Food waste makes up about 22% of municipal solid waste in America. When this organic material is sent to landfills, it produces methane, a very potent greenhouse gas. Composting food scraps avoids that and also creates a nutrient-rich soil amendment that can help manage stormwater, prevent erosion, and improve plant and soil health. Plus, composting creates more jobs and revenue than landfilling or incinerating garbage!
Chicago residents can now, for the first time, at no charge, drop off their food scraps at one of 15 sites that are open 7:00-7:00 daily.
To get started, check out the city’s food scrap drop off website to watch a short instructional video and find your nearest drop off site on the map, and sign up to receive updates about the program and show that Chicagoans support the composting of food scraps.
ONLY food scraps can go in the compost bins. NO BAGS, not even ones labeled ‘compostable’ can go into the compost bins – but there will be a regular black bin for bags and other trash at each site. Preventing contamination is key to the success of any composting program!
I recommend storing food scraps in the freezer to avoid attracting bugs or generating smells – as an added bonus, this makes storing and taking out your regular trash easier and less yucky!