Mayor Daley Defends Blue Bag Program

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is blaming residents for problems with his controversial recycling program. At a Tuesday press conference, he said residents’ apathy has led them to not recycle. "People don't recycle," the mayor said. "I don't know why. We are pulling plastic, bottles, cans, blue bags. We are doing our best."

Daley has continually defended his blue bag program that he began in 1995 and says that the city is doing a good job in operating it. The Chicago Tribune recently reported that the city’s recycling rate has dropped in the past two years. Only 90,000 tons were recovered at recycling centers last year, compared to 126,000 tons in 2000.

Chicago’s program works by residents sorting recyclables into blue trash bags that are picked up with garbage in regular trash bags, and sanitation workers are responsible for pulling the blue bags out from the other trash bags.