Introducing: The Compost Bill

posted in: Climate Change, Compost, Policy | 3

Photo by MPCA on Flickr

New Mexico’s short legislative session focused on budget items started on January 16, 2024. The NM Healthy Soil Working Group is introducing an appropriations bill that aims to advance composting in the state of New Mexico. We are grateful to Senator Pete Campos for introducing the bill, and to Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth and Representative Jack Chatfield for co-sponsoring.


The Compost Bill (SB 79) designates the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to convene a group of stakeholders to develop a statewide composting plan that is voluntary, incentive based and educational. A report is to be compiled suggesting action steps and making legislative recommendations for the 2025 session. A feasibility study will be done to ensure the plan is viable and efficient.

What does the bill do?

An appropriation in the amount of $65,000 is requested to cover the staffing time involved, the reporting and a feasibility study.

Why is this bill relevant and important?

Compost regenerates the land by fostering soil health. Compost supports water infiltration, retention and other vital ecosystem services. Composting diverts waste from our landfills and in doing so reduces methane and water pollution. Composting ultimately helps us be resilient and resourceful—propelling us toward a circular economy.

But on average only 8.5% of the waste we produce is composted when 50% of our waste is compostable. With these figures and the benefits of composting in mind, we should take the time to collectively and thoughtfully develop an action plan to utilize state resources within reason to spur on, promote and better equip New Mexico communities for composting. Our state can educate the public on the value of composting, expand access to composting services and work to build out the infrastructure needed.

Stakeholder involvement

To develop recommendations, a working group will be convened from a broad cross section of stakeholders including members of the private and public sectors, agriculture, conservation and environment organizations, relevant New Mexico universities and associations, pueblos, tribes and nations, acequia and land grant communities, and more. Examples of stakeholders involved include the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, NMACD, the Coalition of Sustainable Communities, NM Food & Agriculture Policy Council, NMSU, the NM Compost Coalition and the New Mexico Environment Department.

→ Learn about Composting in New Mexico

→ Read about composting on the NM Healthy Soil Blog

Action Alert:
Contact Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committee Members!

The Compost Bill (SB 79) passed unanimously in the Senate Conservation Committee on January 25, 2024! Many thanks to Senator Campos for his excellent leadership, the Committee Members for their great comments (many of them are already composting) and to all who wrote, called and showed up in support. You can watch the recording of the hearing here (the Compost Bill was first on the agenda).

Next, we need your help to reach out to Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committee Members, asking for their support of SB 79, The Compost Bill, and asking that the $65,000 appropriation in SB 79 be included as line item in HB 2.

Call and/or email Committee Members NOW to voice your support and share why composting is important for our communities and to you personally. Phone calls are best, but if you do email, use the subject line “Support SB 79, The Compost Bill.” 

 1.    Call the Senate Finance Committee (best option):

Senator George K. Muñoz (D), Chair – 505-986-4371
Senator Nancy Rodriguez (D), Vice Chair – 505-986-4264
Senator William E. Sharer (R) – 505-986-4381
Senator William F. Burt (R) – 505-986-4366
Senator Pete Campos (D) – 505-986-4311  Please thank Senator Campos for sponsoring the bill!
Senator Crystal Diamond Brantley (R) – 505-986-4703
Senator Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales (D) – 505-986-4362
Senator Siah Correa Hemphill (D) – 505-986-4863
Senator Michael Padilla (D) – 505-986-4737
Senator Jeff Steinborn (D) – 505-986-4862
Senator Pat Woods (R) – 505-986-4393

Email the Senate Finance Committee:,,,,,,,,,,

 2.    Call the Senate House Appropriations Committee (best option):

Representative    Nathan P. Small    (D), Chair – (575) 496-9540
Representative    Meredith A. Dixon (D), Vice Chair – (505) 401-8339
Representative    Gail Armstrong (R) – 505-986-4215
Representative    Anthony Allison (D) – 505-986-4435
Representative    Brian G. Baca (R) – 505-986-4221
Representative    Cathrynn N. Brown (R) – 505-986-4227
Representative    Jack Chatfield (R) – 505-986-4467 Thank Representative Chatfield for co-sponsoring the bill!
Representative    Art De La Cruz (D) – 505-986-4236
Representative    Natalie Figueroa (D) – 505-986-4255
Representative    Harry Garcia (D) – 505-986-4233
Representative    Joy Garratt (D) – 505-986-4341
Representative    Pamelya Herndon (D) – (505) 205-0868
Representative    Tara Jaramillo (D) – 505-986-4436
Representative    Tara L. Lujan (D) – 505-986-4432
Representative    Rod Montoya (R) – 505-986-4336
Representative    Randall T. Pettigrew (R) – 505-986-4220
Representative    Joseph Sanchez (D) – 505-986-4233
Representative    Debra M. Sariñana (D) – 505-986-4435

Email the House Appropriations Committee:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

3 Responses

  1. Karen Sweeney

    Heartily support this effort. Seems like no-brainer which does not mean it will pass. Also seems like a minimal $$ ask. Is that really enough? As stakeholders, I hope you will include Reunity Resources and Soilutions. They are doing this work.

  2. Laura Valencia

    I fully support this. Not enough citizens have the education or knowledge about composting. Composting should be equally as implemented as trash and recycling. It should also not be a cost burden on New Mexicans. Composting needs to be normalized, as it is a tool every community can use to help fight climate change.

  3. Sylvia Ernestina Vergara

    Compost helps on my farm, Tierra Milagro, in a very important way. Thank you for sponsoring this very important bill.

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