WBEZ | trash http://www.wbez.org/tags/trash Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago garbage collectors: Will they really take that? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/chicago-garbage-collectors-will-they-really-take-109881 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/140433257&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>WBEZ listener Ken Coulman has been having dirty thoughts, specifically regarding the garbage in his alleyway. He&rsquo;s seen all kinds of dumping habits, from random contractors offloading items behind his house to neighbors sneakily leaving oversized items in alleyways not their own. In their stealthy haste, they make a mess.</p><p>As a homeowner in Chicago&rsquo;s Humboldt Park neighborhood, these behaviors troubled Ken. Recently, when he spotted a stack of old tires piled by the garbage, he called Curious City with this question:<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ken_curiouscity.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 200px; float: right;" title="Ken Coulman asked Curious City about the limits of garbage removal. (Photo courtesy Ken Coulman)" /></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>What&rsquo;s the city&rsquo;s official policy on garbage pick up? Do they take anything that you put out?</em></p><p>While taking on Ken&rsquo;s question, we learned that a pretty straightforward pickup policy provides some city workers with a unique &mdash; and sometimes unflattering &mdash; view of life in Chicago.</p><p><strong>Size doesn&rsquo;t matter</strong></p><p>For our answer, we turned to Gloria Pittman, a supervisor at Chicago&rsquo;s Bureau of Sanitation, which serves 600,000 households in Chicago. These households are limited to single-family homes or buildings with four units or less. Pittman oversees garbage collection for seven wards from Pilsen to Jackson Park. She&rsquo;s previously worked on the front lines as a garbage collector herself.</p><p>We met Pittman at her office on the Southwest Side and asked Ken&rsquo;s question: Is there a limit to what you&rsquo;ll take?</p><p>&ldquo;We will pick up almost anything,&rdquo; Pittman said. &ldquo;It is our objective to pick up everything that&rsquo;s in front of the truck, be it trash, sofas, on occasion electronics such as refrigerators, stoves.&rdquo;</p><p>In other words, size doesn&rsquo;t matter. There&rsquo;s no size limit to what residents are allowed to throw out, as long as it&rsquo;s regular household garbage.</p><p>The department accommodates big items with what&rsquo;s called &ldquo;a special pick up.&rdquo; That&rsquo;s simply a heads-up to garbage collectors to carve out more time. While picking up a few regular canisters outside one house takes about 30 seconds, disposing of something more sizable, like a sectional couch, may take a few minutes. That heads-up can help make the process more efficient.</p><p>Pittman said collectors are usually notified by supervisors who monitor the alleys. But preferably, the notification originates from residents who call Chicago&rsquo;s 311 service line. Pittman says you can <a href="https://servicerequest.cityofchicago.org/web_intake_chic/Controller?op=locform&amp;invSRType=SCC&amp;invSRDesc=Garbage%20Pickup&amp;locreq=Y">request additional garbage bins</a> online, if need be.</p><p>&ldquo;Notification from the resident really helps us out a great deal,&rdquo; said Pittman.</p><p>Chicagoans in the tattling mood can also help by <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/streets/provdrs/streets_san/svcs/sanitation_ordinance.html">reporting persistent sanitation code violations</a>.</p><p><strong>Down in&nbsp;the dumps &hellip; at a special collection</strong></p><p><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/Garbage+gifs/USE+2.gif" style="width: 320px; height: 180px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 0px; float: right;" /><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/Garbage+gifs/USE+1.gif" style="width: 320px; height: 180px; margin: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; float: right;" /></p><p>To see how a regular pick-up differs from a special pick-up, we ventured into the back alleys in Chicago&#39;s Gage Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/curiouscity/Garbage+gifs/USE+3.gif" style="width: 320px; height: 180px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 0px; float: right;" />A blue sanitation truck rolled through a snow-covered alley. Two workers hooked trash bins onto something called &ldquo;the flip,&rdquo; which, as its name implies, flips bins upside down into the truck. A heavy blade crushed and scooped the trash into the inner chamber.</p><p>Hook. Flip. Crush. Repeat.</p><div>The workers had a nice rhythm &mdash; until they ran across what looked like the remnants of an extreme home makeover. Pittman was on site and surveyed the heap of furniture.</div><p>&ldquo;This is a loveseat, a desk, parts of a table, an end table, a couple mattresses, some chairs and an ottoman,&rdquo; she said, laughing.</p><p>The garbage collectors declined an interview. