, rake, a potted plant, and bivalve shells.

Marvin Hayes Baltimore’s Zero Waste Champion

Baltimore Greenspace Land Talk Newsletter features Marvin Hayes and the Baltimore Compost Collective. Read more.

BioCycle logo, red text on a white background

Community Composting Key in Baltimore’s Food Waste Strategy

Community composting initiatives in Baltimore are highlighted in a new video released by NRDC, featuring Baltimore Compost Collective. Read more.

baltimore brewEd, the Filbert Street Garden’s goat, was “kid”napped last night

“Also located at the garden is the Baltimore Compost Collective, whose manager, Marvin Hayes, has this warning for the Ed-snatchers: ‘Bring back the goat or you will be composted!'” Read more.

NRDC logoRecycling Food Waste in Baltimore

April 30, 2020

NRDC featured the Baltimore Compost Collective in their video on food waste in Baltimore. Watch the full video below!

red emmasDivided by Design: Imagining an Equitable Baltimore

April 29, 2020

“Five years after Freddie Gray’s murder and the Uprising that followed, Baltimore remains as divided an unequal as ever. How—especially in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, are grassroots organizers working to build power, fight back, and create solutions?” Watch livestream recording here.

tdr logoMaryland’s Coolest Spaces

March 27, 2020

Filbert Street Garden was included in The Daily Record 2020 list of coolest spaces! “Maryland is home to hundreds of cool spaces, from breathtaking architecture to cutting-edge design to repurposed buildings being used in new and different ways…Editors selected 30 of the coolest spaces based on each space’s appearance and function.” See full list here.

Media-Outlet-Logos-27Some good news for Baltimore: The birth of Ed, a miniature goat

March 26, 2020

“As forcefully as Hayes lauds composting, he denounces trash incineration. Both of Baltimore’s incinerators are in Curtis Bay, which has some of the highest asthma rates and worst health outcomes in the city.” Read more.

mediumComposting for the Future

March 12, 2020

“Marvin Hayes works in one of the most toxic neighborhoods in Baltimore city…For the last three years, [he] has been working to reverse those statistics — empowering youth along the way.” Read more.

bmag-icon-newLearn, Don’t Burn

March 2020

“When Kenneth Moss was 6 years old, he grew his first tomato at the Filbert Street Community Garden. Now, a decade later, the Benjamin Franklin High student gives back to the soil with the Baltimore Compost Collective.” Read more.

WYPRLogoSquare1920x1080Food Pantries in Park Heights; Composting Creates “Black Gold”

January 2, 2020

“Neighborhood food pantries in Park Heights allow families to take what they need. A composting effort in south Baltimore turns food scraps into rich garden soil. Today, two Open Society Institute fellows share fresh ideas to improve city life. Mariah Pratt Bonkowski founded “Pantries of Peace” to remove obstacles that make typical food pantries hard to access. And Marvin Hayes, founder of the “Baltimore Compost Collective,” describes how composting can create jobs, clean the air, and make food more secure.” Listen here.

osi logoOSI 2019 Community Fellow Announcement

“As an OSI Community Fellow, Hayes wants to teach more youth about composting and green jobs and expand his composting system at the garden to be able to handle more food scraps. Through the collective, he already works with a group of students at Benjamin Franklin High School, who have launched a zero-waste challenge and a composting project at the school, as well as school groups from across Baltimore who come to the garden to learn about small-scale composting and alternatives to trash incineration.” Read more.

