We Compost is a free recognition program administered by the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition that promotes businesses and institutions that participate in a composting program. The purpose of the program is to highlight entities that compost their food scraps. In the case of businesses, this recognition can help consumers to patronize businesses that are responsibly managing food waste. It also serves as a means to encourage institutions, like schools, universities, museums, hospitals, food pantries, churches, governmental organizations, municipalities, etc. to compost their food waste, and raise awareness of the importance of composting by publicly sharing the practice. Participating businesses and institutions (called We Compost “Partners”) receive a window decal to place on their front door or other prominent location to let stakeholders know they compost. Partners also receive a digital We Compost logo to display on their web site, the inclusion of their own log and web link in the IFSC online Partners directory, a location pin on the We Compost Google map, outreach access to meeting and event planners, and a community newsletter.
When the recognition program first began, only entities that worked with a commercial composting service could be recognized by the We Compost program. However, many areas of Illinois still don’t have access to a commercial compost service provider. Even so, in those areas, programs like schools, churches, community gardens, etc. may have started on-site compost piles. Additionally, in areas with access to commercial composting, there are sometimes reasons to pursue on-site composting instead. Perhaps an organization doesn’t generate enough food scraps or other organic waste to justify the cost of engaging a compost hauler, for example, or maybe involving stakeholders in the process of creating and tending compost piles or bins is desirable (e.g. at a school or community garden).
In such situations, the We Compost recognition program Green level is specifically geared toward celebrating entities that compost their food scraps on-site. This level is in addition to the “silver” level for entities employing commercial composting service to divert either pre-consumer (e.g. kitchen prep waste) or post-consumer (e.g. plate waste) scraps, and the “gold” level for entities composting both pre- and post-consumer scraps.
So if, for example, you’re a restaurant in a rural area where commercial composting isn’t available, but you still have a compost bin on your property, or a school with a garden that has students creating compost from the garden and/or cafeteria, you can be recognized by IFSC. Fill out this online form to apply for Green Level recognition.
Currently, the following are entities recognized as Green level We Compost Partners. Consider joining their ranks in 2020!
- Elawa Farm Foundation in Lake Forest, IL
- Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL
- Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake, IL
- Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL
For more information on the We Compost program, or to learn how to apply for recognition for composting food scraps with a commercial service provider, see https://illinoiscomposts.org/we-compost.
If you’re a member of IFSC and you’d like to find out how you could participate on the We Compost committee, see https://illinoiscomposts.org/we-compost-committee/.