Composting Chicago

On July 29th, 2015, Chicago approved an ordinance by the Mayor to, “expand composting operations at community gardens and urban farms across Chicago, as well as create a citywide community garden registry and urban farm accessory composting operation permit.” This initiative will support community gardens and urban farming, a sustainable concept in itself. Before the initiative, the materials composted were landscape type materials. Now they can compost food waste, which will reduce waste usage and benefit the quality of the urban farming.

This change intersected politics by having the mayor and his office involved. City council had to push the movement forward and support the mayor in his efforts to make urban farming more sustainable for the city of Chicago. The proposal also included measures to keep the city clean and safe. “the proposed ordinance is the product of nearly two years of negotiations with city officials and includes provisions to address concerns about foul smells and rats. For example, all compost must be inside a “vessel” with no openings. Violators could be fined between $300 and $600 per offense.” With any environmental effort there will be resistance. It isn’t always cost effective or 100% perfect for the city. This is where policy comes in place, to create regulations to measures that help the city all around, instead of only in one area. compost-pile


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