EQ Compost

The MWRD’s Exceptional Quality (EQ) Compost is a sustainable and environmentally beneficial product derived from the water reclamation process. The MWRD partners with the City of Chicago and other organizations by collecting woodchips from routine tree trimming programs and blending this with MWRD biosolids in open windrow machines. Woodchips, grass clippings and leaves are used as a bulking agent. The process raises the temperature of the biosolids and bulking agent mixture which destroys pathogens.

EQ Compost can be blended with topsoil and potting soil for establishing plants or used as a mulch around already established plants. EQ Compost supplies organic matter and improves the structure and porosity of soils which allows plants to more effectively utilize nutrients. Biosolids have been used to improve soil quality at popular destinations like Maggie Daley Park and the 606 Trail and on golf courses and athletic fields at both public parks and schools in the Chicago area for more than 20 years.



EQ Compost Delivery Order Form

Once you place your order, an MWRD staff member will call you to schedule delivery when material and transportation are available.

Minimum 10 Cubic Yard Delivery Available Within Cook County For:

  • Schools
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Residents

Benefits include:

  • Increased infiltration and water holding capacity
  • Longer retention of nutrients for better uptake by plants
  • Improved topsoil structure and porosity for a better plant root environment


Or bring your own buckets, bags and shovels to pick up free compost at six MWRD water reclamation plants.

Click on a plant map for precise compost locations and time of availability.

Calumet WRP
400 E 130th Street, Chicago

Egan WRP
550 S Meacham, Schaumburg

Hanover Park WRP
1220 Sycamore Ave., Hanover Park


Kirie WRP
701 W Oakton St., Des Plaines

O’Brien WRP
3500 Howard Street, Skokie

Stickney WRP
6001 W. Pershing Rd., Cicero

Dump Truck Pick Up
If you prefer to pick up a dump truck’s worth of compost, please call (773) 256-3704 to schedule in advance.

EQ Compost Analysis

Parameter Units Range EPA EQ Metal Limit Parameter Units Range EPA EQ Metal Limit
pH   6.5-7.6   Hg mg/kg 0.34-0.63 17
Dry Matter % 43-51   Ni mg/kg 21-43 420
As mg/kg <5 41 Pb mg/kg 40-51 300
Cd mg/kg 1.0-2.0 39 Se mg/kg <5 100
Cu mg/kg 187-401 1,500 Zn mg/kg 326-645 2,800

*EQ Compost meets Exceptional Quality (EQ) criteria, which is the highest quality standards for biosolids established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Please see EQ Compost Safety Data Sheet and EQ Biosolids for more information.

EQ Compost Guidelines

State law prohibits the application of EQ Compost on snow-covered or frozen ground. Additionally, EQ Compost must be applied in a manner that follows recommended application rates when used on agricultural land, and must be applied in a manner that follows best management practices to protect water quality when used on all other land.