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s kind of dangerous when I talk and work,&rdquo; said one as he reached for a piece of furniture.</p><p>And he was right. There was heavy lifting to do. A crushing blade tore through wood and nails. Sharp debris spit out the back. I watched a mattress flop into the back of the truck. It splintered into pieces.</p><p>&ldquo;And as you see, the blade is breaking that up and taking it on in,&rdquo; Pittman observed. &ldquo;It basically makes room as it goes along.&rdquo;</p><p>Eight minutes later, it&rsquo;s all been gobbled up.</p><p>&ldquo;As you can see, everything is gone. Hopefully the residents are happy,&rdquo; said Pittman.</p><p><strong>Some limits do apply</strong></p><p>Even though there&rsquo;s no size limit, Pittman noted that there are other kinds of limits. Most Chicago residents think, &ldquo;If it&rsquo;s garbage to you, it should be garbage to us,&rdquo; but that&rsquo;s simply not the case, she said.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/pittman%20mug%20shot.png" style="float: left; height: 162px; width: 240px;" title="Gloria Pittman supervises trash collection for the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation, and was a previous garbage collector. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" />For example, say you rehab a room by yourself. You can throw the debris in the garbage. It&rsquo;s no problem, at least when it comes to city policy. But if a contractor does it for you, that contractor is required to take away the refuse. But not all residents abide by that rule; Pittman has seen plenty of instances where an entire gut renovation has been dumped in an alley. In those cases, the department has a conversation with the resident.</p><p>&ldquo;We try not to fine,&rdquo; said Pittman, noting that the department focuses on communicating expectations with residents. &ldquo;We want compliance.&rdquo;</p><p>It&rsquo;s also a hassle when residents don&rsquo;t bag their trash properly. &ldquo;When they have to clean up things that people have just thrown out willy nilly &mdash; that kind of breaks up their rhythm,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Another problem is fly dumping. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s where a large truck or car has dumped a large amount of garbage &mdash; usually in desolate areas,&rdquo; explained Pittman.</p><p>The Bureau of Sanitation will not collect hazardous materials and certain electronics such as computers and cell phones. Residents can dispose of these items, such as household cleaners and oil-based paints, at the city&rsquo;s Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility. The city provides information about <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdph/supp_info/hccrf/household_chemicalscomputerrecyclingfacilityoverview.html">that facility and what it accepts</a>.</p><p>The worst thing Pittman&rsquo;s ever run across? Dead animals and human waste. Pittman said residents with dead pets should call 311; a refrigerated truck will do the pick up. And as for human waste, well, come on now.</p><p>Pittman let us in on one of the classic jokes among garbage collectors. &ldquo;You can find out a lot about people with the trash that they throw out.&rdquo;<a name="pittmanguide"></a></p><p><strong>A reason for hope</strong></p><p>I followed up with our question-asker, Ken Coulman, to get his reaction to all of this. The dead animal and human waste details certainly grossed him out.</p><p>&ldquo;Eeh &hellip; that&rsquo;s not cool,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>But when I explained the no-size limit policy, he was surprised.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s not at all what I was expecting to find out,&rdquo; he said after a long pause.</p><p>He was also relieved.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s very interesting because I&rsquo;ve always kind of felt like you&rsquo;re probably doing something illegal by putting those big items out there,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s helpful to know that you don&rsquo;t need to be sneaky about it. You can call 311 and give them a heads up and be civil about it.&rdquo;</p><p>To Ken, this is good news. He hopes that now that people know they don&rsquo;t have to be sneaky, they&rsquo;ll stop being so sloppy.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s hoping, Ken.</p><p><em>Deborah Jian Lee is a freelance journalist and author. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/deborahjianlee">@deborahjianlee</a>.