The Master Composters scheme, launched by Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council in April 2006, has attracted 39 people who spend their spare time giving talks and attending local events to spread the word about home composting.

The two authorities, which teamed up with Garden Organic and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to run the scheme, have hailed it a success and are hoping to expand the project.

Volunteers have to spend a minimum of 30 hours a year raising awareness about the scheme. They can choose the activities, which could include writing a column for their parish magazine to visiting events such as the Three Counties Show.

The aim of the project is to encourage residents to deal with their green waste at home and cut down on the number of collection vehicles on the roads.

Jane Orme, waste challenge manager at Worcestershire County Council, said: “Our scheme was set up to try and spread the word about composting but through a set of volunteers rather it just being a message from the county council.

“I think people respond well if it is a message coming from their peers.”

Council experts believe the scheme has contributed to reduced levels of household waste and high sales of compost bins, which have exceeded 70,000 across the two counties in the last three years.

Lionel Groves, a volunteer with the scheme, said: “I couldn’t imagine I’d have the fun I’ve already had so far this year. It’s the best 30 hours I’ve invested in.”

Kate Martin

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