New grant program is another step toward Illinois becoming a
SPRINGFIELD – On America Recycles Day, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced a new grant program to advance food scrap composting in Illinois. A recent study commissioned by DCEO, the Illinois Commodity/Waste Generation and Characterization Study, reveals that food scraps are the single largest material category of municipal solid waste (MSW) landfilled in Illinois. In fact, food scraps account for 12 percent of all MSW landfilled in Illinois.
“Composting is a cleaner, more economical way for large users like municipalities and restaurants to dispose of their food scraps,” said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. “This program offers a tremendous opportunity to improve our environment, by reducing the amount of harmful greenhouse gases released into the air, and grow our economy.”
The Food Scrap Composting Grant program will be administered by DCEO and will assist entities with the acquisition of equipment for sustainable projects that will increase the long-term volume of organic material being composted in Illinois.
The Institute of Self Reliance estimates that four composting jobs are created for each landfill job needed to process the same amount of organic material. The group also estimates that businesses and institutions that generate significant amounts of food scraps and implement diversion and/or composting programs should be able to reduce their overall waste disposal costs.
To help ensure that the State of Illinois leads by example when it comes to using compost, Governor Pat Quinn signed a law (Public Act 96-0077) requiring that all state agencies use, to the maximum extent feasible, finished compost materials in all land maintenance activities that are paid for using public funds. He also signed legislation (PA 96-418) earlier this year changing the way food scrap composting is regulated in Illinois.
Anyone interested in learning more about opportunities available through the Food Scrap Composting Grant program can visit www.illinoisrecycles.com or call 217-785-2006 for more information.