The Windy City talks a lot of trash, works with a lot of trash and deals with trash on every level on a daily basis. Any modern municipality, regardless of size, produces a lot of trash—and a huge metropolitan area like Chicago takes that production to another level.
The City of Chicago collects about 1.1 million tons of residential garbage and recyclable material each year from 600,000 households in single-family homes or apartment buildings of four units or fewer.
Debris from our meals, our projects, our newly acquired goods and wares, and just about everything else goes down the chute, in the can, or out on the sidewalk—but where does it go from there?
Where Does it All Go?
Municipalities have trucks, barges, and other means of transporting trash to its final destination, as well as a network of processing centers—a material recycling facility or MRF, that sorts, compacts, and otherwise prepares garbage for transport to yet other points, often unknown.
In Chicago, the trash world is changing, and there are entire organizations devoted to advocating and fighting for the new trash and recycling world. It’s important to understand where your trash and recycling goes—it affects your backyard, your planet and your pocketbook.