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Illinois’ Cook County Approves Demolition Debris Recycling Law

Illinois’ Cook County has passed an ordinance requiring the recycling of demolition debris in the region.

Chicago’s county board of commissioners said in a news release that the new Demolition Debris Diversion law requires demolition contractors working in suburban and unincorporated Cook County to recycle 70 percent of their debris for all demolition projects. Residential properties must show that 5 percent of the debris is being diverted for reuse. Only sheds and garages are excluded.

The law takes effect Nov. 21. In the next few months, the county Department of Environmental Control will be working with business partners and industry groups to educate contractors and building owners about the requirements and benefits of the new ordinance.

The recycling requirement is a step for the county toward its zero waste goal established in the board’s recent solid waste plan update and the board’s larger sustainability goals.

“Reusing and recycling demolition debris is another important step toward building a greener Cook County,” said board President Toni Preckwinkle. “The benefits go beyond positive environmental impacts. This also creates jobs, stabilizes local economies and creates materials for construction, renovation and infrastructure building.”

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