</em></p><p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.298379093615614" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="2078" id="doc_31924" scrolling="no" src="//www.scribd.com/embeds/213213263/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-18roq0sks1i1w0u8ngou&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="620"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 17:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/chicago-garbage-collectors-will-they-really-take-109881 A century of waste: The evolution of Chicago’s garbage collection http://www.wbez.org/news/century-waste-evolution-chicago%E2%80%99s-garbage-collection-108529 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Transportation%20of%20Waste%20By%20Street%20Cars%20%281905%29.jpg" style="height: 308px; width: 620px;" title="(Chicago Public Library/Municipal Reference Desk) Transportation of waste by street cars (1905)" /></div><p>Working with dirty data can be messy, especially if it&rsquo;s some of the old numbers found in yellowing-pages on library shelves.</p><p>Recently, we stumbled upon a treasure trove of statistics on early sanitation practices in Chicago.</p><p>In the early 1900s, the Department of Public Works published annual reports, complete with fold-out tables filled with data and hand-drawn maps of city service.</p><p>We compiled the information in the archives and combined it with current data from the city to give you a graphic look at how Chicago&rsquo;s garbage collection system has evolved over the last century.</p><p>In 1905, the city&rsquo;s garbage collection system was struggling so much that <a href="https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3mMRyzLFC6Fc1hnbWw2ZElGcDQ/edit?usp=sharing"> the Department of Public Works described it </a></p><p>&ldquo;If there should be anyone who thinks otherwise (Chicago&rsquo;s garbage collection is done well), he can be easily converted by watching from his alley the manner in which it is necessary to load his refuse on the city wagon; by following in the wake of a swill-soaked wooden wagon, particularly on a hot day; by observing the arrival of the wagon at the big clay pit dumps, surrounded by people living in some cases right at their edges; by witnessing the struggle of the horses in the mass of garbage, broken glass and tin cans in an effort to get their loads in position; by noting the laborious process of unloading with pick and fork, requiring from thirty to forty minutes; by experiencing the insufferable stench that must be endured by the people in the neighborhood; by realizing the immediate effect on their health and the danger for years to come from building over such a mass of corruption, in some cases 80 feet deep.&rdquo;</p><p>A survey was conducted to see how garbage collection in the city was taking place. We transferred the hand-made tables into Web versions and created a map of the garbage collection system circa 1905.</p><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="width: 620px; height: 200px;"><tbody><tr><td rowspan="2"><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/title_0.jpg" title="" /></div></div></td><td colspan="2"><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/insert-images/1905%20Ward%20Breakdown.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/wardstatssmall.jpg" title="" /></a></div></td><td rowspan="2" style="vertical-align: middle;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/plus.jpg" style="height: 81px; width: 20px;" title="" /></td><td><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/insert-images/1901%20Ward%20Map.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/wardmapsmall.jpg" title="" /></a></div></td><td rowspan="2" style="vertical-align: middle;"><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/equals.jpg" style="height: 81px; width: 20px;" title="" /></div></div></td></tr><tr><td style="vertical-align: top;"><span style="font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/wardstatssmall.jpg" target="_blank">Click for full image</a></span></td><td style="vertical-align: top;"><a href="https://www.google.com/fusiontables/embedviz?viz=GVIZ&amp;t=TABLE&amp;q=select+col0%3E%3E0%2C+col1%3E%3E0%2C+col2%3E%3E0%2C+col3%3E%3E0%2C+col4%3E%3E0%2C+col5%3E%3E0%2C+col6%3E%3E0%2C+col7%3E%3E0%2C+col8%3E%3E0%2C+col9%3E%3E0%2C+col10%3E%3E0%2C+col11%3E%3E0%2C+col12%3E%3E0+from+1pgm8h12zD8FgasubQ-mc_McRkPcwpE1UT3qziCI&amp;containerId=gviz_canvas" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:10px;">View as table</span></a></td><td style="vertical-align: top;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/wardmapsmall.jpg" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:10px;">Click for full image</span></a></td></tr></tbody></table><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="760" scrolling="no" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/INTERACTIVE+DATA+PUBLISHING/2013+Projects/August/1905Chicago/1905GarbageMap.html" width="620"></iframe></p><p>The graph below shows how much garbage the city of Chicago was producing month by month in 1910 and in 2012.</p><p><img src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/graph_0.jpg" style="height: 417px; width: 620px;" /></p><div class="credit">Sources: 1910 data from <a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/1914%20Report%20of%20the%20City%20Waste%20Commission%20of%20the%20City%20of%20Chicago.pdf">1914 Report of the City Waste Commission of the City of Chicago</a>, Municipal Reference Desk, Chicago Public Library; <a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/1910,%202012-13%20refuse%20tonnage.xls">2012 data from Department of Streets and Sanitation</a>.