How Composting Helped Make Filbert Street Community Garden the Wakanda of South Baltimore

November 25, 2019

On this episode, host Linda Bilsens Brolis is joined by Marvin Hayes of the Baltimore Compost Collective. Marvin and Linda talk about how the Baltimore Compost Collective is empowering and employing local youth while also creating a model that can be replicated throughout the City of Baltimore to create a distributed composting infrastructure.  Listen here.

ilsr-stacked-printBuilding Local Power Podcast: Why Scale Matters in Protecting the Climate and How Composting Can Help

September 19, 2019

Host Hibba Meraay is joined by Brenda Platt, Director of ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative. Hibba and Brenda dive into the climate crisis and what communities are doing at the local level to address it. The Baltimore Compost Collective is featured as an example, starting at minute 20. Listen here.

in these times logoFighting Asthma with Compost

September 4, 2019

“In a sunny hilltop pasture just five blocks above the sprawl of the CSX railyard and the dusty black mounds of the Curtis Bay Coal Pier, 16-year-old Kenny Moss dips his hand into a wood-frame compost bin. ‘Feel how hot it is,’ he says, extending a palmful of ‘black gold’ toward fellow urban gardener Precious Fraling, 41, who’s here to learn about composting for her own community garden in the Govans neighborhood, 13 miles north.” Read more.

Media-Outlet-Logos-27Community demands Chow commit to saving Filbert Street Garden

May 12, 2019

“Ever since supporters of the Filbert Street Garden learned the city might displace them in order to build a water pumping station, they’ve been working to save the revered South Baltimore community hub.” Read more.

wbur logoBaltimore’s Burning Question: What To Do With Its Trash Incinerator

April 25, 2019

“Hayes runs the Baltimore Compost Collective, tucked away behind the beehives and babbling duck ponds of the Filbert Street Garden. It’s an oasis in a neighborhood better known for elevated asthma rates and industrial pollution.” Read more.

Next-City-LogoPaying and Scraping in Pursuit of Zero Waste

April 22, 2019

“Local compost efforts like Hayes’ may seem small, but collectively they could generate major momentum. Organic waste stubbornly remains one of the biggest components of municipal garbage. Food scraps, yard clippings and food industry trash, among other things, constitute as much as 40 percent of the waste stream in some cities. Stepping up composting efforts point the way to large reductions in the amount of trash that has no other place to go but landfill or burning in either incinerators or waste-to-energy plants.” Read more.

real news logoCommunity Rallies to Defend Community Garden

March 22, 2019

“The largest community garden in Baltimore is aiming to make Baltimore more sustainable and push the city toward zero-waste, but it is under threat of demolition by the city.” Read more.

Media-Outlet-Logos-27DPW offers little room for compromise, at this point, on Filbert Street Garden

March 3, 2019

“The Filbert Street Garden’s supporters brought their ‘A game’ to Friday’s meeting about city plans to possibly take their one-acre patch of carefully-tended space in Curtis Bay and use it for a Department of Public Works water pumping station.” Read more.

Take the Zero Waste Challenge!

February 28, 2019

Media-Outlet-Logos-27Plan to replace community garden with a pumping station roils Curtis Bay

February 25, 2019

“To get an idea of what the Filbert Street Garden means to Curtis Bay, imagine more than tomatoes, zucchini, zinnias, strawberries, pumpkins and all the other things grown at this hilltop garden in far South Baltimore since it was created 10 years ago. Consider the kids and parents dressed up in costumes for last October’s Halloween party…or the Baltimore Compost Collective based there, a project that recycles food scraps and, along the way, helps young people turn their lives around.” Read more.

bmore tree trust logo“A rind is a terrible thing to waste”: Composting in Curtis Bay

February 7, 2019

“This past fall, we took our first cohort of apprentices with the Urban Roots Apprenticeship to a composting workshop led by the Baltimore Compost Collective, a small youth empowerment and composting nonprofit located inside the Filbert Street Community Garden in Curtis Bay. Over the past few months, it has been a pleasure getting to know the folks involved in this project, who are working everyday to advocate for cleaner air and fresher food for their community. The garden is an oasis in a community that lacks access to fresh food and fresh air.” Read more.

wpkn logoDigging in the Dirt Radio Interview with Marvin Hayes

January 30, 2019

Marvin Hayes was interviewed for WPKN Community Radio’s segment “Digging in the Dirt” with Kevin Gallagher. They discussed the Baltimore Compost Collective and the history of waste issues in Baltimore. Listen here.

real news logoCity Council Calls for “No More Cash for Burning Trash”

January 14, 2019

Recently, Marvin Hayes and Kenny joined the rally against subsidies for the Wheelabrator incinerator held at Baltimore City Hall. Check them out in the lead photo on this article, holding up the Baltimore Compost Collective sign! See article.

