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Collective Resource Compost Goes Co-op

Collective Resources Compost Cooperative logo with a cartoon carrot.

Local compost champions Collective Resource Compost recently evolved their company structure to become a hybrid, employee- and community-owned cooperative. Founder Erlene Howard, who launched the Evanston-based residential and commercial compost collection company 13 years ago, is making plans for retirement. Rather than sell the business, she opted to create an opportunity for employees and customers to continue the unique legacy of her mission-based company.

Collective Resource’s objective is to help mitigate climate change by recovering organic resources through commercial composting and zero waste education, and by doing so, support workers, contribute to the local economy and create a community around sustainability.

“It’s the next logical step in the life of the company that our employees and our community be able to own a part of it. Our business model is based on community, and how we want to work in the world is communally, not competitively,” Howard says. A new website has all of the co-op information, including how to buy shares. A new customer portal makes it easier to sign up for composting services, make online payments and make adjustments to service.

For more information or to purchase co-op shares, call 847-733-7665 or visit