Schools & Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education (SCARCE) – An Illinois Food Scrap Coalition Sustaining Partner
Schools and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education also known as SCARCE is an award-winning environmental education non-profit agency dedicated to creating sustainable communities. They accomplish this through innovative and hands-on education programs for schools and organizations. For over 25 years SCARCE has been implementing change to foster a more sustainable future. SCARCE does this by collecting hard to recycle items and promoting composting.
The composting program started with the Pumpkin Recycling collection. After hosting successful pumpkin collection events, SCARCE created the pumpkin recycling toolkit, which is available at http://illinoiscomposts.org/11-resources/77-pumpkin-collection-guide. This toolkit allows other communities throughout the state to introduce composting in an easy and fun way.
SCARCE is under the leadership of its founder and Executive Director Kay McKeen. In addition to leading SCARCE, McKeeen is highly involved with the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition. She is a founding member and on the Board of Directors. She serves on the End Markets subcommittee, which is committed to developing markets to increase the demand for compost throughout the state.
Kay's dedication to improve the sustainability of our communities has earned her numerous awards over the years, including the 2016 Illinois Recycler of the Year and one of Suburban Life Magazine's 2015 Women of Distinction.
SCARCE has been instrumental in pushing composting throughout the State of Illinois through its participation with IFSC and by hosting education seminars about composting for municipalities and residents. SCARCE staff has hosted forums in DuPage County to help spread the word, providing education and compost motivational speeches. SCARCE has been recognized for the effectiveness of the programs they’ve developed and their impact on legislation to foster sustainability state-wide.
SCARCE is a gold level Sustaining Partner for Illinois Food Scrap Coalition, providing significant financial support toward expanding food scrap collection and composting throughout the state of Illinois. Because of their efforts, the cities of Glyn Ellyn, Naperville and Wheaton have begun curbside food scrap collection programs. SCARCE is truly a pioneer, leading the way for others in the state to implement food scrap collection programs. Their efforts have been instrumental in increasing the amount of compost available in Illinois. SCARCE, keep up the great work!
Building on the 2015 Food Scrap Composting Challenges and Solutions in Illinois Report produced by recent collaboration with the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition (IFSC), Seven Generations Ahead (SGA) contracted Skumatz Economic Research Associates (SERA) to identify the problems associated with landfilling organics, food scraps in particular, and recommend solutions emphasizing the development of the Illinois sustainable food industry.
The goals of the project were to examine the influence of expanded food scraps recovery and composting programs on improving the viability of commercial composting ventures in Illinois, driving Illinois-based food production, and enhancing the local food economy in Illinois, including jobs and revenues.
The analyses in this report indicate that the three targeted organic materials – food scraps, compostable yard waste (not including woody materials), and compostable paper-- represent significant recoverable resources. Diverting the three target materials would reduce 22% of tons disposed, and 16% of the MTCO2e available from all the non-recovered recyclables and organics disposed annually in Illinois. Using estimates of future prices of carbon dioxide, the value of the carbon dioxide represented by the target food scraps is $54 million - $89 million annually (2020 prices).
Download the Economic Impact and Market Study Report: Elements of the Case for Advancing Food Scrap Composting Industry and the Link to Building Illinois' Local Food Economy and read about recommended programs for increased organics diversion, with an emphasis on food scraps.
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