Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Competition Begins for Rahm Recycling Program

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Mayor called it a new day in Chicago, because recycling is making a comeback. (Published Monday, Oct 3, 2011)

    Approximately 20,000 Chicago homes do not get recycling services in Chicago. That will change sometime in the next six months, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday, in announcing new competitive bidding process for recycling.

    "It's a new day in Chicago," Emanuel said at a press conference announcing the change.

    Emanuel joined Streets & San Commissioner Tom Byrne to announce the start of a new process for Chicago's blue cart recycling program. The competition will be between two private sector companies, Midwest Metal Management and Waste Management, and city workers, Emanuel said.

    Here's how it works: A grid system will be used for the new recycling program, dividing the city into six zones. Four will be serviced by the private sector companies and two will be serviced by Streets & San employees.

    Emanuel will evaluate the results of the competition in the spring based on cost and completion, and decide how to provide the best service going forward.  The city could end up winnin gall the business if they are the most cost effective group.

    “Competitive bidding will save money for taxpayers by ensuring that we are getting the best deal for recycling collection, and will put us on a path to recycling throughout the city,” Emanuel said in a statement.

    "I believe we can pick up garbage not based on a political map but efficiency," he told reporters. 

    The mayor singled out a new attitude about the competitive process as perhaps more important than the plans themselves.

    "As commissioner Byrne was telling me, he was talking to the city employees today and they were saying, 'we're ready, we got this this is ours'," Emanuel said. "That's an attitudinal change. ... in employees who because of competition have a competitve spirit. They don't want to give up this work."

    Garbage collection is not far behind and could soon use a similar grid system.