The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Oak Park celebrates Compost Awareness Week

May 8, 2024The Village is celebrating International Compost Awareness Week from May 5-11 by highlighting the role composting can play in addressing climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at landfills and the promotion of healthy plant growth.

In addition to shining a spotlight on Oak Park’s residential compost program, the Village is also launching a new initiative to encourage residents to leave fallen leaves next autumn rather than bagging the leaves to be hauled away.

During the winter months, leaf litter becomes an insulating blanket for the roots of trees and plants and provides nutrients as it decomposes. When compost is applied to soil, it enhances soil health and creates an abundant community of microbes and healthy plants that sequester carbon in the soil.

Oak Park residents can visit to learn more and sign a pledge to leave their leaves. Residents who complete the pledge are eligible to receive a free decorative garden yard flag. For more information, contact or 708.358.5700.

Environmental Protection Agency officials say organic material makes up approximately 30% of material sent to landfills in the United States, and composting is one of the primary methods communities use to reach waste diversion goals, such as those outlined in the Village’s Climate Ready Oak Park comprehensive sustainability plan.

When food scraps, yard waste and other organic materials go to a landfill, their decomposition produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The production of methane is due to anaerobic decomposition, the absence of oxygen. A compost pile on the other hand decomposes aerobically, with oxygen, and primarily produces carbon dioxide. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions can help reduce impacts from climate change.

A backyard compost bin demonstration is taking place from 1 to 4 p.m. this Sat., May 11 at 1036 Clinton Ave. The Oak Park event is part of a series of gatherings coordinated by the Illinois Food Scrap & Composting Coalition taking place throughout the state this week – click here for more information.

The Village offers a food scrap composting collection program for residential households of up to five units.

Participants receive a gray 96-gallon cart for weekly collection of organics, a three-gallon food scrap kitchen pail and a sample of compostable bags for food scraps. Both yard waste and food scraps may be placed in the organics cart, eliminating the need to purchase yard waste stickers.

An organic cart subscription costs $16.31 per month, which is about the cost of one yard-waste sticker and one yard-waste bag per week. Residents can share an organic cart with one other neighbor to reduce the monthly cost.

More details and an online registration form are available at For more information, email or call 708.358.5700.

In an effort to encourage composting among all residents, the Village has kitchen compost pails available for purchase for $10 per pail at the cashier’s window at Village Hall, 123 Madison St.

The pails help simplify collection of food scraps for disposal at one of five free compost drop-off locations in the community. Each pail includes a screen-printed list of acceptable and unacceptable items and a vented lid that provides maximum odor control and air circulation.

While the CompostAble collection program is only available to residential households of up to five units served by the Village’s waste-hauling contract, residents who live in multifamily buildings or are otherwise not enrolled in the program may leave food scraps in the clearly labeled carts at one of five locations in the Village.

Visit for a printable map of the drop-off locations:

  • 102 N. Lombard Ave. – Adjacent to Central Water Pump Station
  • 1125 Ontario Ave. – Holley Court Parking Garage at the Marion Street entrance/exit near the bicycle racks
  • 720 North Blvd. – Avenue Parking Garage near main entrance
  • 1010 N. Ridgeland Ave. – North Water Pump Station near corner of Ridgeland and Berkshire Street
  • 207 Garfield St. – Adjacent to the South Water Pump Station

Any large multifamily or condo association can also contract independently with the Village’s contractor LRS or another provider for composting service. Building owners and condo associations can contact for assistance with the compost contracting process.

For more information about the Village’s compost program, visit,  email or call 708.358.5700.

About Oak Park

The Village of Oak Park, located just nine miles west of downtown Chicago, offers a distinctive urban/suburban lifestyle in a thriving, multi-cultural community. Well-known for progressive values, tree-lined streets and bustling business districts, Oak Park serves as an ideal place to live, work and play. As a longstanding community of choice, the Village benefits from convenient access to local and regional transit, high-quality public schools, and arts and cultural attractions, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio and his acclaimed Unity Temple, which was recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.