Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Collective Resource
Chicago, IL

Congratulations to Winter 2015
People & Planet Award winner Collective Resource!

Collective Resource was founded on a simple principle. If composting were easier, more people would do it. Starting with a few neighbors and working out of the trunk of a car in 2010, the Evanston, Illinois based business has since grown to over 300 residential and 60 commercial customers, diverting an average of 10 tons of food scraps a week away from landfills. Instead, this collected material is turned into compost so that it may feed the earth again.

In addition to a regular schedule of pickups with customers throughout the Chicago area, Collective Resource also works with people planning events who wish to minimize the negative environmental impact of their gatherings, ranging from weddings, B'nai Mitzvah celebrations and festivals to school events and conferences. We provide Zero Waste Event consulting to groups large and small, then draw up a plan and supply the necessary labor and materials.

What sets Collective Resource apart from other food scrap haulers is the personalized service we provide. Compost education is key to this. Many people, used to backyard-style composting, don’t realize that nearly all organic material, even cooked meat, is compostable by commercial operations. Another is to reduce the amount of waste in the planning stages through making informed choices from the very beginning. We help people determine whether reusables or compostable plates, cups and napkins are right for their event. If compostables are the choice, we help people choose which products are best. 

We deliver collection containers and then come back to pick up the food scraps and other compostable materials. If customers choose to have us staff their event, we will ensure the proper disposal of organic food waste, as well as all other waste, including recyclables. Our presence at events allows us to educate young and old about composting and waste reduction, planting the seed for others to consider composting when planning their own events. We dream of a world where zero waste events are the norm and the compost container will become just as expected as recycling bin.

The containers that we supply in our service are reused over and over again. For sanitary reasons and customer satisfaction, they are thoroughly washed after each use. Currently we do that by hand, a time consuming process that limits our ability to expand services. If Collective Resource were awarded the People & Planet Award, we would have the seed money to invest in a commercial grade washing facility and overcome that limitation, allowing even more people to green their celebrations.

We hope you’ll vote for us!

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