May 5, 2023 – The Village is celebrating International Compost Awareness Week from May 7-13 by highlighting the benefits of composting and encouraging participation in Oak Park’s CompostAble food scrap composting program.
Oak Parkers are invited to enter the Village’s Compost Bingo contest by completing activities related to waste diversion. Simply send the details from a completed Compost Bingo card to email@example.com by May 15 to be entered into a raffle for one of three prizes – a free year of CompostAble program service, two tickets to the Oak Park microbrew review and a gift certificate to Downtown Oak Park businesses.
In an effort to encourage composting among residents, the Village is also making 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 four 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 four locations in the Village:
- 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
“The sale of compost pails came in response to requests from residents of large multi-family buildings who want to partake in Oak Park’s compost program but are not served by the Village’s waste-hauling contract and therefore are not eligible for weekly curbside pickup,” said Erica Helms, the Village’s Environmental Services Manager. “We recognize there are a variety of other factors that may make it difficult for residents to sign up for our curbside program, such as the monthly cost to participate, so any resident is welcome to buy a pail as a low-cost option for supporting waste diversion in Oak Park.”
The Village launched its food scrap composting collection program more than a decade ago and has long encouraged composting as an effective form of waste reduction.
Officials say organic material makes up approximately 30 percent of material sent to landfills, 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.
Participants in the Village’s CompostAble collection program receive the three-gallon kitchen pail as part of their subscription along with a gray 96-gallon cart for weekly collection of organics 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 $15.68 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 information about the CompostAble program and an online registration form are available at www.oak-park.us/compostable.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with the compost contracting process.
For more information about the Village’s compost program, visit www.oak-park.us/compostable, email email@example.com or call 708.358.5700.