NRDC logoBaltimore Is Poised to Put a Major Dent in Its Food Waste Stream

December 13, 2018

“Among those key players is the Baltimore Compost Collective, which has made a strong impact over the past two years, under Hayes’s leadership, on the Curtis Bay community where it is based. Local youths run the food-scrap collection operation out of the Filbert Street Garden and currently pick up food waste from 41 customers.” Read more.

Media-Outlet-Logos-27Update from the Compost Collective: New shed, new goats, new customers

November 5, 2018

“Goats. A new soil shed. New batches of folks helping out. And did we mention – goats! So much keeps happening at the Filbert Street Community Garden in South Baltimore that every once in a while Marvin Hayes just has to pass it along in a flurry of texts, lest he fall too far behind.” Read more.

ilsr-stacked-printTime-Lapse Video of Baltimore Bin Build

October 31, 2018

“In 2017, ILSR launched the Baltimore Compost Collective, a food scrap collection and composting service that is employing local youth in Curtis Bay. This year we helped organize a community bin-build of a second composting system in order to expand the site’s capacity to compost food scraps. Employees of the Compost Collective and ILSR were joined by several partners to construct the second 3-bin system.” Read more.

WYPRLogoSquare1920x1080Maryland Considers Air Pollution Restrictions for Trash Incinerators

September 28, 2018

“This is the case made by Marvin Hayes, who runs the Baltimore Compost Collective. For the last two years, he’s employed young people to collect food waste and transform it into fertilizer used in urban farming at the Filbert Street Garden in south Baltimore. ‘I’m telling people, learn so we don’t have to burn,’ Hayes said. ‘Not only can we create a better environment, but we can create jobs — for youths, for ex-offenders, and for anyone who wants to learn composting.'” Read more.

Next-City-LogoThe Hidden Powers of Composting in Baltimore City

September 25, 2018

“‘What’s so special about our program is an opportunity to work with youth to transform them and give them a skill,’ says Hayes, who runs the compost collective and is the youth supervisor.” Read more.

xehjSjNn_400x400Compost Project Employs Youth to Give Food Scraps New Life

September 20, 2018

“The Baltimore Compost Collective, a food scrap collection service based in Baltimore, is employing local youth to pick up food waste from residential customers and turn it into compost.” Read more.

WYPRLogoSquare1920x1080Baltimore Plans to Expand Composting Citywide

September 17, 2018

“The Filbert Street Garden sits just inside the city line in south Baltimore’s Brooklyn neighborhood. Among the ducks and chickens that call the garden home, there are flower beds, a greenhouse, bee hives, and—tucked away in the far back corner—the composting bins.” Read more.

Media-Outlet-Logos-27Jobs for Baltimore’s youth and a second life for its trashed food

September 10, 2018

“A visit with the Baltimore Compost Collective, the kind of project the city is embracing as part of its war on food waste.” Read more.

fishbowl-logo-2Baltimore gets grant funding to pilot food waste collection and composting plan

September 5, 2018

“‘A rind is a terrible thing to waste,’ says Marvin Hayes, program director for Baltimore Compost Collective, a West Baltimore community group dedicated to turning food scraps into useable compost.” Read more.

BBJ_social Icons.inddBaltimore launches plan to reduce food waste with funding from Rockefeller Foundation

September 5, 2018

“Any responsible food consumer knows you shouldn’t simply toss your unused produce into the Jones Falls. Those old tomatoes could become potent soil for future tomatoes, and other unused items that are often thrown out could still be edible and useful to those going hungry.” Read more.

ilsr-stacked-printFighting Food Waste and Employing Youth in Baltimore

August 9, 2018

“Curtis Bay is a historically disenfranchised neighborhood in Baltimore and one of the most polluted zip codes in the country. A long industrial history has left it with a legacy of environmental contamination and associated avertable health impacts.” Read more.