June 4, 2014

Mayor Emanuel Announces Chicago Blue Cart Recycling Program Receives Award for Outstanding Government Recycling Program from the Illinois Recycling Association

Citywide Blue Cart Recycling Program Services 600,000 Chicago Households

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that Chicago’s Residential Blue Cart Recycling Program received the award for Outstanding Government Recycling Program from the Illinois Recycling Association. The award recognizes Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s commitment to providing an accessible and easy-to-use recycling program to every neighborhood and every community in Chicago.

“Chicago is no longer a tale of two cities when it comes to recycling with the Blue Cart Recycling Program fully operational citywide,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I want to thank the Illinois Recycling Association for recognizing the City in a Garden’s commitment to providing a greener, more environmentally friendly city for future generations.”

The Outstanding Government Recycling Program is awarded to municipalities and government organizations with an exceptional recycling program that provides accessible recycling opportunities to residents as a part of a long term and integrated ‘green’ approach to governing.

“The City of Chicago is receiving this award today due in no small part to the hard work of Mayor Emanuel to expand curbside recycling opportunities across Chicago,” said Marta Keane, President of the Illinois Recycling Association. “The Blue Cart Recycling Program is just one of the many green initiatives the City has created as part of its multifaceted sustainability mission.”

In 2011, Mayor Emanuel implemented a managed completion for recycling services in an effort to create efficiencies and reduce operation costs on behalf of taxpayers. Managed competition decreases operational recycling costs by $12 million annually and paved the way for the citywide recycling expansion. Between March 2013 and October 2013, the City expanded Blue Recycling Carts to an additional 340,000 households, completing the citywide recycling expansion to more than 600,000 low-density Chicago homes.

In 2013, the City collected over 85,000 tons of recycling, saving an additional $3.5 million through waste diversion and avoided landfill fees. In 2014, with a full year of implementation, the City hopes to collect over 120,000 tons of recyclable materials through the Blue Cart program. To learn more about the Blue Cart Recycling Program, visit chicagorecycles.org.