Coalition looks to clean up food scraps – in a big way in Illinois

GODFREY – The Illinois Food Scrap Coalition will hold the Food Scrap Composting Challenges and Solutions in Illinois Stakeholder Forum at Lewis and Clark Community College’s N.O. Campus Monday, Oct. 6, from 1 to 5 p.m.

The event is open to the public.

“In this forum, we will work with local and regional partners to figure out how Illinois can become a leader in food scrap composting,” LCCC Director of Sustainability Nate Keener said. “Currently in Illinois, the most cost effective option for most institutional and commercial food scrap disposal is to send it to a landfill. However, according to EPA, Illinois landfills only have 21 years of capacity left, so the cost to continue to throw food scraps into a hole in the ground will only increase. Since more than 25 percent of any given landfill is made up of compostable material, we have a huge opportunity to make a change, and this forum will provide a space for that dialogue.”

The IFSC invites entities that produce food scraps, such as restaurants, hotels, hospitals colleges and large businesses; large and small waste haulers; commercial compost facilities; and municipalities, government agencies, landscape companies, golf courses and others who use, or have the potential to use, large amounts of finished compost.

“In order for our project to work, we need input from Illinois stakeholders about their experiences and challenges with regard to composting,” said Sara Ryan, marketing moordinator for St. Louis Composting and member of the IFSC. “Their day-to-day experiences in dealing with food discards will help shape practical solutions that will advance food scrap composting in the state and make composting easier for these businesses.”

Recommendations from the Food Scrap Composting Challenges and Solutions in Illinois Stakeholder Forums will be incorporated into a formal report providing a snapshot of the food scrap activities already underway in Illinois and includes recommendations on how to encourage more food scrap diversion from landfills.

The report summary will be presented to the Task Force on the Advancement of Materials Recycling, which, in turn, is required to submit a report to the governor and General Assembly by Jan. 1. To register for the forum, visit www.illinoiscomposts.org/forums.

The Illinois Food Scrap Coalition is a group of more than 100 solid waste agencies, county governments, nonprofit organizations and state and federal agencies organized to promote food scrap composting in Illinois. Lewis and Clark Community College is a member of the IFSC.

Leave a Comment