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February 2021 Eco-Extraordinaires

Jan 28 2021

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Village of Westmont Offers New Curbside Composting Program for Residents

The Village of Westmont recently announced a curbside food scrap composting program available for their residents. The program begins this spring and expands their seasonal yard waste collection through Waste Management to include food scraps. Residents can use their own container along with a yard waste sticker or rent a cart from Waste Management for the season. Composting food scraps prevents greenhouse gas emissions, reduces water pollution, saves space in landfills, and redirects nutrients and water back to our soils. Westmont joins twelve municipalities in DuPage County that offer food scrap composting at the curb. Learn more about Westmont’s program here. Way to go Westmont!


Glen Ellyn Resident and former SCARCE intern Honored as Organic Farming & Food ‘Changemaker’

Andrew Ruggiero Van Gorp was honored as a 2021 Changemaker by MOSES, the U.S.’s largest organic farming conference, for his work with Sustain DuPage, a non-profit he helped to found, alongside fellow LGBTQIA2+ organizer Lindsay Zimmerman. The award celebrates emerging leaders in the organic farming and food movement who creatively overcome systemic challenges in order to nurture a thriving agricultural future for all. Andrew has long had a passion for sustainability and community which he put to work back when he interned with SCARCE. With Sustain DuPage, Andrew actively works to provide an open and affirming environment for LGBTQIA2+ community members to get involved in their various resiliency projects. Their goal is to empower all community members with agricultural and nutritional literacy and ultimately create a more resilient and sustainable DuPage County. Congratulations Andrew and well-deserved! Read the full story from MOSES here.

Andrew Ruggiero Van Gorp (right) and Lindsay Zimmerman (left) working in the Sustain DuPage garden. Photo from January 2021 issue of MOSES’ Organic Broadcaster.

Former Glenbard West Science Teacher Honored as RiverWatch Volunteer of the Year

Mary Vieregg, former Glenbard West Science Department head, was honored as 2020 Volunteer of the Year by The National Great Rivers Research & Education Center. She leads a team of volunteers monitoring water quality at the Nachusa Grasslands and also conducts monitoring events for people of all skill levels. For seven years, Mary has been submitting water samples from several streams and also serves as chair of the Friends of Nachusa Grasslands Scientific Research Grant Committee. Her efforts continue a history of volunteerism: Mary formerly served on the City of Wheaton Environmental Improvement Commission and the SCARCE board. Way to give back Mary! Learn more here.

Image from Friends of Nachusa Grasslands.

St. Matthew 3rd Graders Spearhead Bread Tag Recycling for Wheelchairs

Students in Mrs. Bishop’s 3rd grade class at St. Matthew Parish School in Glendale Heights hosted a schoolwide bread tag collection for SCARCE. From January 2020-November 2020 they collected 1,385 bread tags! And they did it all through some very unusual circumstances at that. The bread tags will be recycled through SCARCE’s recycling partner who uses the funds to provide mobility equipment to kids in need. Even the smallest of things can have a big impact. Thank you for caring for people and our planet! You can learn more about SCARCE’s bread tag collection here.

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