May 1 – 7, 2022
Thank you for your interest in International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) 2022
International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is the largest and most comprehensive education initiative of the compost industry. It 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 compost use and the long-term benefits from organics recycling. The goal of ICAW each year is to work together to raise public awareness on why we all should be composting our organics recycling and using compost. The program includes poster and video contests in the fall and activities and events held during the week in May.
Throughout the week of ICAW, community and business events are held to encourage and celebrate composting. All types of composting – from backyard to large-scale are promoted. Events include tours of compost facilities, school gardening programs, compost workshops, lectures by a well-known gardening expert, compost give-away days, state and city proclamations, visiting with legislators, and lots of lots of sharing information on social media.
Each year, a theme for the U.S. is chosen. The theme for 2022 is Recipe for Regeneration: Compost. The theme is used for the Poster Contest, which encourages artists throughout the world to create a design sharing the importance of composting and compost use. There is also a video contest for children in 4th – 8th grade (ages 10 - 13).
The 2022 theme highlights the overall regenerative agriculture movement and how compost and organics recycling fit into that process. Regenerative agriculture is a system that focuses on improving soil health using agricultural practices with the idea that healthier soil will lead to healthier, more nutrient-rich crops and, ultimately, less carbon in the atmosphere through increased carbon sequestration. Where does compost and organics recycling fit in? Compost, when added to farmland, gardens, yards, and other landscapes creates healthier soils and crops by providing food for soil microbes in the ground. These microbes enrich the quality of the soil while also sequestering carbon in the soil through photosynthesis, a tool for combating climate change. Just as a chef pulls together the best ingredients to create the perfect recipe, the 2022 theme, Recipe for Regeneration: Compost, focuses on the crucial role recycling our food scraps and yard trimmings plays by creating compost, which when added to soil results in a recipe that makes our food more nutritious, the air we breathe cleaner and our climate healthier overall.
Here are some key facts regarding organics recycling and compost use highlighting why ICAW is such an important awareness-building program:
- The use of landfill space and incineration can be reduced by at least one-third when organics are recycled. Focused attention on recycling organic residuals is key to achieving high-waste diversion rates.
- Methane, a greenhouse twenty-five times as powerful as carbon dioxide, can be significantly reduced through the recycling of organics instead of their being landfilled.
- Soil health and productivity is dependent on organic matter – the essence of compost -- to provide the sustenance for the biological diversity in the soil. Plants depend on this to convert materials into plant-available nutrients and to keep the soil well-aerated. Additional benefits include the reduced need for pesticide usage to ward off soil-borne and other plant diseases.
- Compost offers a significant answer to climate change mitigation. Compost’s return to the soil serves as a “carbon bank,” helping to store carbon thereby removing it from the atmosphere.
- Compost is a huge benefit for both water conservation and quality. When used in water quality projects, compost bind pollutants to the organics material and prevents them from entering our lakes, wetlands, streams and rivers. Soil erosion is mitigated, and water-holding capacity improved through compost’s enhancement of soil structure, binding soil particles together.
To learn more about how you can get involved with ICAW or plan an event in your community, click here to read the attachment Celebrate ICAW Manual. You can also look on the event page for more event ideas which is updated with plans across the country as we get closer to ICAW. Many companies strongly support ICAW each year by becoming an ICAW sponsor. We would like to thank all the 2021 ICAW sponsors. If you would like to be an ICAW 2022 sponsor, contact Beth Simone, email@example.com
Browse the Compost Week menu for tools, resources and ideas to help YOU celebrate International Compost Awareness Week!