New data indicates that the recycling rate in Chicago in 2016 has dropped to just 9.09 percent. The recycling rate has been moving in the wrong direction. It hit 11.08 percent in 2014 and fell to 10.23 percent in 2015.
Chicago’s sanitation department is partnering with the non-profit Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network to try and figure out why residents aren’t recycling and how it can boost its numbers.
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Among the biggest issues is the amount of trash people toss into their blue recycling carts, frequently spoiling all of the recycling in the cart.
Despite Streets & San's recent efforts to communicate no-nos, which include greasy pizza boxes and shredded paper, these items are still finding their way into blue bins, along with chunks of concrete, infant car seats and hypodermic needles, to name a few of the more unusual "contaminants" Streets & San has come across.
The first step to combat the city's recycling problem: The sustainability network hosted a series of community meetings to clarify what is and isn't recyclable, identify the biggest hurdles to recycling correctly, and to brainstorm ideas that could make the program more successful.
The last of those sessions took place last week at Horner Park, with residents attending from across the North Side.