Leslie Rodgers

Leslie Rodgers

Speaker | Atlas Organics

Spartanburg, SC | leslie.rodgers@atlasorganics.net

USCC Member

Leslie Rodgers handles Commercial Business Development and is the Director of Education for Atlas Organics. Leslie’s experience in education provides solid skills to support commercial composting in all scales and environments.  She is a passionate advocate for conscious choices, waste minimization, and soil regeneration. Leslie is an active member of the Entrepreneurial Task Force for the ONE Spartanburg movement, a Green Steps Mentor, Don’t Waste Food SC advocate, a trained Kiss the Ground Soil Advocate, USCC Young Professional and has been on composting panels for both S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control and the Carolina Recycling Association. Leslie’s knowledge stems from years of involvement with the sustainable movement through local organizations and community programs first in Brooklyn, NY and now, here in the Southeast.

Session Name: Public Private Partnerships in South Carolina and Virginia

Session Time: Thursday, January 30, 8:30 to 10:00 AM

Presentation Title: Commercial Composting in Schools

Presentation Description: Atlas Organics has worked with local K-12 schools to divert food waste and engage the educational community in the composting movement since 2016.

Being in a state that does not subsidize organics diversion, schools in the Atlas Organics service area made the choice to divert waste and include the lunchroom as a learning space.

Atlas Organics has developed an education program that includes educating the student body of the reasons composting is necessary, the composting process, the undeniable benefits of applying compost to the soil and the method of separation that occurs in the lunchroom each day so that a school with 200 students to a school with 1,100 students can divert their organic material effectively.

During this presentation, Atlas Organics will explore several partnerships including Spartanburg District 6 Farm to School program, the dynamics of working with the food service contractors to make the lunchroom compost friendly, and the positive effects on student understanding when a connection is made between the lunchroom composting program with the outdoor school garden activities and the utilization of finished compost.

Spartanburg School District 6 is a unique example in what is possible for a school district to accomplish. The district has approximately 11,500 students in 15 schools. With the Farm to School program, the District manages food production by operating a Certified SC Farm that grows the majority of the produce needed for school lunches, food service with an internal food service department and all onsite school gardens. Spartanburg School District 6 uses Atlas Organics hauling services in several of their elementary school with great success as well as utilizing Atlas Organics compost on the farm where they have seen and tracked the increase of organic matter in the soil.