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  • Writer's pictureTeam Acacia

Block Bins Launches Shared Model Composting Service Across Chicago

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

New Website, Enhanced Service Options Make Urban Composting Affordable, Convenient

CHICAGO, Illinois -- Chicago-based dedicated-stream recycling startup Block Bins today announced the launch of citywide compostables services, following a nearly two-year test of concept. The public launch is accompanied by a new website, enhanced service options, and plans to expand services to address other waste streams including notoriously hard-to-recycle plastics. “The biggest barriers to entry for potential composters are cost and convenience,” said Block Bins founder Dane Christianson. “Block Bins is the most affordable composting service in Chicago, and the ability to join an existing bin already in service or request a new one for your community ensures convenience so that Chicagoans can work together to make meaningful progress against climate change.” Block Bins placed its first shared bins for compostables in Chicago alleys in July 2019, and by October of that year had 100 bins in service. Today, Block Bins has over 450 shared bins for compostables in service across Chicago, with more than 2,500 subscribers. Chicagoans can search Block Bins’ interactive map to join shared bins already in service in their neighborhood, and if no bin is convenient to them, residents can request to host a new bin for their block. Once a request for a new bin has been accepted, Block Bins delivers a 35-gallon bin to the location designated by the requestor and all subscribers to that bin receive the code to open the lock, which minimizes waste stream contamination and keeps rodents and other pests out. Each Block Bin for compostables services an average of 6 - 8 households monthly. KEY FACTS:

  • Chicago has one of the worst recycling rates in the country, diverting less than 9% of low-density (single-family homes and multifamily buildings with four or fewer units) residential waste from landfills. (Source: City of Chicago Existing Conditions Report, 2021)

  • When food scraps are landfilled they produce methane, which is more than 34 times more impactful to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide. (Source: Project Drawdown)

  • If low-density Chicago homes composted just 75% of their food scraps, the City would divert 18.6% of its waste from landfills - and that’s just the low-density residential sector. When including Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional (ICI) streams that number would be even higher. (Source: City of Chicago Materials Management Strategy, 2021)

  • Shared compostables drop-off sites throughout the City are a practical strategy to significantly reduce the quantity of organic waste sent to landfills. (Source: City of Chicago Materials Management Strategy, 2021)

Block Bins pricing begins at $10.00 per month for up to 5 gallons of compost, and $5.00 for each additional 5 gallons, per month. On average, a request for a new Block Bin for composting requires 2-3 subscribers, or 10-15 gallons of compost per month, to accept and place into service. Residents can now request a Block Bin for plastics to be placed into service at a future date dependent on demand. For additional service information and to learn more about what waste can be composted, visit Block Bins online at

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