The Illinois Food Scrap Coalition (IFSC) is a group of solid waste agencies, counties, community and government organizations, businesses, schools, institutions, service providers, and processors dedicated to advancing food scrap composting in Illinois through program implementation, policy, and advocacy.
The full group meets monthly via conference call on the first Monday of the month (excepting holidays) at 10:30 am CST for one hour. The subcommittees meet separately as needed.
The subcommittees include:
- Communications and Outreach: Second Tuesday at 9 am
- Education and Projects: as needed
- Market Development: as needed
- Membership and Benefits: as needed
- Policy and Regulations: as neeeded
- Social Media and Website: Fourth Tuesday at 10 am
- We Compost: Third Friday at 9am
Goals / Current Work
The Coalition is in the process of expanding membership and developing a scope of work related to advancing food scrap composting in Illinois, including:
1) Prioritize Solutions from 2015 Report
This IFSC report, published in January 2015, is designed to educate elected officials, composting industry stakeholders and advocates, and the public at-large about opportunities and strategies related to developing a robust food scrap composting industry in Illinois. This report and the Executive Summary of Recommendations support the work of the Task Force on the Advancement of Materials Recycling, and include recommendations already being addressed by the Task Force – including the SB850 transfer station pilot program, Illinois food labeling and national labeling standards, state procurement policy requiring the use of Illinois compost, and compost site permitting revisions.
The IFSC intentionally decided to limit the scope of the report to food scrap composting, while fully recognizing and supporting the role of food scraps in the creation of renewable energy and other useful by-products through the utilization of anaerobic digestion as an alternative to composting.
- Background: The MSW and Composting Landscape
- The Benefits of Composting
- The Importance of Composting for Illinois
- Food Scrap Composting Model Policies and Programs
- Compost Quality Standards and Economic Potential
- Challenges and Solutions
Download the Food Scrap Composting Challenges and Solutions Report.
A series of informational webinars is being developed to bring awareness to the successes and challenges of those instituting composting into their operations. Separate webinars will be held for restaurants, institutions, grocery stores, curbside programs, residential backyard composting among others.
3) Develop Administrative Framework
IFSC is looking to incorporate an administrative position, which will entail scheduling monthly meetings, agendas and minutes, maintaining membership data base, social media, website updates, and possibly sourcing more funding.
4) Policy and Advocacy
Provide recommendations for policy and infrastructure change in the state of Illinois and further promote the recommendations of this Coalition, as per the Report, in order to advance food scrap composting.
5) Seek Funding
Explore opportunities to apply for funding through partnerships and sponsorships to support the work outlined above.
- Five State-wide Forums, facilitated in 2014 to provide discussion on policies and strategies related to landfill diversion and food scrap composting and gain input from key stakeholders (haulers, composters, key policy makers, government agencies, solid waste agencies, food scrap generators, etc.), were made possible by a DCEO Grant;
- Food Scrap Composting Challenges and Solutions in Illinois Report, January 2015;
- Recommendations to the IL Recycling Task Force for the advancement of food scrap composting;
- Letter to IEPA regarding the IL Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Report to recommend composting solutions and resources in the reduction of nutrient loss on farmland;
- We Compost Recognition Program for businesses and schools that commercially compost;
- Restaurant Compost Toolkit with Spotlights, Spotlights and FAQs topromote food scrap composting in commercial food establishments, with a focus on large-quantity producers of food scraps, such as grocery stores and restaurants.
- Online Presence with website and resources, social media and events calendar
- GIS Mapping subcommittee to illustrate all the players in the compost industry - from those who generate food scraps to those who pick it up and process it into compost. As an example of the type of depiction of infrastructure gaps and opportunities that this group will address, see the map developed by DuPage County of food scrap composting efforts in the 7-county Greater Chicago area.
- Google Maps of We Compost program participants and of IL Compost Facilities;
- “I Compost Because” Facebook awareness campaign
- Government and Construction Factsheet on compost use and benefits
- HB437:Allow and regulate temporary and permanent drop-offs for organic waste, much like recycling drop-offs. Through this legislation, composting drop-offs can be offered to residents. This is a great educational opportunity and a first step in food scrap diversion infrastructure. Sponsored by Representative Barbara Wheeler and Senator Pam Althoff.
- SB1518:Extends a pilot program that will allow certain landscape waste composting facilities to also take food scrap. It will help develop haul infrastructure for organic wastes. Sponsored by Senator Michael Noland and Representative Anna Moeller.
- HB2495:Extends the State’s policy of support for recycling labeling laws to composting and biodegradable materials. Sponsored by Representative Sam Yingling and Senator Julie Morrison.
- HB1362:Require State agencies to study whether they could see benefits from the use of composting materials in land maintenance projects. Sponsored by Senator Tom Cullerton and Representative Emily McAsey;
- Articles in BioCycle Magazine:
- State Coalition Advances Food Scraps Diversion, Sept. 2014
- Growing a Food Scrap Composting Infrastructure in Illinois, April 2015
- Half-day Forum at the Highland Park GreenTown Conference, Thursday, October 18, 2012
- Waste Not: Advancing Commercial Food Scrap Collection in the Chicago Area
- Presentations given at numerous events, including Biocycle Annual conference on Organics in April 2013, Aurora Green Town Conference in February 2015, Indiana Recycling Association Conference in June 2015, Illinois Recycling and Resource Management Conference in June of 2013, 2014, and 2015
- Members winning US EPA Food Recovery Challenge Awards (e.g. McCormick Place and MB Financial Park at Rosemont). See Food Recovery Challenge Results and Award Winners for more information.
- Member communities launching curbside composting programs--including: Oak Park, River Forest, Barrington, DeKalb, and Mill Creek.
Find IFSC Online