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.