I am pleased to report the City of Chicago’s Blue Cart Recycling Program is expanding to the 49th Ward.
Beginning next month, the City will collect recyclable material (paper, bottles, cans, and some plastics) from all 49th Ward households that currently receive City of Chicago Streets and Sanitation garbage pick-up. The collections will begin on eitherMarch 11th or March 18th, depending on where you live in the 49th Ward.
The recyclables will be collected separately from your household garbage on a regular basis every other week.
The City will deliver the blue carts to all eligible 49th Ward households beginning the week of February 25th. Included with your delivered cart will be information about the program, including the type of material that can be recycled, your collection schedule, and your very own Blue Cart refrigerator magnet.
I am co-sponsoring a community meetingwith the City’s Department of Streets and Sanitation to inform 49th Ward residents of the program and to answer questions about recycling. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 20th, 7:00 p.m., at the Rogers Park Library, 6907 N. Clark (at Farwell) 2nd floor.
For the program to succeed it is very important to get the word out. I am working with the City to identify volunteer “Recycling Block Captains” in the 49th Ward to help spread the word about the recycling program to their neighbors, answer questions, and provide feedback to my office and the City about how the program is working in their area. The Block Captains will be provided materials to help promote the program, including yard signs and door hangers.
If you would like to volunteer to be a Recycling Block Captain in your area, please reply to this email or call my 49th Ward Service Office at 773-338-5796.
Blue cart recycling will be available only to those household that currently receive City of Chicago garbage pick-up (households residing in one- to-four-residential-unit structures). If you live in a larger multi-dwelling-unit rental or condominium building, your household refuse is collected by a private scavenger.
All rental and condominium buildings that receive private refuse collection are required by law to offer recycling to their residents. If your building does not offer recycling collection, please advise your landlord or condominium association of their obligation under the law. If you still have trouble convincing your landlord or association to offer recycling, please contact my office email@example.com or 773-338-5796.
For those who do not receive recycling pick-up or who wish to bring their recyclables to a drop-off center, the 49th Ward Streets and Sanitation Yard at 6441 N. Ravenswood (behind the police station on Clark Street) will continue to provide large dumpsters into which you can drop off your recyclables at any time.
The expansion to the 49th Ward and the far north side represents the first step in Mayor Emanuel’s plan to expand recycling citywide by the end of the year and represents a fulfillment of my 22-year effort to bring recycling to the 49th Ward. I was a strong and vocal opponent of the City’s failed “Blue Bag” recycling program in the 1990s and introduced an ordinance in 2005 to implement a citywide program similar to the current Blue Cart program.
In response to the mounting pressure, Mayor Richard Daley initiated the Blue Cart program on a pilot basis in 2007 with a pledge to cover the entire city by 2012. However, expansion of the program soon stalled and today only about one-third of Chicago households enjoy the benefits of Blue Cart recycling.
Last year, I launched a petition drive, urging the City of Chicago to expand the blue carts to Rogers Park and other Chicago neighborhoods that did not enjoy the benefits of curbside or alley recycling. In less than a month’s time, we collected nearly 1,000 signatures and were well on our way to our goal of 5,000 signatures.
I suspended the petition drive when Mayor Emanuel announced his plan to expand the Blue Cart program citywide by the end of 2013. I want to thank the Mayor for fulfilling his pledge and choosing the 49th Ward as the first location for Blue Cart expansion.
I also congratulate the hardworking laborers from the City of Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation who reduced the City’s recycling and garbage collections costs by over 35 percent. The savings have been used to subsidize the expansion of recycling at no additional cost to the taxpayers.
In the words of the Mayor, “No longer will Chicago be a tale of two cities when it comes to recycling.”