Doubek: Let's Move to Start Cleaning Up our Recycling Challenges

Chicago and Illinois' recycling efforts are in need of measured management.

When it comes to recycling in Chicago and Illinois, it’s garbage in, garbage out.

Last month, the Better Government Association’s investigative unit reported that a “managed competition” program being used for residential recycling wasn’t being managed well at all.

The report found neighborhoods on the Northwest, West and far South sides were 20 times more likely to have their recycling diverted to a landfill. Waste Management handles the recycling pickups in those communities and Waste Management owns a landfill where much of the contaminated recycling is dumped, giving it a chance to be paid twice: once when its workers label a recycling bin contaminated and again when it accepts the bins labeled contaminated at its dump.

What's the solution to this mess?

Read the rest of Madeleine Doubek's column in the Chicago Sun-Times.

About the Author

Madeleine Doubek

Madeleine Doubek is an award-winning journalist who spent 32 years covering local and state government and politics. She previously served as publisher of Reboot Illinois. She has won several regional and national journalism awards during her career.