The IFSCC Policy Committee recently hosted compost industry tours at IFSCC Gold Sustaining Member Whole Earth Compost and with an IFSCC organizational member, Teegen Compost Services. These tours provided helpful information about how processors make compost from our yard and food waste. IFSCC aims to educate and show first-hand how organics diversion and composting improve human and environmental health in Illinois while reducing methane emissions and waste and creating a more circular and equitable economy for all. Silver Sustaining Member Illinois Environmental Council staff and Illinois state and local legislators were invited on these tours. The following are highlights from these tours.
The Whole Earth Compost site is built on a closed landfill (plus a layer of brick) with 850,000 tons of waste underneath. The landfill has been closed for 20+ years.
- Clean food waste and yard waste are accepted (including meat/cheese/bones/powdered food).
- Both pre- and post-consumer materials are accepted.
- Whole Earth Compost prefers CMA-W (Compost Manufacturing Alliance – Windrow) certified compostable products but will take BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute).
Whole Earth Compost uses the windrow method with 400-800 cubic yards of material in each row. There is a 90-day minimum for processing and rows are turned 2 x/week. Compost runs through a screener with ½ inch holes to be sold and the rest returns to windrows to break down further.
Delivery is the primary method for selling Whole Earth’s finished compost, but customers have the option to pick it up. The standard residential price is $18/cubic yard. Thank you Whole Earth Compost!
The Teegen Compost Services demo can be described as an “on-site” example of the composting industry. The company brings a shredder to sites that have collected landscape trimmings and other organics and runs that material through the shredder before returning it to another bin or pile for the customer. This will speed up the composting process. This service is perfect for backyard, community scale, and on-farm compost models as it keeps the organics (food + plant waste) closest to where they are returned to the earth as a soil amendment: compost! Members of IFSCC and the Oak Park community gathered to learn, ask questions, and better understand this decentralized approach to managing organics.
Another highlight of the on-site demo tour day was working with IFSCC member, Erica Helms, the Village of Oak Park’s Environmental Services Manager. Oak Park launched a survey for residents to better understand the top composting issues within their community. We loved working with Teegen Compost Services and the Village of Oak Park on such a gorgeous fall morning.
Big thanks to all the additional IFSCC members attending these important tours: Seven Generations Ahead, City of Chicago, Bright Beat, WasteNot Compost, Block Bins, SWANCC, Composting Partners, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago Recycling Coalition and Monica Chen.