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Compost

Curbside Composting Service (Food Scrap and Yard Waste) for Residents, Businesses, and Local Restaurants
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NEW: Beginning August 2023, all single-family residents will be receiving a 3rd LRS cart, specifically for disposal of yard waste and food scraps. This material will be collected by LRS and made into compost, a soil amendment. A new 32-gallon cart will be delivered to your house curbside in late July. There’s no need to be home to receive the cart.

You can begin putting acceptable materials into this cart and place it at the curb for pick up on your first regular trash pick-up day in August. There is no sticker required on this cart, as well. Additional information on the cart and acceptable materials is available here.

If you already have a 3rd cart for organics/food scraps from LRS, we will not deliver a new cart to you. Also, if you do not want the new cart for any reason, please visit the following link LRSrecycles.com/HighlandParkOrganics so that you can submit your information in order to not receive delivery. You can also call LRS at 844.NEED.LRS or email Service@LRSrecycles.com with any inquiries or requests.

The City of Highland Park is participating as a pilot community in the Lake County Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Grant, awarded to SWALCO by the USDA. For more information about this grant project, visit the USDA Grant page. 

Highland Park consistently achieves a 30% recycling rate citywide (40% for residential)! There is room to catch up and expand participation with our new all-in community-wide curbside composting program.

A good reason to participate in this new service is that in Illinois, food scraps are the largest household waste category at 20%! 

Mixing wasted food with our other garbage means that food scraps get sent to the landfill, take up limited space, and create methane due to a lack of oxygen during the decomposition process. In the US, landfills are the third-largest emitters of methane which is exponentially more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2).   

Instead, you save those valuable materials from the landfill and give them a second chance for nourishing farmland and gardens when you compost. How does the Curbside Composting Service work?
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Here is the data source for Illinois' Top 10. 


How does the program work?

1. All-in Community-wide Curbside Composting Program
2. Highland Park Composts! Program for Businesses and Local Restaurants
3. Frequently Asked Questions 
4. Resources

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All-in Community-wide Composting Program
Highland Park’s all-in community-wide composting service allows residents to dispose of the following items in their composting cart: food scraps (fruits, vegetables, shells and bones, pasta/rice, eggshells, nutshells,  bread and grains, meat, fish, dairy, coffee grounds) and plants, flowers, and other yard waste. 

A handy reminder for what to put in the compost container is "If it grows, it goes!" 

Plastic, metal and glass may not be placed in the composting cart.

Additional information about the program is available here.


Kitchen Food Scrap Containers
Collecting your food scraps in the kitchen is the first step before taking them outside to your curbside cart.

Many local stores carry indoor containers to collect food scraps. The containers come in various styles to sit on your counter or are designed to go under the kitchen sink. You can also re-purpose an old container to collect food scraps on the counter, under the sink, or store them in your freezer until ready for disposal in the curbside cart.


Highland Park Composts (For Businesses and Local Restaurants)
Highland Park Composts is a dedicated collaboration between The City of Highland Park, the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO), and Lakeshore Recycling to support the implementation of food scrap composting at local restaurants and businesses. Bright Beat Project Management and Consulting assisted in the project management and implementation of a pilot program throughout 2018 and has laid the foundation for the program to expand into the future.

Local businesses and restaurants who are interested in signing up for this program should email cityhp@cityhpil.com. Businesses and restaurants who participate in the program get access to: 

  • A free waste audit and walkthrough of operations
  • A free recommendation and cost assessment for best practices to divert waste from landfills
  • Bilingual Restaurant training guide for food scrap diversion and recycling
  • 3 Customized laminated posters for recyclable, compostable, and landfill waste
  • Customized Communications Cheat Sheet
  • Complimentary compostable bags (limited supply)
  • Registration with the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition
  • Promotion through the City

Current participating restaurants and businesses include:

Abbott House (847) 432-6080 405 Central Avenue
Bluegrass (847) 831-0595 1636 Old Deerfield Road
Bright Bowls (847) 504-9019 777 Central Avenue
Highland Park Presbyterian Church (847) 432-1695 330 Laurel Avenue
La Casa De Isaac & Moishe (847) 433-7400 2014 1st Street
Makom Solel Lakeside (847) 433-3555 1301 Clavey Road
Tesla (847) 579-0028 1200 Old Skokie Valley Road

Back to the Top
Resources
Household Compost Guide
You Composting Yet? Here's How To Start
Residential Food Scrap Drop Locations
Compost Bins & Rain Barrel Sales
Introduction to the Grant
USDA Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Project

Composting FAQs:



WHY is composting so important?

Why is the City offering this service?

What is composting?

Why should we separate food scraps for compost instead of mixing them with our other garbage?

What can I compost?

Is there anything I can't compost?

Where do the food scraps and yard waste go after collection?

Is compost smelly?

What do I do with my yard waste?

What if I don't need yard waste collection?

What if I don't have enough compost to fill up an entire bin? 

Where can I get a container to collect my food scraps in my kitchen?