Back from the Bin

The April story "Cure for the Blues" discussed Chicago possibly doing away with its less-than-popular Blue Bag recycling program, which requires participating residents to put clean recyclables in blue bags not provided by the city and then place them on the curb in the same container as the regular trash. After months of speculation, in October, the city decided to expand the Blue Cart curbside collection program — which began as a pilot in one ward — from the current 700 households to 80,000 by August 2007.

Despite criticism of the Blue Bag program, funding concerns — in part — had prevented expansion of the successful pilot program. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, however, recently awarded the city $8 million over the next four years to cover the cost of the blue recycling carts. The city also is opening 15 recycling drop-off centers and a $3.8 million, 24,000-square-foot household chemical and computer recycling center. For now, the Blue Bag program will continue in some areas of the city.

In the October story, "Its Day in Court" we reported that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the United Haulers Association v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority (N.Y.) case involving flow control. In November, the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) filed an amicus brief with the court, recommending that it overturn the Second Circuit Court of appeals ruling that upheld the waste shipment laws in the two New York counties. In the brief, NSWMA questioned the judge's distinguishing between publicly and privately owned facilities when determining flow control's effect on interstate commerce.