Mayor: Citywide curbside recycling by 2013

File Photo: Recycling (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard)

April 5, 2012 3:25:00 PM PDT
All Chicagoans will have the option to use curbside recycling bins, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, by the summer of 2013.

Mayor Emanuel said Thursday that the city ahs saved enough money through competitive bidding recycling contracts to expand the program to Chicago's 340,000 remaining households.

Jaime Gomez, who works for Waste Management, will pick up 700 carts a day. He said some residents say their bins get full fast because of neighbors who use their recycling bins.

"They recycle a lot and a lot people need a lot more recycling toters, so yeah we hear that a lot," Gomez said.

Waste Management is one of three entities picking up recycling in Chicago. Mayor Emanuel began a competitive bidding for the city's recycling in October - with two private firms and the city's streets and sanitation department competing for recycling at the lowest cost and best performance. On Thursday, the mayor said this competitive recycling pickup will continue because it's already saved the city $2.2 million.

"That shows you when you have the attitude of competing for something rather than assuming you get it how you can find automatically savings," Mayor Emanuel said.

Mayor Emanuel also announced the savings will allow the city to expand recycling to add 20,000 more homes immediately and citywide recycling by 2013.

"Rather than being when we first talked about this in October, a tale of two cities, when we will have the most basic environmental policy, the most basic green policy, recycling will go citywide by 2013. The summer of 2013 is the goal for recycling in all city neighborhoods," Emanuel said.

The mayor said that the city and the private firms are using union workers. Starting next week, the city will begin competitive bidding for tree trimming and street marking.