Chicago rolls out new composting program with 15 drop-off sites
Mayor Brandon Johnson launched Chicago's first citywide food scrap drop-off program Monday.
Why it matters: One UIC analysis suggests that nearly 20% of the city's collected residential waste by weight is organic material that can be processed into compost to enrich soil, rather than sitting in landfills where it creates more methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
How it works: Residents sign up for a drop-off location at one of 15 sites across the city. After watching an instructional video, registered residents can bring eligible food scraps in sealed containers to their drop-off site at no cost.
- Collected scraps will then be sent to the Whole Earth Compost facility in the South Deering neighborhood.
What they're saying: "Diverting food scraps for composting is one of the easiest and most impactful ways for individuals and cities to address the climate crisis," Johnson said in a statement Monday.
- "As we bring composting options to all Chicago residents, we can reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions … and most importantly, create healthier communities across our great city."
Context: The citywide program follows a pilot officials started in six community gardens last year.
The big picture: A small but growing number of cities are collecting organic waste, including Evanston and Oak Park. New York City recently passed a mandatory composting law that could usher in an era when organic waste collection becomes commonplace in U.S., Axios' Jennifer A. Kingson reports.
- It remains unclear whether Chicago plans to expand to an organic waste pick-up program in the future.
What we're watching: Chicago Streets and Sanitation officials didn't share a goal for food scrap diversion this year, but they tell Axios they'll be monitoring sign-ups and other metrics as awareness of the drop-off program grows.
More Chicago stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Chicago.