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Edition #3 (the last for a while) includes three new resources and shout-outs - to a local real estate blog, the state-level Illinois Food Scrap Coalition, and the venerable Farmer's Almanac - enjoy!

Special Composting Edition #3

"My relationship with trash changed for the better from the first banana peel I kept out of it."

--Jessica Stolzberg
The quote above comes from a recent New York Times opinion that reflects on the essential and meaningful reasons to divert food waste from landfill and turn it into soil-benefitting compost, in general and specifically while we shelter in place. Composting is nature's recycling system and enables nutrients and organic matter to return to the soil. Composting also increases climate resiliency and actually reverses climate change, as this New Yorker Magazine article about how South Korea is composting its way to sustainability demonstrates.
Sun. May 3 - Sat. May 9
International Compost Awareness Week is a compost industry initiative designed to increase public awareness of the benefits of food waste and organics recycling and composting. Celebrate by keeping your first banana peel out of your garbage and our landfills - and put it in your yard - or victory garden! Click here to learn more about why Soil Loves Compost and what compost means for your garden, your community, and the health of our environment.  #ICAW2020 #Vforvictorygarden #soillovescompost
Recognizing the benefits of food waste diversion and composting, Winnetka created a Village-wide compost program and announced three Preferred Compost Providers in the fall of 2019. The cornerstone of these systems are clean and lidded 5-gallon buckets that the Providers drop off, pick up when full, and replace with clean ones. You can find out more about each Provider and its services on the Village of Winnetka website.
In addition to the 5-gallon buckets that work well for individual families and smaller gatherings/events (when happening), Collective Resource Compost, one of the three Preferred Compost Providers who has worked with Winnetka schools, residents, and businesses since 2012, also provides 32-gallon totes for larger gatherings and institutional clients. These totes may also be used for multiple residents interested in combining their food waste, for example, a condominium or a few adjacent single-family homes. Learn more about Collective Resource Compost's Neighbor Totes program.
One benefit of these bucket and tote systems is how comprehensive they are. Collective Resource Compost says "anything that was once alive" may go in one of its compost buckets or totes - click here for a complete list.
You may also want to try Composting in your Yard at home. You don't need a garden to divert food waste from landfill and compost! It can also be used to fertilize lawns, trees, bushes, flowers, and houseplants, or shared with a neighbor or friend who does garden.

The basic recipe is one part
Green (wet - fruit and vegetable peelings, grass clippings, coffee grounds, green plant cuttings) to two parts Brown (dry - leaves, hay, straw, paper, cardboard, cut up wood bits, eggshells, teabags, untreated sawdust). For suburban composters, the  biggest challenge can be finding enough Brown material to mix with the Green material. An easy solution is to buy some peat moss so you'll always have enough Brown material on hand to match whatever Green material you generate. (FYI, 3 cu. ft. of peat moss will cost $10 - 15 locally and might last 6 - 12 months, depending on frequency of use.)

Here is a great Farmer's Almanac article re the Perfect Compost Recipe!

And here is a wonderful resource for all things compost and food-waste-related in Illinois - the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition. Check it out for information on composting at home, vermi composting, institutional composting, and more!
Whether you compost using a bucket pick-up service or in your yard, you'll want to choose a Kitchen Container that works well in your space to collect food waste, which will then get emptied into your garden, bin, bucket, or tote for pick-up. Click on the "Kitchen Container" link above for a great composting tutorial in general and a helpful comparison of the most common types of kitchen bins - 1 gallon ceramic, 1.3 gallon stainless steel, and 1.75 gallon plastic.
Thank you to our friend, Margaret Goss, for posting about composting in Winnetka in her blog, North Shore Real Estate Blog, and for reaching out to Go Green Winnetka and Collective Resource Compost for information.
If you're interested in helping your schools set up successful compost systems, check out this Food Waste Reduction Toolkit for Illinois Schools from Seven Generations Ahead in Oak Park.
Please email us with any questions about composting or anything else. We are happy to help.

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