Compost and Waste Reduction

Green City Market is commited to creating a more sustainable Chicago by diverting waste headed for landfils. We partner with WasteNot Compost and Healthy Soil Compost to process the local, organic waste produced at the Market back into nutrient-rich energy for increasing soil health and community urban farming. By composting and recycling, we reduced our waste at markets from approximately thirty garbage bins per day to just six! 

The green “Compost Center” tent, located in the center of the outdoor market, is Green City Market’s centralized waste disposal area. The tent is staffed to help market-goers sort their waste, and to ensure the compost and recycling streams are uncontaminated.

What to Compost? 
  • Fruits, Vegetables & Mushrooms
  • Rice & Grains
  • Baked Goods & Breads
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Meat Scraps & Dairy
  • Coffee Grounds & Filters, Loose leaf Tea & Filters
  • Spices & Herbs
  • Soiled Paper Products
  • Pizza Boxes
  • Plant Trimmings &  Yard Waste
  • Natural Fibers
  • BPI certified bags & BPI certified paper
  • Most Paper Towels and Napkins
What not to Compost?
  • eggs
  • liquid dairy products
  • soups
  • oils/fats/grease
  • and pet droppings
What to Recycle?
  • plastic #s 1-5 and 7
  • aluminum
  • glass jars and bottles
  • large cardboard boxes
What goes to the Landfill?
  • Styrofoam
  • plastic #6 and unnumbered plastics
  • animal waste

Why aren’t there more trash cans around the market?
A centralized waste disposal area ensures an effective composting and recycling program by allowing us to monitor the sorting area and avoid contamination. 

Thank you to our amazing local compost partners!

To learn more about composting in Chicago, please visit their websites:

WasteNot Compost 

Healthy Soil Compost 


Green City Market Home Compost Drop-Off 

Only available during the outdoor season! 

Green City Market is proud to announce that we will be accepting household compost drop-off service at our outdoor market. Now your household can participate in our program and help transform food waste into nutrient-rich soil to be used in gardens around Chicago!

Click here to learn more about Green City Market's compost drop-off services. 


Why Compost?

From tamale husks and paper napkins to apple cores and un-sellable produce, Green City Market customers and vendors create a lot of organic waste on market days. When all that material goes to a landfill it rots and gives off methane, a greenhouse gas with 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. In fact, landfills are responsible for 20% of the US’s methane emissions, making them a large contributor greenhouse gases worldwide. Since food waste makes up about 30% of the material dumped into landfills, alternative waste disposal methods can have an enormous global impact. When food waste and other organic material are composted, they are broken down by microbes through aerobic (oxygen-based) decomposition. Microbes (bacteria and fungi) consume the food waste and turn it into rich soil before it has a chance to putrefy, thereby preventing methane formation. This living, well-balanced soil can be used to grow more food, clean up contaminated soil and prevent erosion. Producing great soil while reducing greenhouse gas emission? Sounds like a win-win! 

Know your food, know your farmer
Locations & hours
May through October (Outdoors)
Lincoln Park
N. Clark St & N. Lincoln Ave
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7am–1pm
June through October (Outdoors)
West Loop, Mary Bartelme Park
115 S. Sangamon St
Saturdays, 8am–1pm
November through April (Indoors)
Peggy Notebaert Museum
2430 N. Cannon Dr.
Saturdays, 8am–1pm

Full schedule »

Business office
2613 W. Lawrence Avenue

Chicago, IL 60625

(773) 880-1266

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GreenCityMarket

Proud member of the Farmers Market Coalition

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