International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is a comprehensive education initiative of the compost industry that is celebrated nationwide and in other countries each year during the first full week of May. Started in Canada in 1995, ICAW has continued to grow as more people, businesses, municipalities, schools and organizations are recognizing the importance of composting and the long-term benefits from organics recycling. This year, ICAW is May 2-8. “The goal of the program is to raise the awareness of the public regarding the benefits of using compost,” explains Amy Freeman, the Compost Research and Education Foundation’s (CREF) ICAW Committee Chair. “Traditionally, ICAW is promoted by holding a variety of different types of group activities and events. Last year, it was celebrated predominately using social media, but however it is done in 2021, the goal of the program is still the same — building awareness.”
Each year a theme is chosen to promote the week. The theme for 2021 is Grow, EAT…COMPOST…Repeat. CREF held a poster contest in the fall, which is open to teens and adults from throughout the world. Artists were asked to create a design based on the theme. This year’s winner is Anastasia Skachko from Russia. Her design was chosen from almost 700 submissions. A video contest was also held for children and teens in grades 4 – 8. The contest asked for a 30 second video highlighting ICAW and the theme. Addy Ackerman-Leist, from Vermont, was the winner of the contest.
Sunshine Community Compost in Bradenton, Florida is hosting its annual CompostAThon May 2-8 as part of its ICAW celebration. Notes the website, “Registering for CompostAThon simply means you agree to collect your food scraps during a one-week community food scrap collection effort and have your scraps be counted toward our grand total, end of the week, food scrap waste diversion tally. You can deposit your food scraps at our designated, staffed, food scrap drop-off sites or you can drop them in your own backyard composting bin — and get some of your friends or community involved to bring food scraps to you.” Details about other scheduled ICAW events are on the CREF website.