With Earth Week upon us April 16, we looked at what Chicago and Illinois have done to promote a more sustainable city and state.
Citywide Curbside Recycling
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced this month that curbside recycling will be extended to roughly 340,000 Chicago households currently without recycling bins.
The expansion for Chicago recycling is possible thanks to $2.2 million in savings acquired through what Emanuel called “managed competition” between private recycling and waste managing companies and Streets & Sanitation employees.
The recycling project will be put into effect by the end of next year, according to the mayor’s office.
$10M to Restore Chicago River
Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Aug. 12 announced the state committed $10 million to clean up the Chicago River, disinfect sewage flowing into the river and make the water clean enough to swim and fish in.
Quinn and Emanuel said they hope the necessary project will boost tourism to the city.
Last year, the mayor announced the construction of four boathouses along the river to provide kayaking and concessions. He said a cleaner river could motivate tourists and residents to participate in recreational activities in Chicago.
Greener Cabs for Chicago
The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection announced on April 12 a program promoting cab companies to buy hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles.
The program will use $1 million in funding from a Clean Cities grant, helping Chicago reach their carbon emission goals set out in the Chicago Climate Action Plan.
Electric Car Charging Stations on Tollway Roads
Quinn announced March 30 that Illinois will begin building the nation’s largest network of fast-charging electric vehicle stations along all seven Tollway Oases.
Quinn said he wants Illinois to be the greenest state in America and is pursuing the project to promote Americans to be more sustainable.
Chicago Earth Hour
Chicago buildings, landmarks and institutions participated in this year’s Earth Hour on Saturday, March 31, shutting off their lights between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Earth hour was started by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007 and is a global event encouraging individuals to turn out the lights for one hour and become more environmentally aware.
Chicago’s City Hall, the Cultural Center, the Chase Tower and Willis Tower, the Capitol Building and more participated in the event to show their support towards protecting the planet.