On Compost Awareness Week, Get The Dirt on Food Scraps!

On Compost Awareness Week, Get The Dirt on Food Scraps!

  • Editor’s Note: This article was written by Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland, who also is a founding member of the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition.

With all of this time at home, I suspect that a lot more people have found the inspiration to plant a garden. And using compost on your garden beds is a big part of a successful garden.

There is no time better than NOW to begin composting in your back yard because May 3 through May 9 is International Compost Awareness Week!

There is a wealth of information online about how to build a compost pile. And here is a link to a simple Backyard Composting Guide produced by the USEPA which shows how easy it is to “make compost with landscape trimmings and food scraps in your own back yard.

“With a small investment in time, you can improve the health and appearance of your yard, save money on fertilizers and mulch, all while preserving natural resources and protecting the health of your family and pets.”

Why Is Composting Important?

The practice of composting reduces the amount of methane that escapes from landfills into the atmosphere, and the finished product feeds your garden and makes it more productive!

Backyard Composting – It’s Easy And Smart

Adding compost to your garden improves soil structure and texture, increases the soil’s ability to hold both water and air, improves soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development in plants.

And it is easier than you think to compost in your own back yard.

Compost bins are helpful in maintaining a clean and productive compost pile. Just add an equal amount of dry ingredients (like leaves and twigs, egg shells, sawdust, straw, soiled paper towels) and wet ingredients (veggie scraps, grass clippings, tea bags, coffee grounds) and stir it once a week or so.

If you stir it and add the dry materials, it won’t smell … like anything other than rich soil.

You can save money by adding your homemade compost to your garden in order to reduce or eliminate the need to buy chemical fertilizers or compost. If you pay for yard waste collection bags or stickers, composting will cut your costs there, as well.

Curbside Collection

There are over 50 curbside collection programs for food scrap in the region. The most common collection model is called a “ride-along” program because the food scraps ride along with the yard waste to the composting facilities.

In Kane County, the following communities have residential curbside food scrap composting services:

If you know of additional towns that are composting food scraps, contact your Kane County Recycling Coordinator at 630-08-3841 or recycle@countyofkane.org.​

Illinois Food Scrap Coalition

Your Kane County recycling coordinator is chairman of the board of the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition, a thriving not-for-profit organization made up of community and government organizations, businesses, schools, institutions, service providers and processors throughout the state that are dedicated to advancing food scrap composting in Illinois through program implementation, policy, and advocacy.

Please see more on the​ work this group is doing, at illinoiscomposts.org.

Join The Fun

To celebrate the International Compost Awareness Week, post a snapshot of you composting at home and tag it #SoilLovesCompost #ILcomposts #KaneCountyComposts