</div><p><br />Population estimates were detailed on the 1914 report, and 2012 population is based on <a href="http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17/1714000.html">estimates by the US Census Bureau.</a></p><p>In total, the city of Chicago produced 99,537 tons of garbage in 1910 and 892,034 tons in 2012. That&rsquo;s about 97 pounds of garbage per person in 1910 compared to 657 pounds per person in 2013</p><p>But don&rsquo;t be fooled, though it looks like we&rsquo;ve increased the amount of garbage produced per a person nearly sevenfold, data work is rarely that simple. University of Illinois at Chicago Urban Planning and Policy Professor Ning Ai specializes in waste management. She explains, it&rsquo;s difficult to draw a direct comparison between these numbers.</p><p>&ldquo;Compared to a century ago, garbage not only differs in generation rate, but also in composition. Intuitively, the amount of garbage increases along with economic growth. For example, many packaging materials in the waste stream have changed from glass to much lighter-weight plastic and paper. Thus simply comparing the numbers either using the volume (e.g., by cubic yards) or weight (e.g., tonnage) may not reveal the challenges of waste management fully or even accurately.&rdquo; Said Ai.</p><p>Today, we have entire categories of garbage that never existed in the 1900s. Check out some of the various categories of garbage that existed back then compared to the new stuff in today&rsquo;s municipal code.</p><p><img src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/definitions.jpg" style="height: 476px; width: 620px;" /></p><div class="credit">Sources: 1914 Report, <a href="http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/municipalcodeofchicago?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il">City of Chicago Municipal Code, Article II, Title 7, Ch. 7-28</a>.</div><p>In the early 20th century, the organic refuse, also known as garbage, would be processed and reduced down so more garbage could be placed in landfills without taking up more space. Much of the inorganic matter would be incinerated because ash also took up less space in the fast filling city dumps.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Municipal%20Reduction%20Plant%20%281907%29.jpg" style="height: 359px; width: 620px;" title="(Chicago Public Library/ Municipal Reference Desk) Municipal reduction plant (1907)" /></div><p>Back then, landfills were the enemy, a 1905 Department of Public Works report said, &ldquo;The dumps must go. Dumps poison the air for miles around and if ground made by dumping is dug up years afterwards, it is found still putrid.</p><p>Over a century later, landfills are still a massive problem for refuse collection in the city. The Chicago metro region has six active landfills, five of which are currently designed to reach full capacity within 10 years according to the Illinois Environmental Protection Act of 2011.</p><p>ldquo;Public opposition out of environmental and economic concerns have also made it increasingly difficult to build or expand waste disposal facilities in the city. The total costs of transporting the waste and dumping in a remote site are typically lower than disposing of within the city, and it is &quot;out of sight, out of mind.&quot; Said Ai.</p><p>Most of today&rsquo;s dumping sites are located well outside of the city limits. Below we compared Chicago&rsquo;s dumping sites in 1905 to city dumping locations identified by Anne Sheahan of the Department of Streets and Sanitation.</p><p><img src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/DumpsMap.jpg" /></p><div class="credit">Sources: 1905 data from <a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/1906%20Department%20of%20Public%20Works%20Page.pdf">1906 Report of the Department of Public Works to the Mayor&rsquo;s Office</a>, Municipal Reference Desk, Chicago Public Library; 2013 <a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/City%20Landfill%20Locations%20(Department%20of%20Streets%20and%20San).xls">data from Department of Streets and Sanitation</a>.</div><p>Ai added that the cost of these preparations and the cost of transporting large quantities garbage to remote landfills also has a big environmental impact.</p><p>&ldquo;The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation is currently working to roll out residential blue cart recycling citywide and is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2013,&rdquo; Sheahan said. &ldquo;We will continue to work with residents through community outreach to encourage regular recycling across the city, which is not only good for the environment, but it can result in considerable cost savings for the city.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Simran Khosla is a WBEZ intern. