Keep Chicago Green: Tell the City to Make Space for Composters

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Our business turned empty lots into community gardens, but the city is shutting it down.

We are father and son Ed and Dale Hubbard and we own and operate Nature’s Little Recyclers. Our business turns garbage into rich soil, which is then used by urban farmers and gardeners all over the Windy City. We use a process called vermicomposting, in which worms eat organic waste and compostable plastics. Worms speed up the composting process and allow us to break down complex materials. Our composting operation sequesters carbon and nearly eliminates methane emissions. Then, after we finish using a site, the land is ready for urban agriculture or community gardens. We are literally making Chicago greener!

Our operation processes waste from hundreds of residents, dozens of businesses and even the Chicago Marathon. The cups and banana peels from the race didn’t go to a landfill, they became soil used to grow food and flowers.

Unfortunately, the city hasn’t provided a clear path for businesses like ours to operate in the city. We just received word that the city is shutting down our last location. You can read more about what is happening, HERE.

Without our business, urban farmers and gardeners will have to look outside the city for quality soil. Without our business, the jobs we provide and jobs of other green businesses who work with us will be gone. Without our business, more waste will go to landfills and large-scale industrial composters and, instead of gardens and farms, there will be more empty, unused lots.

It may be too late for Nature’s Little Recyclers, but we can still tell the Chicago City Council and the mayor to make it easy to compost in Chicago, so that maybe one day others can follow our example and make the Windy City greener and more vibrant!