IFSC is grateful to Seven Generations Ahead (SGA) for being a Platinum level Sustaining Partner. Contributions from Sustaining Partners help further the impact of IFSC's efforts to support and grow composting infrastructure in Illinois. Take a moment to learn more about SGA:

Seven Generations Ahead (SGA) is a non profit based in Illinois that is committed to building healthy and sustainable communities by driving environmental solutions through planning, implementation, education, network development, and consulting. One issue SGA is dedicated to is managing resources sustainably, including diverting organics from landfills to mitigate harmful greenhouse gases, protect water quality and nourish our soil. SGA encourages partnership and collaboration by creating networks to problem solve and share best practices.

The Illinois Food Scrap Coalition is an example of how collaboration brings people to the table to drive food scrap composting infrastructure and policy in Illinois. SGA has been at the table since IFSC started and works to find funding for projects to support the mission and goals of the coalition. 

Additional collaboration can be found around the table of the Illinois Wasted Food Solutions Task Force. SGA and many other IFSC members were a part of starting this task force to support collaboration around food recovery programs that capture uneaten food for those in need and those doing food scrap composting to produce nutrient-rich soil. Aligning values in sustainability and reducing food waste make lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships that drive impactful programs and solutions.

Zero Waste Schools- Our Zero Waste Schools Program works with school staff and students to shift operations and minds towards generating zero waste through source reduction, recycling, composting, and food recovery. SGA helps schools plan effective waste reduction strategies, provides on-the-ground support for operational changes, educates students and staff about the How and Why of going zero waste, connects schools with local partners and opportunities, and drives policy changes and infrastructure development that promote zero waste. Currently, there are more than 23,000 students in 32 different schools across northern Illinois participating in SGA’s Zero Waste Schools recycling and composting program, which results in more than 2000 lbs of food scraps being composted per day. SGA created a free, electronic Zero Waste Schools Toolkit full of educational activities to educate students on the importance of waste diversion. Getting children involved and interested in waste diversion is key to a successful program that normalizes zero waste and encourages future environmental leaders. SGA also publishes a monthly Zero Waste Schools e-newsletter.  Check out the November 2018 Zero Waste Schools Newsletter now.

K-12 School Food Waste Reduction Toolkit Development - SGA is leading the work of a committee of the Illinois Wasted Food Solutions Task Force to develop a statewide toolkit addressing food waste in K-12 schools. This toolkit will provide information on preventing food waste, recovering and donating food, and food scrap composting. Join our working group, share case studies of success, or stay tuned for this toolkit which is projected to be published in August 2019.  

SGA Supports Institution Composting - Seven Generations Ahead provides technical assistance for zero waste institutions, working to reduce waste, recycle and compost. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information on how SGA can help your institution. 

CORRECTIONS COMPOSTING SPOTLIGHT - At Lake County Adult Corrections in Waukegan, SGA partnered with IFSC member Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) to implement a program for recycling and composting in the jail. The project reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills, incorporates inmate waste sorting, and educates decision-makers on the benefits of composting and waste reduction. Lake County Adult Correctional Facility averages 600+ inmates being fed three meals a day, producing a waste stream of 55% compostable materials and 15% recyclable. The program launched successfully in September 2018. 

SAVE THE DATE for our Illinois Institutions Food Waste Reduction and Composting webinar on December 10 @ 10am. Learn from the following institutions: Illinois Update - Reducing Wasted Food and Composting-Seven Generations Ahead, Illinois Food Scrap Coalition and Illinois Wasted Food Solutions; Campus & Medical Center - Aligning Timing, Infrastructure and Costs; University of Illinois at Chicago; Corrections Composting - Key Partners to Plan and Implement a Composting Program, Lake County Adult Corrections; Sustaining and Growing a Composting Program Through Education-Field Museum of Natural History.

HOW CAN YOU CONNECT? SGA is currently working on a number of projects that drive food waste reduction and composting in Illinois, including supporting counties, municipalities, institutions and schools. Highlights of our work with schools and institutions are included below. Check out our website for a variety of webinars, presentations and toolkits for different audiences: www.sevengenerationsahead.org.

What’s New at Greenbuild 2018

Complimentary Expo Pass Available for IFSC Community

Registration is available for Greenbuild – the in-person experience for sustainability in the built environment. The event is this November in Chicago.

In 2018, Greenbuild is enhancing the attendee experience and bringing you new ways to engage and learn.


  • The mindful MATERIALS Pavilion. It’s a new area in the expo hall. We're shining a light on materials transparency and product certification in an all-new pavilion in the expo hall. See the pavilion.
  • The latest education and a new track. Discover three days of sessions - strategically planned to educate, motivate, and inspire you. This year, we’ve added “The People’s Voice” – a new education track voted into Greenbuild by the public. Additional tracks include Approaching Zero, Zeroing In, and Built to Perform.
  • Journey Maps. See this new way to explore the event. These attendee experiences will guide your three-day journey through Greenbuild on topics that are of specific interest to you. Journey Maps include education sessions, distinctive products, solutions and technology, and experiential learning opportunities. See the journey maps.

Ready to register? Learn more about why you should attend, and then register for a four-day or three-day conference pass. Or, explore the floor, courtesy of IFSC! Use code REGIONALGB18P2 at registration to claim your complimentary expo hall pass.

Schools & Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education (SCARCE) –  An Illinois Food Scrap Coalition Sustaining Partner


SCARCE Logo, image of green globe with blue text and a blue butterfly flying in front of it with a body shaped like a light bulbSchools 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!

For more information, contact SCARCE at 630-545-9710, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also visit SCARCE at 799 Roosevelt Road Building 2 Suite 108, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, or visit their website scarce.org.