Municipal Franchise Agreements: Making a Difference

By Mary Beth Schaye | November 24, 2020

It’s the holiday season and you might be expecting a blog post about green gifts. Here’s the post that I wrote last year. Not all of the ideas are applicable during a pandemic but I’m always going to suggest experiences over things. If you have been in our composting community for a few years, you probably know that we entered into a franchise agreement with our hometown of Evanston in November 2017 and our neighbors in Skokie in January 2020, but have you heard that we’ve just added Morton Grove beginning December 2020? You may be wondering what a […]

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Feeding Hungry People

By Mary Beth Schaye | October 26, 2020
Soup kitchen

We’re clearly very interested in composting food waste here at Collective Resource Compost, but we’re also interested in all of the other levels in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Hierarchy illustrated in this pyramid. If you’re interested in learning more about the different levels of the pyramid, check out the documentary Wasted! The Story of Food Waste. The pyramid plays a starring role, second only to the somewhat foul-mouthed narrator Anthony Bourdain, of blessed memory. Feeding Hungry People Did you know that we offer a tote discount to the organizations that feed people, like food pantries and organizations […]

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Host a Pumpkin Smash: Halloween Fun That’s Good for the Planet

By Mary Beth Schaye | October 1, 2020

Are you looking for a fun fall activity that also happens to be good for the planet? Host a pumpkin smash! Halloween is likely to be a bit less fun this year, so why not give the kids something new and exciting to look forward to? And honestly, I’m sure there are some adults who’d also enjoy a little smashing. Pumpkins are compostable! Imagine if just a fraction of them were composted, how good that would be for the planet. Just like pumpkins, these pumpkin smashing events can come in all different sizes. This could be something you do […]

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How to protect your compost bucket from squirrels

By Erlene Howard | September 30, 2020

Squirrels, Squirrels, everywhere! Squirrels are ingenious city dwellers that consider our homes as public canteen, and what better than a stash of food “served” in a bright orange bucket! Many of you have been reporting squirrel damage to your compost buckets and we’ve been delivering Squirrel Stopper Lids left and right.  (If you don’t have one, let us know and we can give you one on your next pickup.) In addition to the Squirrel Stopper Lids, Collective Resource, Inc. would like to pass on this helpful advice below to dissuade these little buggers. How do the squirrels get into […]

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Taking Back Their Future: Youth Climate Activism

By Mary Beth Schaye | September 24, 2020
Sunrise Movement Youth Climate Activism

By this point, you’d have to be living under a rock to have not heard of Greta Thunberg and her eco-activism. If her name is unfamiliar, you can learn about her in this picture book. Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet by Jeanette Winter. We talked about her in our Better Living Through Trees blogpost. This back-to-school time of year has me thinking about her and (spoiler alert) how every Friday she’d ditch school and go sit in front of the parliament building silently protesting her country’s response to climate change: not strong […]

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Start Small but Think Big: Composting Around The Country

By Mary Beth Schaye | August 24, 2020

You may have heard the phrase “start small but think big” either here from me or from someone else. In my case, the “start small” usually refers to changing habits and reducing waste in your own household, and “think big” refers to helping to pass legislation that leads to greater impact. There has been some recent good news in that regard, so good that it has trickled into the mainstream news. I first heard about Vermont’s Food Waste Ban because my colleague’s husband saw it on Instagram. I loved that! We thought you might like to know about what’s […]

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Break Free From Plastic

By Mary Beth Schaye | July 24, 2020

Because I’m a zero waste consultant, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about waste reduction: asking myself how I can personally reduce waste and how I can help and inspire others to do the same. Actually it might be the other way around, because I think so much about waste reduction, I became a zero waste consultant. I watched a webinar last month called Regional Approaches to Fuel Local Circular Economies: Great Lakes Region. You’re going to be hearing the term circular economy more and I hope that it is something you will learn more about on […]

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Addressing Environmental Racism

By Mary Beth Schaye | June 25, 2020

These past few weeks almost everyone has had a response to the events that led to recent marches and protests decrying racism. Collective Resource Compost stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and grieves with the rest of the nation the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and so many others. We are committed to addressing systemic racism and systemic bias at Collective Resource Compost and in our work with other businesses and organizations. This is a time of reflection, for us to look inward to determine how we need to act outward. It is […]

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Building Community Around Sustainability

By Mary Beth Schaye | May 22, 2020

I could say that lately I’ve been thinking about the concept of building community and that would be true. Honestly, it’s something I think about all of the time, particularly building community around sustainability. Being able to communicate is key in building community. In fact, the words themselves share the same root. How do we build community without being able to communicate in-person? In her nonfiction book Big Magic, writer Elizabeth Gilbert encourages readers to follow their curiosity. Lately I’ve been following my curiosity by following different hashtags on Instagram. It’s slightly more fun than following people because there […]

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Soil Loves Compost

By Mary Beth Schaye | April 23, 2020

May 3rd through 9th is International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW). Celebrated annually, the week is designed to promote the benefits of composting and compost for effective resource management, soil health and plant growth. ICAW is normally a time when the benefits of composting are promoted through a variety of community activities. These are, however, anything but normal times, and our collective efforts to flatten the curve mean that we are all staying at home to keep our communities safe. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t promote composting to our friends, neighbors, and beyond. As we shelter in place, […]

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