Resources

Local Governments

The following resources are meant for use by local governments interested in implementing special collections (e.g. pumpkin collections), curbside composting services, or other programs.

Pumpkin Collection Guide

Significant progress has been made in our state to facilitate collections of food scraps for composting. Illinois House Bill 437 – Organic Composting drop offs was signed into law by Governor Rauner in July 2015 allowing temporary and permanent sites to collect organics for composting. Thanks to this success, pumpkin collection can continue with the support of the Illinois government.

Why compost pumpkins?

  • They are full of nutrients that are good for the soil
  • They are 90% water.
  • Most of the pumpkins processed in the United States are grown in Illinois – keep the water and nutrients here!
  • Landfills are the 3rd largest producers of methane gas.  
This Pumpkin Collection Guide was created by SCARCE to help city administrators organize and hold a one-day pumpkin collection event after Halloween to collect Jack-o-Lanterns from residents. Contact SCARCE to get involved at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 630-545-9710.
 
Topics touched on in the Pumpkin Collection Guide include:
  • Event Coordination: Approval, Haulers, Pick-up
  • Promotion
  • Staffing & Volunteers
  • Day of the Event
  • Event Follow Up
  • IEPA Guidelines
  • Pumpkin Facts

Additional materials can be downloaded here: Full-page Flyer, Half-page Flyer, Mini Trick-or-Treat Flyers

Community Pumpkin Collections in Illinois

Please see this list of communitites participating on November 5th, 2016, on SCARCE's website.

Download this list of IL Communities which have hosted pumpkin collections in the past. If your community is interested in starting a new pumpkin collection, you might consider reaching out to nearby communities that have already done one for advice or lessons learned. Or perhaps you could combine your efforts with a neighboring town for efficiency.

This list will be updates at least once per year, in November, though revisions may take place more frequently based on suggestions received. Send suggested revisions to illinoiscomposts(at)gmail.com.

Curbside Collection Resources

Curbside Composting = Food Recycling. This post from the IFSC blog highlights the residential composting program in Glen Ellyn, IL, a community in DuPage County. 

 

 

Pumpkin Collection Guide

Significant progress has been made in our state to facilitate collections of food scraps for composting. Illinois House Bill 437 – Organic Composting drop offs was signed into law by Governor Rauner on July 10th allowing temporary and permanent sites to collect organics for composting. Thanks to this success, pumpkin collection can continue with the support of the Illinois government.

Why compost pumpkins?

  • They are full of nutrients that are good for the soil
  • They are 90% water.
  • Most of the pumpkins processed in the United States are grown in Illinois – keep the water and nutrients here!
  • Landfills are the 3rd largest producers of methane gas.  
This Pumpkin Collection Guide was created to help city administrators organize and hold a one-day pumpkin collection event after Halloween to collect Jack-o-Lanterns from residents. The guide also includes:
  • Intro letter Mini-fliers (8/sheet)
  • Half sheet & full sheet sample fliers
  • Pumpkin Factsheet
  • IEPA permit application
  • IEPA Conditions for One-Day Pumpkin collection events

Topics touched on in the Pumpkin Collection Guide include:

  • Event Coordination: Permits, Haulers, Pick-up
  • Promotion
  • Staffing & Volunteers
  • Day of the Event
  • Event Follow Up

Download the Pumpkin Collection Guide, a collection of documents created by SCARCE in facilitating one-day pumpkin collection for the County of Dupage. 

About Compost

What Is Compost?
Composting is nature’s way of recycling.

Composting converts organic materials, including food scraps (like fruits and vegetables) and yard waste trimmings (like leaves, grass and small tree branches) into a dark, earthy-smelling soil conditioner, thereby preserving valuable nutrient-rich organic resources.

Composting can save money by lowering disposal costs and replacing store-bought fertilizers.

Compost also saves water by helping the soil hold moisture, reducing water runoff.

Composting can make a significant contribution to achieving waste reduction goals, especially if organic waste comprises a large proportion of your waste stream.  

Composting provides businesses and institutions with a method to dispose of a large portion of these waste streams in a way that benefits their bottom line and the environment. 

Vermicomposting is the use of worms to transform organic scraps into compost. See Cornell Univeristy's Vermicompost Research page and the University of Illinois Extension's the Adventures of Herman for more information.

What Are the Benefits to Composting?

  • Markets your business/ institution as environmentally conscious.
  • Markets your business/institution as one that assists local farmers and the community.
  • Educates consumers on the benefits of food waste composting.
  • Educates students about being better environmental stewards.
  • Appeals to ecologically-minded current employees and future hires.
  • Reduces the need for more landfill space
  • Reduces methane generated from food decomposing anaerobically in a landfill.
  • Ends wasting large quantities of recyclable, raw ingredients.
  • Potential to reduce solid waste disposal fees and save money on purchasing finished compost.

 

For more information on compost and its benefits, see "Compost--What is It?" from CalRecycle.

 

Events Calendar

IFSC would like to be a source for all events related to food scraps. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have additional events to add. 

General Resources

PBS News Hour Video: Start-ups, organizations take on America's food waste challenge
According to the USDA, 30 to 40 percent of the food produced in America goes uneaten. Mona Iskander reports from West Virginia on how new businesses have emerged to help kitchens reduce food waste while turning a profit. This piece highlights the food waste crisis and how companies are working to reduce food waste generated at all levels. LeanPath was among those featured, with an interview with Co-Founder and CEO Andrew Shakman as well as a profile of the work we’ve done with Martinsburg Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center.

Barbara Hartman, Chief of Nutrition and Food Service at the VA Medical Center, is the focus of the story, and she describes how the medical center went from sending all of its food waste to landfills to preventing much of that waste in the first place through tracking and composting programs. This combination of reducing food waste at the source by using tracking systems and composting the leftovers has had a very noticeable impact on the organization. Speaking to how LeanPath has helped reduce food costs at the VA Medical Center, Barbara explained, “I conservatively estimate that we save $40,000 to $50,000 a year in food waste.”

 

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