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/simkhosla">@simkhosla</a>. Email her at <a href="http://mailto:skhosla@wbez.org">skhosla@wbez.org</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 10:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/century-waste-evolution-chicago%E2%80%99s-garbage-collection-108529 Cleaning up Chicago’s wide, romantic beaches http://www.wbez.org/news/cleaning-chicago%E2%80%99s-wide-romantic-beaches-106646 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Big Beach_130413_LW.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Volunteers for an Adopt-A-Beach program are headed to Chicago-area beaches to clean up trash and debris starting this weekend.</p><p>And those beaches are bigger than usual this year due to record-low water levels over the winter. After hitting an all-time low in January, <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lre.usace.army.mil%2FPortals%2F69%2Fdocs%2FGreatLakesInfo%2Fdocs%2FWaterLevels%2FMBOGLWL-mich_hrn.pdf&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNE4Qjw4VJAZiS-qhFAjtD7c1NSWQg" target="_blank">Lake Michigan is creeping back up</a>, but U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projections show the lake could still dip below its 1965 low water records without a lot of rain.</p><p>That said, it&rsquo;s been raining a decent amount this week, which has a different potential consequence for beach sweepers: combined sewer overflow and runoff can mean more trash along the shoreline.</p><p>Louise Kulaga, an eighth-grade science teacher at Gurrie Middle School in LaGrange, is taking a group of middle-schoolers to clean up 12th Street Beach and North Avenue Beach this spring. Cleanups involve picking up trash, recycling, conducting basic sampling and testing for bacteria in the water. Shallow waters along the shore could lead to higher bacteria counts this summer.</p><p>Kulaga says the low water means a wider beach, but not necessarily more trash. That depends on weather conditions, and how recently there&rsquo;s been a beach party. In past years, she and her students have already seen a lot.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s always some little bit of drug paraphernalia here and there,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;And diapers. The back seats of a car. A totem pole, a piece of a totem pole.&rdquo;</p><p>But that&rsquo;s not even the best of it. A couple years ago they found a green wine bottle with a message in it. Kulaga convinced the principal, who was out with the group, to be the one to read the message to the kids. She was a little worried about what it might say. But it turned out to be rated PG, PG-13 at worst.</p><p>&ldquo;It was a little dramatic, it was about someone breaking up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, we couldn&rsquo;t quite tell,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;And they were purging their feelings into Lake Michigan.&rdquo;</p><p>Teams of volunteers will start combing Chicago&rsquo;s wide, romantic beaches this weekend; anyone interested can join in public cleanups through the <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.greatlakesadopt.org%2F&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNG8kms7Mz7GE9u2A9lGXQazge3E9w" target="_blank">Great Lakes Alliance</a>.</p><p>Lewis Wallace is a Pritzker Journalism Fellow at WBEZ. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/lewispants" target="_blank">@lewispants</a>.</p></p> Sat, 13 Apr 2013 08:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cleaning-chicago%E2%80%99s-wide-romantic-beaches-106646 Where does our garbage go? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/where-does-our-garbage-go-100248 <p><p>In late May, the Illinois House approved a measure that would prevent any new landfills from opening, or any existing landfills from expanding, inside Cook County. The proposal has already been approved by the State Senate, and now it&rsquo;s awaiting Gov. Quinn&rsquo;s signature. We wondered why the state was worried about landfill legislation at this time.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/A%20Bulldozer%20spreads%20garbage%20on%20a%20landfill.jpg" title="A Bulldozer spreads garbage on a landfill. (Flickr/WI Dept. of Natural Resources)" /></div><p>It turns out there&rsquo;s a tousle going on on the southeast side of Chicago. The dispute is between community groups, environmentalists, and some pols on one side, and a company called Land and Lakes and other pols on the other side. Ground zero is <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=138th+and+cottage+grove+dolton,+IL&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=0x880e21386b01bc63:0x57f5fd65feecda46,Cottage+Grove+Ave+%26+E+138th+St,+Dolton,+IL+60827&amp;gl=us&amp;ei=j9vhT4ijFIfM2gW5nZG7Cw&amp;ved=0CAsQ8gEwAA">138th and Cottage Grove</a>. It&rsquo;s actually the city of Dolton, and it&rsquo;s where Land and Lakes operates a huge landfill. It&rsquo;s a stone&rsquo;s throw from the Altgeld Gardens housing projects, and just to the west of the Hegewisch neighborhood. Land and Lakes wants to expand to an 86 acre site that currently belongs to the city.