Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Municipal Recycling Compliance Lacking

As awareness of the environmental impact of consumerism has been increasingly accepted, recycling has grown in popularity throughout the country. Municipalities have approached the issue in varying ways with policies affecting homeowners, condo associations and property managers.

Recycling in the greater Chicagoland area is usually something that is handled independently among municipalities on a city-by-city basis. There is no statewide standard for how recycling in each community is handled.

But not every city has a majority of their communities covered—and surprisingly, Chicago is among the few that has struggled with enforcement of a citywide recycling program.

Oh, Those Little Blue Bins

Chicago has a single-stream recycling program, called the Blue Cart Recycling Program, which provides recycling pickup service to residents that live in homes or buildings with four units or less. All other building landlords are required by city ordinance to obtain recycling for their tenants—but this policy often falls through the cracks given the size of the city.

“Everything else has to be outsourced by the condo building’s obligation to recycling,” said Adam Goldstein, a board member of the Chicago Recycling Coalition/Do the Right Thing Recycling.

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