Got moldy cheese and rotting produce? The University of Illinois Extension in Cook County will gladly take it off your hands at a pair of community compost events set for Saturday.
The goal is to collect a ton of food waste and keep the scraps out of landfill. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that food waste accounts for nearly 25% of all material sent to landfills across the country. In Cook County, that amount is as high as 37%, according to the extension.
Here's how to take part in the upcoming collections events. And be sure to bring along a bucket to take home some finished compost (while supplies last).
When and Where
10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Garfield Park Conservatory, parking lot south of the conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave.
11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Plant Chicago, 4459 S, Marshfield Ave.
What To Bring
— food scraps (leaves, stems, cores, old produce)
— seeds/pits, husks/shells and peels
— bread and baked goods
— coffee and paper coffee filters; tea and paper tea bags (without staples)
— (non-liquid) dairy, meats, bones leftover from cooking, eggs and egg shells, and cooked/frozen foods
Be sure to remove all produce stickers, rubber bands and twist ties.
What NOT To Bring
— liquid dairy or oils
— pet waste
— yard waste
— Food waste rots and produces methane gas in landfills.
— Throwing food away also wastes all of the resources used to make the food in the first place.
— Compost returns nutrients to the soil.