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Composting at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Photos and story by Jim Schaal

Since 2010, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago has composted food and garden waste from its seminary housing and cafeteria. 

LSTC produces over 400 cubic feet of finished compost each year for its organic vegetable gardens and its native perennial landscape gardens, thereby diverting over 800 cubic feet of waste from landfills each year. 

As more residents participate, LSTC has transitioned from on-site composting to the Food to Farm Composting Service of the Resource Center, a nonprofit recycling and urban agriculture organization.

Three Chicago-area congregations run composting operations as part of food justice programs that grow fresh organic vegetables for local soup kitchens and shelters:

United By Faith Lutheran Church, Evergreen Park, IL

KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation, Chicago, IL

St. Paul and the Redeemer Episcopal Church


Jim Schaal is LSTC Sustainability Coordinator and serves as Garden Ministry Chair at St. Paul and the Redeemer Episcopal Church.
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Our kids do love playing in the dirt!