Chicago Alderman John Arena is calling for the city to consider eliminating its flat $9.50 per household waste collection fee in exchange for a volume-based rate, giving residents a financial incentive to recycle. Following a recent council hearing on the topic, Arena released a statement saying, “The city’s recycling program has failed its residents.”
Arena joined advocates, including the Illinois Environmental Council and the Chicago Recycling Coalition, in supporting multiple reform measures. They want a permanent auditing system in place by December and a detailed report from the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) by May 2019. This would include an update on current recycling program goals, an explanation of the criteria used to evaluate recycling providers, a breakdown of their cost-per-ton to recycle and results from contamination audits, among other items.