This fall, the Champaign County Environmental Stewards (CCES) received a ‘Land, Health, Community’ Lumpkin Family Foundation Grant to help launch a commercial food scrap compost pilot project at the Landscape Recycling Center (LRC) in Urbana, IL. This grant will primarily be used toward the construction of a concrete bunker at the LRC for the processing of food scraps collected from pilot participants.
CCES is a non-profit community organization formed in 2019 to support efforts to provide area citizens with safe and convenient collection options for household materials that pose potential problems at the end of their useful life. CCES is an organizational member of the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition. Joy Scrogum, a member of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Technical Assistance Program (TAP) who works primarily on zero waste projects, serves on the CCES board of directors.
The pilot project will provide pre-consumer (i.e. back-of-house) food scrap collection service to recruited commercial food scrap generators (e.g., grocery stores, commercial kitchens, and restaurants) located within or nearby Urbana. CCES will collaborate with the City of Urbana Public Works Department, which operates the LRC, and local sponsors.
CCES is currently recruiting participants for the pilot project and coordinating collection service details with the selected local waste hauler Dale Levitt Disposal (DLD) in Urbana. DLD will offer pilot project participants flexible collection options (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) at a service subscription rate of $6 per each 32-gallon container.
Additional funding received from the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois will allow CCES to provide 32-gallon collection containers for separate stream collection of commercial food scrap at no cost to pilot project participants.
Benefits of participation include:
- Less odor, weight, and volume of landfill-bound trash, resulting in a potential reduction of waste hauling costs
- Recognition as an organization that composts
- Benefits to the environment–less food in landfills means less greenhouse gas emissions
- Benefits to the local community–gardens and landscapers purchase locally-sourced compost from the LRC, and pilot participants will be contributing to the production of that compost
Businesses interested in being part of this pilot project should contact Scott Tess, email@example.com, (217) 384-2381.
Development of this pilot project was spearheaded by CCES board member Grace Wilken, in collaboration with CCES Executive Director and Champaign County Recycling Coordinator Susan Monte, and City of Urbana Sustainability & Resilience Officer, Scott Tess.
Lessons learned from the pilot will hopefully allow for the development of permanent commercial food scrap composting service in the area in the future.
This post originally appeared on the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition (IFSC) Blog. Thanks to IFSC and the CCES Board of Directors for allowing ISTC to share this post.