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Composting Comes to Trinity!

Have you noticed the new green buckets around the church? Here’s the story.

By: Rev. Amy Peterson


Back in February 2023, a dozen or so Trinitarians attended a Creation Care Alliance symposium. Debriefing a few weeks later, they decided to form a Creation Care Committee at Trinity (their mission statement can be found at the end of this article). One action item was on the top of every committee member’s list: Trinity should be composting.


Part of the group at the conference


For the uninitiated, composting is the process of transforming plant and food waste into “black gold,” valuable fertilizer that can be added to soil. Composting reduces waste (food scraps and garden waste combined make up more than 28 percent of what Americans throw away); cuts methane emissions from landfills; improves soil health and lessens erosion; and conserves water.


Many people keep a compost pile going in their own backyards, but obviously that wouldn’t work at Trinity! The group looked into local companies, and through the determined efforts of Monte Gaillard, found a partner in Compost AVL.


Now, every week our trash bins are lighter as our food scraps, coffee grounds, paper towels, plant matter from the altar flowers, and more are picked up by Compost AVL. Soon, they’ll return our finished compost to us for our use in our garden beds and grounds.


Not only that, the committee recruited Central Methodist to join the fun! They’re composting, too.


If you’re interested in having your home compostable material picked up every week by Compost AVL, use this link and you and Trinity will both get a $10 credit. Compost AVL will return your finished compost to you for use in your garden; if you don’t need it, you can ask to have it donated to Trinity!


But you have other options, too! You could begin composting in your backyard (you can find lots of advice online; here’s one beginner’s guide). Or, you can collect your compostable materials and drop them off at one of the Asheville and Buncombe County centers.


Composting isn’t just good for the earth; it makes theological sense, too. After all, says Rev. Amy Peterson, we believe in a God who is actively making all things new, taking what’s spoiled or broken or tossed out, and turning it into something beautiful. And – as Dr. Norman Wirzba says in Making Peace with the Land – when God first shows up in the Bible, it’s as a gardener. God creates a garden, and then takes the first human being (in Hebrew, that’s adam), freshly formed from the soil (in Hebrew, that’s adamah), and says, Take care of the garden.


At Trinity, we’re trying.


Creation Care Committee Mission:


  • To foster a greater awareness and appreciation of all of God’s creation and its sacredness, so that we experience the love of God, and allow love to move us to gratitude and to action on behalf of the more-than-human world


  • To create, nurture, and maintain the landscape surrounding Trinity Church, Asheville, North Carolina, with an acute sense of the genius loci (the spirit of the place) and for the betterment of the natural world


  • To set an example at Trinity that inspires and enables others to reconsider their own landscapes and lives

Do you have something wonderful to share? An interesting story? Celebrating a momentous occasion? Please reach out to Nanette by email: nanette@trinityasheville.org to be featured in your own edition of Stories that Matter.

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