City of Chicago shifts to new recycling program
The city of Chicago announced a change to a new Blue
Cart recycling program with the entire city to be on line by 2011.
Chicago’s move towards the Blue Cart Program began in April of 2005 with
a field test of 700 homes on the far Southwest side.
According to Michael Picardi, Commissioner of Streets and Sanitation,
beginning in June, 2008, the Blue Cart Program will be expanded to include
an additional 92,000 households which will double the number of participating
households by the end of 2008.
The Blue Cart Recycling Program has been supported by the State of Illinois
which pledged $8 million in 2006 to acquire new blue carts.
Given the fact that the Blue Cart method of recycling is more expensive
than the method previously used by the City, the State of Illinois’s
grant helped move the program forward. Chicago Streets and Sanitation
has been adjusting operations to cut costs and deliver recycling and
waste collection services more efficiently in the Blue Cart areas. The
city will discontinue paying for the processing fee for recyclables at
sorting centers and as a result will be able to accelerate the expansion
of the Blue Cart Program.
The Chicago Recycling Coalition (CRC) applauded the announcement by the
City of Chicago that the Blue Bag Recycling Program is coming to an end
this summer and that by 2011, it will be fully replaced citywide by the
source-separated Blue Cart Recycling Program.
During the transition to the new method, Chicago will double its existing
network of 16 regional recycling drop off centers citywide. The additional
recycling drop sites will be located at City facilities and district