10,000 Tons of Resources Recovered!

By Mary Beth Schaye | January 30, 2023

We’re delighted to announce that we have reached another diversion milestone: 10,000 tons! That’s a whole lot of carrot tops, pizza boxes, eggshells, chicken bones, Chinet plates, etcetera, etcetera.  We’ve gone from 4 digits to 5 and added a comma! In the first six months that founder/owner Erlene Howard was hauling buckets of food scraps in her Toyota Camry, she averaged about 77 pounds a week. Our crew is routinely averaging 36+ tons a week! That’s over 72,000 pounds. We think it’s kind of cool that we hit this milestone on January 16th, 2023 since we started hauling way […]

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Restaurant Raffle 2023: Win While Helping Local Businesses

By Mary Beth Schaye | January 16, 2023
Restaurant raffle

It’s the third year we’re holding a restaurant raffle to support our composting community.  Winters are historically slower times for restaurants and cafes. We’re sponsoring a raffle for you to win a gift card from any of the food-related businesses listed below. Restaurant raffle rules The raffle begins now through March 15th. Show us receipts from any restaurants, cafés, caterers, bakeries, food producers, or grocery stores that are Collective Resource Compost customers. To enter the raffle, spend at least $100 total. You could spend it all at one place or several as long as it adds up to at […]

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Happy New Year from Collective Resource Compost!

By Mary Beth Schaye | January 2, 2023

Before the sun rises on this brand-new year, we’re pausing to look at a few causes for celebration from this past year: We reached our 12th birthday and our 9000-tons-diverted-from-the-landfill-since-we-started milestone in June. We are routinely diverting 40 tons every week. We entered into a franchise agreement with the city of Park Ridge and expect to be adding more municipalities to our composting community in the coming year. We are now servicing 3300+ customers with 47% of those in our franchise agreement municipalities of Evanston, Morton Grove, Park Ridge and Skokie. We were happy to help many events get […]

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Resources for Food Donation

By Mary Beth Schaye | December 16, 2022

Recently, we provided compost containers and staffing for a wedding. We were dismayed that there was not a plan in place for the leftover edible food, which is why food donation is the topic of this blog post. Of course we were able to compost it, but we would have been happier if it fed people instead. Instead of pointing fingers at the planners, we turned it around and asked ourselves how we could have helped to prevent this. We’ve changed the zero waste event inquiry form on our website to include this question: What is your plan for […]

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Past and Future of our Environmental Justice Discussion Group

By Mary Beth Schaye | November 16, 2022

From February 2021 to November 2022, Collective Resource Compost hosted a monthly Environmental Justice Discussion Group. You rightly might be asking yourself why a food scrap hauler would do that. The answer is that we are more than just that. Though we are a for-profit business, we have always been mission-based, and part of our mission is to “build community around sustainability.” It turns out, sustainability has a shadow side. We wanted to shine a light on environmental injustices around the world, and in a safe space, discover and discuss our culpability. Our facilitator Lesley Williams guided us through […]

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Pumpkins and Pickleball

By Mary Beth Schaye | October 21, 2022

Over twelve years ago, before Collective Resource Compost was born, Evanston had this program for repurposing 65-gallon garbage cans that had been made holey by squirrels. By taking off the wheels, drilling more holes into them and stenciling compost on the sides, they transformed them into compost bins. I had one of these in my backyard. One fall, I put our spent jack-o’-lantern into it. Because I had begun composting through CRC, I kind of forgot about that pumpkin. Months later, I wondered what had happened to it. Had it partially composted or was it still pretty intact? I […]

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Sustainable Lunches

By Mary Beth Schaye | September 15, 2022

It’s back-to-school time and even if no one in your household is actually going back to school, it always feels like a reboot time of year. Our friends at Seven Generations Ahead have created this flyer to give you ideas about ways to up your lunch game from disposable to reusable. They suggest that you “Turn a Wasteful Lunch into a Zero Waste Lunch”. Share it with your school administrators or PTAs if you haven’t already received something like it in your child’s backpack or virtual backpack. Budget versus Investment You may already have some containers you could reuse […]

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PFAS Contamination Prevention

By Mary Beth Schaye | August 25, 2022

Thank you to our customer Sasha (whose official title is Sasha Adkins, PhD, MPH, Advanced Lecturer in Environmental Health at the School of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola University Chicago) for educating us on the PFAS problem and alerting us to this news article from Massachusetts that prompted us to take more action on this problem. PFAS are highly toxic fluorinated chemicals and are present in many household items. They have been referred to as forever chemicals in that they never break down and never go away.  This article from the Environmental Working Group does a great job of explaining the PFAS […]

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Could Subtracting Add?

By Mary Beth Schaye | August 12, 2022

Scarcity A number of years ago I read this book called Scarcity, written by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir. Interestingly, I’m finding three different cover designs with three different subtitles: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Your Life, Why Having Too Little Means So Much and The True Cost of Not Having Enough. It instantly became one of my top five favorite non-fiction books. I’m always interested in why we do what we do. I observe contradictory behaviors in myself and others and want to know why. The concept presented in the book is pretty […]

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9000 Tons of Resources Recovered!

By Mary Beth Schaye | July 13, 2022

We’re delighted to announce that we have reached another diversion milestone: 9,000 tons! That’s a whole lot of carrot tops, pizza boxes, eggshells, chicken bones, Chinet plates, etcetera, etcetera. In the first six months that founder/owner Erlene was hauling buckets of food scraps in her Toyota Camry, she averaged about 77 pounds a week. Our crew is routinely averaging 30+ tons a week! That’s over 60,000 pounds. Because tons are kind of hard to visualize, we used this nifty calculator to try to help you understand how very much that is. 9,000 tons is about 1/3 as heavy as […]

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