History of International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW)
ICAW was started in Canada in 1995 by the Compost Council of Canada. The US Composting Council got involved shortly after, and the two organizations collaborated by promoting it in each of their countries. Based on both organizations being focused on slightly different strategies, the US and Canada decided to run their own programs, but each kept the basics the same, including that ICAW is always held during the first full week of May and the goal is always to build public awareness on the many benefits of increased organics recycling and finished compost use. Over the years, other countries have joined in participating in ICAW to where it is now truly a world-wide international program.
In 2016, The Compost Research & Education Foundation (CREF) took over the management of ICAW in the United States, since this program fit perfectly with the Foundation’s mission. CREF still works closely with Canada, the US Composting Council and other international partners around the world promoting ICAW and the work each organization is doing in their respective countries.
Since 2008, ICAW in the US has included an annual contest to create a poster that reflects that year’s ICAW theme. The contest which starts on September 1st, is open to everyone in the world age 14 and oldee. The new poster is available in March and includes the winning design as well as the logos of the generous ICAW sponsors who make it possible to reach more people throughout the country and world every year.