Posted by Al Anile
Guest Speaker Erlene Howard, Founder of Collective Resource food waste composting company
Erlene Howard was the guest speaker at January 14th Skokie Valley Rotary Club luncheon meeting. Collective Resource, food waste composting company, just secured a partnership program with the Village of Skokie, so now  the village gets great rates.

Collective Resource, Inc. (a.k.a. Collective Resource Compost or CRI) began when Erlene Howard, an Evanston resident, became interested in composting but couldn't find a good place to do it in her condo environment. Howard, a bookkeeper by trade, is a frequent consumer of organic fruits and vegetables. She was inspired to start a food scrap recycling service when she realized that, if composting were made more convenient, more people would do it.

Her first pickups started with three customers, using her Toyota Camry for collection. Howard's customer base has since grown to over 1400 residential and nearly 300 commercial customers. The company now uses seven cargo vans to collect pre and post-consumer food scraps weekly in an area that extends to over 60 communities encompassing Chicago's entire north side as well as near south and southwest side neighborhoods and the suburbs north to Lake Bluff and extending west to Schaumburg, Arlington Heights and Buffalo Grove.

During their first six months of business, Collective Resource collected a single ton. Now they collect at least twice that amount every day, averaging 20 tons per week. In December of 2019, the company celebrated a total collection milestone of 6,000 tons.

Collective Resource Team