Aldermen Raise Concerns About Chicago’s Recycling Program At City Council Budget Hearing

CHICAGO (CBS) — Alderman seem to give Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Commissioner high marks, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have some complaints at a long budget hearing on Tuesday afternoon.

Among overall complaints among Aldermen on the City Council Budget Committee, the recycling program comes up time and again. Some say residents aren’t getting adequate instructions about exactly what should be recycled and how, and the program has changed. WBBM’s Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams acknowledged the concerns of Committee Chairman Alderman Carrie Austin.

“We are working with recycling partners right now…again, recycling is an issue to address very vigorously in the coming years, so we get our recycling to improve. We know we have challenges ahead,” Williams said.

Williams admits Chicago’s recycling program, which has gone through some changes, is not as successful as officials would hope. But he said, it’s a nationwide problem.

He agrees with Alderman Joe Moore that recycling is succeeding in San Francisco, where the culture is a bit more attuned.

“A lot of it is done, not just because the people are different out there, but because there has been an aggressive public education effort over many, many years,” Williams said.

Moore said Chicago should fund more aggressive public education efforts and Commissioner Williams agrees.

“Budget has increased our budget going into 2018 for that effort. We’ve gone from $250,000 to $400,000, so it has increased. In addition to that, we are also working with the recycling partnership. They are going to help us produce a television commercial that we are hoping to get out,” he said.

Several Aldermen also have concerns about rat problems, illegal dumping, and tree trimming. Those are perennial issues.

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