Top stories in this newsletter

New Chicago Composting Ordinance Helps Urban Farmers

The ordinance creates two new categories of composters: large scale urban farms, and tier two facilities, like community gardens. After registering with the city, these agricultural organizations can increase the size of their operation and include offsite materials. Though they cannot accept money for taking organic waste, urban farms will be able to sell their compost.

Low Energy Prices Put Squeeze on Plastics Recycling

Ever-lower gas prices are boosting budgets for local motorists, but falling energy prices aren’t good news for everyone. Gas stations in Owatonna were charging $1.59 per gallon on Friday, slightly below the statewide average of $1.64. That’s down 36 cents from a year ago and a whopping $1.73 over the past 18 months, according to That’s as cured oil, which in 2012 shipped for more than $120 per barrel, has dropped at times below $30 in recent weeks, according to

Denver to Expand its Composting Program in 2016

Denver is expanding its composting program in 2016 thanks to an expanded budget with the hopes of easing the burden on the city’s landfills. The city’s Solid Waste Management department will add one route in the coming weeks and two more this summer. The new routes will increase composting eligibility by about 7,500 homes. By year’s end the city will be able to service about 17,500 homes

From Knife Block to Craft Caddy

With the help of a drill and some bold paint, give your old knife block a second life as a kid-friendly art station:

Full tutorial here