Resource Recycling News

Chicago gets serious about multi-family recycling

Building owners in Chicago could pay hefty fines for not following the city’s recycling ordinance.high rise building / Terroa, Shutterstock

Last week the Chicago City Council updated the 20-year-old ordinance to incorporate enforcement policies and to get the City’s recycling plan in line with industry standards.

The amended ordinance requires all multi-unit residential, commercial and office buildings to provide single-stream service for recyclable materials. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed for the ordinance after receiving calls from residents of high-rise apartments and condos, who complained the buildings lacked recycling access.

The new fines on owners of noncomplying buildings range from $500 to $5,000 per offense. But city officials reassured building owners and landlords that fines would be a last resort. There is a 30-day warning period before fines are issued, and even then, the Department of Streets and Sanitation says it will work with people on compliance.

The rules go into effect Jan. 1.

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