Compared to other major cities (or any city), Chicago’s recycling rate is pretty dismal. Like really really dismal.
Only 10% of waste gets diverted from landfills.
That is compared to San Francisco’s 80% and Seattle’s 60%. Yikes.
Anyway, that’s a topic for another day.
The City of Chicago is phasing out its 6 recycling drop-off centers. Back before it took me 79 days to get my Blue Cart, I relied heavily on these drop-off centers to unload my recyclables. I basically used my car as storage until I had enough to warrant a drive over to Lincoln Park.
Come January 1, all of these will be gone. The new ordinance calls for every Chicago property to have its own recycling program. That is awesome and all, but the drop-off centers should not have to go!
The reasoning for their departure is they need constant servicing and are often contaminated with garbage, clothes, and construction debris. Since all buildings should hypothetically have to recycle or be fined, officials deemed it was ok to scale back on the drop-off centers.
I say hypothetically because larger apartment buildings were already mandated to provide recycling, but it basically was not enforced to the point that the frustrated Chicagoans created www.mybuildingdoesntrecycle.com.
The drop-off centers should stay.
If it took 79 days to get my Blue Cart from the City, I highly doubt buildings are going to get recycling programs set up any faster than that. The centers are great for when you have a lot of large boxes or items that you don’t want to overflow your own Blue Cart with.
For example, our cart is split between the 4 apartments in our building. That’s a total of 9 people and probably some of the neighbors. I can’t just shove a bunch of boxes in there and think it will be fine until it is picked up in 2 weeks.
9 people’s recycling has to fit in here for 2 weeks
To be honest, I have not used the drop-off centers since getting our Blue Cart, but it was still nice to know that it was an option.
If the City is worried about our recycling rate, I think taking away centrally located recycling drop-off centers is a step in the wrong direction.