Private Sector Recycling

Business Recycling in Chicago

Chicago's City Council adopted the Workplace and Residential Recycling Ordinance in 1994, requiring all property managers and building owners to implement an effective recycling program by January 1, 1995. The City regularly inspects businesses to ensure compliance and issues citations for noncompliance.

An effective recycling program includes a contract for recycling service, a recycling plan and education. The following informational sheets provide detailed information about the ordinance and are available to Property Managers and Tenants.

Recycling From Your Apartment

Recycling must be made available to all residents who live in apartments, condominiums and cooperatives, according to the Workplace and Residential Recycling Ordinance that became law in January of 1995.  If your building uses a private waste hauler (you have a metal dumpster), the building management must offer tenants an effective recycling program.  The building management must offer tenants an effective recycling program.  The Recycling Ordinance defines an effective program by three things:  Source reduction and separation, an education program and a written recycling plan.

Source separation means separating recyclables from trash before the waste hauler picks them up.  An effective program recycles three materials such as newspaper, glass and plastic.  In special cases, a waste service can collect only two materials if your landlord also implements two waste reduction measures, such as using energy saving light bulbs and reusing supplies.

All residents must be told what can be recycled and how to prepare it.  Your landlord needs to either distribute pamphlets or post signs in common area, and tell people about changes in the recycling plan 10 days before they happen.

A written recycling plan with five parts must also be available to all apartment residents.  First, the three recycled materials and any source reduction measures your landlord uses should be identified.  Second, how to prepare the recyclables and what happens to them once the waste hauler picks them up.  A summary of the education program should be in the third part, and the fourth part should be the contract with the waste hauler.  Finally, there must be semi-annual waste hauler quality reports and any reports of contamination.

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