Schools 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 This toolkit allows other communities throughout the state to introduce composting in an easy and fun way.

Multiple people standing outside, grouped around four gaylord boxes filled with pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns. Several more jack-o-lanterns are massed around the boxes on the ground. A dog is also visible sniffing the pumpkins.

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.

Photo of Kay McKeen. She is smiling at the camera, with shelves in the background.

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 You can also visit SCARCE at 799 Roosevelt Road Building 2 Suite 108, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, or visit their website