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International Compost Awareness Week

May 7, 2017 - May 13, 2017

What’s so great about compost?

Let us count the ways! Composting food & yard waste:

  1. Prevents climate change
  2. Enriches soil
  3. Saves landfill space
  4. Reduces leachate in landfills
  5. Reduces water pollution
  6. Saves water
  7. Grows strong, healthy plants & food

Composting food scraps prevents methane emissions from landfills and returns the water in food scraps to the soil (instead of making leachate). Food scrap amended compost is a nutrient rich, natural fertilizer that helps plants thrive and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Using compost helps soil retain water (thus requiring less water) and reduces erosion.

Cultivating healthy soil is absolutely essential for growing healthy food. Using food scrap amended compost is one of the best methods for healthy, nutrient rich soil.


The 2017 “Healthy Food, Healthy Soil” winner of the Composting Council poster contest. Designed by a Niles, IL resident!

What can you do?
  • Start a backyard compost pile for yard waste and food scraps
  • Ask your town to provide curbside food scrap composting
    • Participate in your town’s program, if it’s already offered! (We’re looking at you Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Naperville)
  • No backyard space? Start an indoor vermicomposting bin
  • Purchase food scrap amended compost (many garden supply stores sell compost but it is often made with only a few ingredients such as mushroom compost – be sure to ask specifically for food scrap amended compost!)

Composting for Teachers and Students – the Composting Council compiled resources for the classroom

From the Composting Council:

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is the largest and most comprehensive education initiative of the compost industry. It is celebrated nationwide and in other countries each year during the first full week of May. Started in Canada in 1995, ICAW has continued to grow as more people, businesses, municipalities, schools and organizations are recognizing the importance of composting and the long-term benefits from organics recycling.

The goal of the program is to raise the awareness of the public regarding the benefits of using compost to improve or maintain high quality soil, to grow healthy plants, reduce the use of fertilizer and pesticides, improve water quality and protect the environment. The program includes a poster contest, programs at schools and activities and events promoted through governments, public municipalities and local businesses.

Each year, a theme is chosen. The theme for this year is Compost! Healthy Soil, Healthy Food.


May 7, 2017
May 13, 2017
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