Rosenthal noted that progressive state regulations passed in the summer of 2009 will be a catalyst for his future initiatives. The passing of Sentate Bill 99 means that it will be much easier for developers like Rosenthal to obtain permits for opening a food waste composting facility. “What it does is finally bring the state of Illinois up to speed with other states by recognizing the value of organics in the waste stream, and not calling them waste, but allowing them to be recaptured as valuable resources,” says Rosenthal.
This bill is a major step for sustainability in Illinois because it will reduce landfill waste from restaurants and other commercial food entities, which now account for over 1/3 of the total waste in the state. Composting facilities like the one proposed by Chicago Compost LLC will provide nutrient rich compost to local farms. They will also produce jobs in the state that currently has unemployment rate nearing 12%, with some areas of Chicago spiking to over 17% in joblessness.
There are Green Drinks events held in many major cities, but in Chicago we are lucky to have the Foresight Design Initiative hosting these educational and social networking gatherings. For those that are not able to attend in person, you can also watch all of the presentation online at Green Drinks TV.