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Compost

Curbside Composting Service (Food Scrap and Yard Waste) for Residents, Businesses, and Local Restaurants
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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 within our new Curbside Composting Service started in 2018. 

A good reason to participate in this new service is that in Illinois, food scraps are the largest household waste category at 20%! To request a curbside compost container or opt-in to the service, contact Lakeshore Recycling Systems at 773.685.8811, Service@LRSrecycles.com, or sign up here.

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. Residential Curbside Composting Service
2. Highland Park Composts! Program for Businesses and Local Restaurants
3. Frequently Asked Questions 
4. Resources

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Residential Curbside Composting Service
Highland Park’s Curbside Composting Service allows residents to dispose of compostable materials such as fruit and vegetable peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, paper napkins, and yard waste in the same curbside bin. 

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

Two Options to Compost in the Regular and Winter Season
To request a curbside compost container or opt-in to the service, contact Lakeshore Recycling Systems at 773.685.8811, Service@LRSrecycles.com, or sign up here.

Regular Season (April 1 - December 15)

Option 1
: Once-Per-Week Subscription Service
Service: occurs on the same day as your trash and recyclables collection
Price: a one-time regular seasonal fee of $249.50

Residents that choose this option will be offered a free 35-gallon cart. The subscription service allows residents to place more than one 35-gallon container/bag curbside each week at no additional cost.

Option 2: Volume-Based Service
Service: one sticker per 35-gallon cart or own container/bag
Price: $2.71 per sticker

Volume-based customers pay only for the quantity of food scrap and yard waste actually collected. Stickers do not have an expiration date.   

Please contact Lakeshore Recycling Systems at 773.685.8811, Service@LRSrecycles.com, or sign up here to enroll in either program or for more information.

*Please note, the Composting Service is available if you do not need yard waste services; any customer is eligible to participate in this program – whether you use volume-based or weekly pickup for your trash.

*NO plastic bags are allowed (not even biodegradable ones).

Winter Season (December 16 - March 31)

Option 1: Every Other Week Subscription Service
Service: occurs every other week, on Wednesdays, based on location
Price: one-time winter seasonal fee of $96.50

LRS will provide service dates once service is confirmed.  

Option 2: Volume-Based Service
Service: one sticker per 35-gallon cart or own container/bag
Price: $2.71 per sticker

Volume-based customers pay only for the quantity of food scrap and yard waste actually collected. Stickers do not have an expiration date.   

Please contact Lakeshore Recycling Systems at 773.685.8811, Service@LRSrecycles.com, or sign up here to enroll in either program or for more information.

*Please note, the Composting Service is available if you do not need yard waste services; any customer is eligible to participate in this program – whether you use volume-based or weekly pickup for your trash. 

*NO plastic bags are allowed (not even biodegradable ones).
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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:

Bluegrass (847) 831-0595 1636 Old Deerfield Road
Bright Bowls (847) 504-9019 777 Central Avenue
La Casa De Isaac & Moishe (847) 433-7400 2014 1st Street
Abbott House (847) 432-6080 405 Central Avenue
Tesla (847) 579-0028 1200 Old Skokie Valley Road

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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?