For the Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 7, 2014                                                                                   

Contact:          Jennifer Nelson, Seven Generations Ahead
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                        708-660-9909, x. 7 or 773.426.7772

    ILL. COMPOST GROUP SOLICITS INPUT FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES AND GOVERNMENT
Illinois Food Scrap Coalition Invites Food Scrap Producers, Waste Haulers and Compost Users to
Forum at Bloomington Parke Regency Hotel on October 22, 2014, 1 to 5 p.m.

(October 7, 2014, Bloomington, Ill.) Currently in the state of Illinois, if your organization produces lots of food scraps, the most cost-effective removal option is to put them in your trash and pay your waste hauler to bring them to the landfill. But according to EPA, Illinois landfills have only 21 years of capacity left, and it is costly to build new ones—in dollars and environmental costs.

A group of more than 100 Illinois businesses, municipalities, county governments, universities and nonprofit organizations wants to address these issues by developing and promoting solutions for affordable, state-wide food scrap composting. Food scrap composting—which turns the material into usable soil nutrients—can take pressure off landfills and extend their life.

The Illinois Food Scrap Coalition (www.illinoiscomposts.org) will hold a FREE Food Scrap Composting Challenges and Solutions in Illinois Stakeholder Forum at the Parke Regency Hotel in Bloomington on October 22 from 1 to 5 p.m. The group invites entities that produce food scraps, such as restaurants, hotels, hospitals, colleges and large businesses; large and small waste haulers; commercial compost facilities; and municipalities, government agencies, landscape companies, golf courses and others who use, or have the potential to use, large amounts of finished compost.

"In order for our project to work, we need input from Illinois stakeholders about their experiences and challenges with regard to composting," says Mary Allen, Recycling and Education Director of the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) and member of the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition. "Their day-to-day experiences in dealing with food discards will help shape practical solutions that will advance food scrap composting in the state and make composting easier for these businesses."

Four other forums have been held in northeast (Chicago, 5/2), northwest (Wheaton, 9/16), central (Champaign, 9/22) and southern (Edwardsville, 10/6) Illinois. The southern and central Illinois forums also explored agricultural aspects of commercial composting. The final October 22 forum in Bloomington/Normal will include opportunities to engage stakeholders as well as recap the work in previous forums. This work is generously sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

Recommendations from the Food Scrap Composting Challenges and Solutions in Illinois Stakeholder Forums will be incorporated into a formal report providing a snapshot of the food scrap activities already underway in Illinois and including recommendations on how to encourage more food scrap diversion from landfills. The report summary will be presented to the Task Force on the Advancement of Materials Recycling, which, in turn, is required to submit a report to the Governor and General Assembly by January 1, 2015.

To register for the forum, please visit www.illinoiscomposts.org/forums

The Illinois Food Scrap Coalition (IFSC) is a group of more than 100 solid waste agencies, county governments, nonprofit organizations and state and federal agencies organized to promote food scrap composting in Illinois.  Founding members include representatives from: Seven Generations Ahead, School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education (SCARCE), Solid Waste Association of Northern America (SWANA), Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC), Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO), Illinois Counties Solid Waste Management Association (ILCSWMA), Kendall County, DuPage County, Kane County, Cook County, Will County, Loyola University, McHenry County College, Village of Oak Park, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). Learn more at www.illinoiscomposts.org