Emanuel announces changes to recycling program in Chicago

July 18, 2011

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(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces changes to the city's recycling program Monday on Chicago's far North Side.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is changing the way the city collects recyclables.

The mayor's pitting city workers against private companies in his new recycling plan. He's splitting the city into six sections: two will have city workers pick up recyclables and the other four sections will have private contractors. Emanuel said he wants to add about 20,000 residents to the number of people who have recycling.

"In recycling we have this have and have nots, tale of two cities that's inconsistent with who we are on recycling," Emanuel said. "And it's a service that people in the City of Chicago should expect and should be delivered."

Emanuel said about 240,000 Chicagoans have blue bins, the current recycling program. According to the mayor, private companies have said they could pick up the same amount of recycling for half the price the city is spending. Emanuel said after six months, he'll re-evaluate and see which is the best deal: city workers or the private companies.