Community Compost Events Aim To Keep a Ton of Food Waste Out of Landfill

Food scraps can be composted into nutrients for soil. (herb007 / Pixabay)Food scraps can be composted into nutrients for soil. (herb007 / Pixabay)

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.

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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

Why Compost?

— 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.

Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 |  [email protected]

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