Every year, Chicago residents throw out tons of leaves, lawn clippings and other organic material. This “waste” makes up more than half of the city’s residential trash in the spring and summer growing seasons, and again in the fall when leaves are dropping. Organic waste, however, is a valuable resource that can be composted instead of thrown out in the trash.
Composting is nature’s way of recycling. It is a satisfying way to turn fruit, vegetable and yard waste into a dark, crumbly, sweet-smelling soil conditioner through the natural decaying process. And it is the key to healthy soil and a healthy environment.
Composting saves you money by replacing store bought fertilizers and soil conditioners, helps garden and house plants grow, saves water by helping the soil hold moisture and reducing water runoff, and benefits the environment by reducing air and water pollution from garbage trucks and runoff and extending the life of our landfills.
There are two options for Chicagoans to compost their organic waste:
There are restrictions to the size of residential compost systems. For more information, please read the City’s composting ordinance.