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New FUSE Executive Fellow to Advance City’s Equitable Climate Resiliency

The year-long compost-focused fellowship takes a monumental step towards climate resilience and justice
December 14, 2023

The City of Albuquerque is launching a planning process for a citywide composting initiative to greatly reduce the City’s carbon footprint while simultaneously boosting the economy and promoting environmental justice in marginalized communities through the new FUSE Fellowship. In partnership with the City’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and Sustainability Office, FUSE hired an Executive Fellow, Matthew Fien Gretton, to design a public-private composting program to meet these aims.

Fien Gretton has a strong background with local agriculture and composting, and is an entrepreneur who understands what it takes to initiate a new program. As an experienced FUSE Executive Fellow, he will play a pivotal role in advancing the City’s sustainability, resilience, and equity goals outlined in the 2021 Climate Action Plan.

“I look forward to bringing the experience in project planning and community engagement I gained as an agriculture program manager, food distributor, and entrepreneur to our work on this project,” said Matthew Fien Gretton, FUSE Corps Executive Fellow. “Citywide composting is a goal and vision that crosses boundaries and unites people with a passion for preserving our New Mexico food, water, and earth.”

Only a month in, Fien Gretton has met with stakeholders and community members who have experience with composting in the metro area. Over the next two months, he will be holding listening sessions at various sites to hear from community members about goals and vision for a citywide composting program. The public will also have opportunities to provide feedback on the draft program in Spring/Summer 2024. Visit the City’s website to learn more about the project and find opportunities to provide feedback.

“We’re paving the path toward exceeding the Climate Action Plan’s sustainable materials management goals while protecting our residents who are most vulnerable to climate change,” said Sandra West, City of Albuquerque’s Sustainable Waste Specialist. “Together, we are utilizing nature’s process of recycling nutrients to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build healthy local soils for a more resilient and sustainable Albuquerque.”

“Our frontline communities are more susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change,” said Michelle Melendez, Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. “We’re focused on building programming that keeps equity as the driver for a healthier future for everyone.”