Chicago awards programs showing potential to
permanently reduce city’s waste stream
Chicago, IL— Recognizing
the powerful role neighborhood groups can play in creating a culture
of recycling in Chicago, the Department of Streets & Sanitation
has awarded five Neighborhood Recycling grants to community groups
who are developing innovative environmental programs with the
potential to permanently reduce the city’s waste stream.
During a ceremony at the Garfield
Park Conservatory, Al Sanchez, Commissioner of the Department
of Streets & Sanitation, awarded the grants, up to $50,000
each, to the following winners: the Garfield Park Conservatory
Alliance, the Albany Park Community Center, BOLD Chicago, the
Fuller Park Community Development Corporation and the Edgewater
Chamber of Commerce.
The recipients of the grants were
picked from a pool of applicants submitted from around Chicago.
The winning organizations were recognized for crafting a unique
community based project demonstrating new recycling, waste prevention
or reuse initiatives. Descriptions of the winning projects are
Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance
(GPCA), with its partners, the University of Illinois Extension,
the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Department of Environment,
is establishing four composting education centers and training
thirty Chicago residents as Certified Master Composters. The composters
aid GPCA, and its partners in conducting composting training at
the four sites, and setting up a composting hotline to answer
public questions. A compost bin distribution day will also be
held to distribute 1,200 subsidized rodent-resistant compost bins
to residents of Chicago. This project should divert 252 tons of
organic waste from the City’s waste stream in the first
year and will continue this diversion for years to come.
Albany Park Community Center
(APCC) is developing a recycling program for commercial/retail
partners in their multi-cultural community. APCC provides recycling
education to area businesses as well. Additionally, APCC will
undertake recycling education for community residents to foster
increased participation in the City’s Blue Bag Program.
BOLD Chicago is coordinating
recycling teams in five Chicago Public Schools high schools to
promote recycling efforts. These recycling teams then promote
recycling, not only in their own school, but also in other CPS
schools through the development of a service learning project.
BOLD also works with each school’s staff to organize a quality
recycling program to recover the paper waste. In addition to the
five schools targeted for intense outreach, BOLD, for recycling
outreach and education, will work with one hundred other schools.
Fuller Park Community Development
Corporation (FPDC) works with block clubs and community groups
to educate community residents about Blue Bag recycling. Residents
will receive certification as Neighborhood Recyclers once they
complete the training. FPCD will also educate the community on
home composting, and will distribute 400 subsidized rodent-resistant
compost bins to Fuller Park residents. In addition, two “Clean
Your Closet Flea Market” Days will promote unwanted items
reuse through community exchange.
Edgewater Chamber of Commerce
is developing a corrugated cardboard recycling program in the
Edgewater community. Drop-off sites will be created. Extensive
outreach will promote program participation.
Each of the projects is already
underway and residents, in the respective communities, are encouraged
to contact their local group to get involved in the recycling