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Composting and Gardening

Composting and Gardens

Gardening and composting play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gases. Utilized together, composting and gardening support a closed loop cycle for food. Whether through community gardening or home gardening there have been five factors that impact greenhouse gas emissions: 

  1. Reduction of lawn area due to replacement by the garden
  2. Reduction of vegetables purchased from the grocery store
  3. Reduction in the amount of greywater sent to treatment facilities due to diversion to irrigate the garden
  4. Reduction in amount of household organic waste exported to treatment facilities due to home composting
  5. Organic household waste is composted for use in the garden. 

Source: The potential for urban household vegetable gardens to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The last two factors create the closed loop system of turning food scraps, or food waste, back into nutrients for soil. This practice enriches the soil to provide support for future crops to be grown. DuPage County has strived to provide resources and information to help support locally grown food. In addition to providing resources and support on gardening, the County continues to seek ways to increase local access to composting. Below are several links to assist in providing information on composting.

Commercial Composting

Composting is the conversion of organic materials, including food scraps, such as fruits and vegetables, and yard waste into a nutrient-rich, dark, earthy-smelling soil additive. In addition to enhancing soil or ground cover, composting reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills. Below are several resources for understanding composting, steps to begin composting and where to purchase compost.

Compost1 compost2 compost3 compost4

Illinois Food Scrap Coalition

The Illinois Food Scrap Coalition (IFSC) is a working group of government, business and community organizations to provide resources, advocacy and policy around composting. IFSC  works to integrate food scrap composting throughout the State of Illinois. The group also offers the 'We Compost' recognition program and videos.  Illinois Food Scrap and Composting Coalition

Food Waste Composting

DuPage County Community Gardens

In September 2012, DuPage County signed onto the Cool Counties Initiative with a goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 10%, by 2020 and by 20%, by 2030 countywide. One of the recommendations states that the County should educate consumers about the benefits of buying locally grown food and shopping locally. In support of this goal, the County would like to present this resource to help our residents. A community leadership group has also developed a Facebook group for gardeners and interested community members to network.

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Document Center

The Document Center provides easy access to public documents. Click on one of the categories below to see related documents or use the search function.

Categories always sorted by header (sub-categories sorted by sequence within each category)
Documents sorted by SEQ in Ascending Order within category

Resources4 documents

  • Composting brochure
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    DuPage County
  • Food Waste Film
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  • Compost Checklist Guide
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  • Food Recovery Challenge
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Tools and Resources to start a Community Garden4 documents

  • DuPage Community Gardens Toolkit
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  • U of I Extension - Community Garden Resources
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  • U of I Extension- Ten Steps to Community Gardening
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  • Pesticide Application Factsheet for Schools and Community Gardens
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