Alliance for a Greener South Loop

We are greener, together.

Composting, Spring 2015


Sharing the Stories and How-to Steps for Composting!

As energetic, future-composters picked up their free giveaways, packets of hand-outs and biobags, there was a prevalent buzz in the air: we can’t wait to get composting! When is the next workshop? Thank you for all this awesome info!

The very first Composting Workshop in the South Loop, organized by the Alliance in partnership with Chicago Conservation Corps, was a hit. More than 40 people plus volunteers, organizers and speakers enjoyed three hours together on Saturday, March 28, that many agreed was a “super informative and knowledgeable” afternoon.

Missed this opportunity? Have more questions on composting? Read more for the Event Recap!


The problem: food waste
The event started with presentations that set the stage around the food waste problem, and introduced composting as one viable solution among others with multiple benefits beyond solving the concern of 33 million tons of food wasted each year. Learn more about this issue from such sources as the EPA, NPR podcast on food waste, and the State of Composting in the US report.

Ambassadors leading the composting way forward
The expert speakers inspired attendees with their stories and composting services, giving a glimpse of “great people that are leaders in the field”. Check out their websites for more information!

Collective Resource, Inc.
Waste Management
Nature’s Little Recyclers
Healthy Soil Compost (formerly at Pleasant Farms)
Columbia College
The Plant

How-to Composting: three types of ‘composting styles’
After these introductions, attendees chose to participate in one of three break-out sessions. Click each type to access further materials and information.

Residential Composting with Hauling Services
Indoor Worm Bin Composting
Urban Outdoor Composting

Next Activities Planned
These are just a few upcoming activities to keep the momentum going. We want to hear from you if you have ideas on future events, or want to help organize! Email!

Community Composting Drop-Off at Columbia College
When: Monday, April 20 through Monday, April 27
Where: corner of Wabash & 8th (outdoor compost bins in the Papermaker’s Garden space)
Special event: Thursday, April 23 from 12-3pm
#CompostCraziness selfies of participation!

Drop off your compostable organics in celebration of Earth Week! Help spread the word to neighbors wanting to do something for the environment, but new to composting! This is an easy way to start. Any and all food products acceptable. Email South Loop Composting Friend, Neale at with questions.

Public Tour of The Plant Chicago
When: Saturday, April 25 at 2:00 pm
Where: 1400 W 46th Street, Chicago, IL 60609
Cost: $10/adult, $7 for student/senior

Take a Home Waste Audit

Click here to download a  Waste Audit for you to study your waste to see your composting potential!
Take record…and note any observations, questions or ideas you have.
We want to hear about your Audits!

Email with your results.




Composting food scraps, yard debris and other organic waste results in a nutrient-rich “compost” material that is an environmentally-friendly, less expensive and less polluting natural fertilizer. Compost can be directly used in your garden or surrounding community green spaces to help restore the health and vitality of the soil and support beautiful sustainably grown fruits, vegetables and plants from re-cycling your original food waste.

Taking action to increase composting in the South Loop also benefits the wider Chicago community. According to recent Illinois EPA assessments, Chicago landfills are projected to serve only 11 more years of capacity. This is because food waste is such a huge problem, across the United States.

Did you know that food waste dumped into landfills each day can fill the Rose Bowl Stadium! Rotting food waste in landfills also emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas 16-20 times more dangerous than carbon dioxide. For multiple environmental, food waste and climate change reasons, composting is a sustainable solution.

As our greater Chicagoland area is picking up momentum in composting, so too shall the South Loop! We already have great composting leaders among us, both commercial and residential.



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