</p><p>But back in 1984, the Chicago City Council put the kibosh on new or expanded landfills. In 2005, the City Council re-upped those same measures for an additional 20 years. &nbsp;So the company dangled some large numbers in front of Dolton&rsquo;s board. Cash the village would supposedly receive if it were to annex the 86 acres from Chicago and allow Land and Lakes their expansion. The Tribune said the number quoted was <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-05-24/news/ct-met-landfill-dispute-0524-20120524_1_landfill-ban-land-and-lakes-active-landfill">$36 million over 25 years</a> that Dolton would bring in thanks to the expansion. That&rsquo;s a lot of dough for a village that could really use it. A Cook County judge has already ruled in favor of Land and Lakes. &nbsp;We&rsquo;ll have to see what happens next as things work their way through the courts.&nbsp;</p><p>But the drama playing out down at the bend of the Little Calumet River got us thinking...most of us have no idea where our garbage goes. Yeah, a couple of guys in a really smelly truck come down our alleys-or our streets if you live in the suburbs-and then it&rsquo;s gone. But how far does it travel? Where does it end up? How long does it take to get there? Can it just keep going to that same place forever? Even as humans expand our ability and desire to recycle, we continue to generate refuse. How will we think about its disposal in the future?</p><p>Wednesday on <em>Afternoon Shift</em>, we get some answers from David Lee. &nbsp;He&rsquo;s a Ph.D. Candidate in Urban Studies and Planning, and a graduate researcher attached to the <a href="http://senseable.mit.edu/" target="_blank">SENSEable City Laboratory at MIT</a>. &nbsp;Back in 2009 the lab did a project called <a href="http://senseable.mit.edu/trashtrack/">Trash Track</a>, where tiny sensors were attached to all manner of people&rsquo;s garbage. &nbsp; There&#39;s also some <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/26-trillion-pounds-of-garbage-where-does-the-worlds-trash-go/258234/">easy-to-understand but eye-opening charts</a> that Derek Thompson recently posted in The Atlantic.</p></p> Wed, 20 Jun 2012 09:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/where-does-our-garbage-go-100248 Emanuel considers a revamp of Chicago's garbage collection system http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-considers-revamp-chicagos-garbage-collection-system-90541 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-12/IMG_0836.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday he might change the way the city collects garbage. According to Emanuel, Chicago spends too much on trash pick-up -&nbsp;more than $200 a ton - compared to cities like Los Angeles or Philadelphia.&nbsp;</p><p>Currently, the city collects trash using a ward-by-ward program, but Emanuel said the city could save $60 million by switching to a city-wide grid system.</p><p>"Can we do it better, cheaper, and more effective? And, this is one way to look at it. Now, if somebody has a better way to find $60 million in savings, the door is open, the suggestion box is open, bring it forward," he said.&nbsp;</p><p>The mayor he would not eliminate the ward superintendents, who deal with sanitation concerns in each ward. He called&nbsp;them "the most responsive element to a community," and said he would consider creating a new position to monitor the grid system</p><p>Emanuel <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-announces-changes-recycling-program-chicago-89313">reiterated his plan </a>to revamp the city's recycling program as well, citing his desire for a "comprehensive policy" for trash collection.</p><p>"At every level of government, our city is stuck in decades' old policies we have not modernized for the 21st century," said Emanuel.</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 12 Aug 2011 18:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-considers-revamp-chicagos-garbage-collection-system-90541 Film reviews: Waste Land and Mumblecore http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-04/film-reviews-waste-land-and-mumblecore-83330 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Wasteland Photo by Fabio Ghivelder Vik Muniz Studio.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>One of the documentaries considered for an Oscar on Sunday, Feb.&nbsp; 27 was <em>Waste Land</em>. The film documents a project to turn trash from a landfill on the outskirts of the Rio de Janeiro into art &ndash; and perhaps create social change as well. <em>Waste Land</em> screens Friday, Mar.11 at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/block-cinema/index.html">Northwestern University&rsquo;s Block Cinema</a> in Evanston. <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> film critic Christy LeMaster spoke with Alison Cuddy about the film, she began with a little background, and the filmmaker&rsquo;s approach.<br /><br />LeMaster and Cuddy also reviewed the &ldquo;mumblecore&rdquo; mystery-comedy, <em>Cold Weather</em>.</p></p> Fri, 04 Mar 2011 14:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-04/film-reviews-waste-land-and-mumblecore-83330