Chicago May Expand Recycling Program

Chicago May Expand Recycling Program

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The city of Chicago may soon expand a pilot recycling project.

Most residents in Chicago recycle by tossing cans and glass into blue bags. Those bags are then collected with other trash.

But for a year now, 700 homes in the Beverly neighborhood have put recyclables into separate bins.

Sadhu Johnston directs Chicago’s Department of Environment.

“We don’t have the specific numbers yet, but we know that it worked in our pilot area,” Johnston says. “We want to expand it to other wards to see if it works. Does it work in a dense community, does it work in different demographics?”

There’s no word on which neighborhoods will participate, nor for how long. And it’s not clear where new money might come from.

The move comes after years of criticism from environmental groups and city aldermen. They say recyclers don’t trust the current program.

Currently, 13 percent of Chicagoans participate in the blue bag program.

The separate-bin project in Beverly has a participation rate near 80 percent.