A Panel Of Experts Weigh In On How To Improve Recycling In Chicago

Recycling roundtable 2019 discussion
Mackenzie Crosson / WBEZ
Recycling roundtable 2019 discussion
Mackenzie Crosson / WBEZ

A Panel Of Experts Weigh In On How To Improve Recycling In Chicago

At just 8%, Chicago’s waste diversion rate is the worst of any big city in the nation, according to a 2018 analysis by the Better Government Association. Curious City has gotten many questions over the years about how to improve recycling, composting and yard waste removal in Chicago. So we thought one way to find some answers would be to convene a panel of experts — and we did that in November of 2019. WBEZ’s Environmental Reporter Jerome McDonnell sat down with a group of experts and policymakers to answer a question from Curious Citizen Phillip Elson: How can we improve Chicago’s recycling and waste diversion?

Together they broke bread with food from Uncommon Ground, shared ideas and voted on the three most promising solutions to move the city forward. You can listen to the full discussion here. Enjoy!

The Guests:

Ken Dunn is the founder of the Resource Center. He has been running recycling, urban agriculture and composting programs for 50 years.

Jennifer Walling is the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. She advocates for more sustainable policies in Illinois.

Jonathan Pereira is the executive director of Plant Chicago, where he advocates for, and helps create, circular economies that minimize waste.

Daniel Lurie works on policy issues for Chicago as Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s chief of policy.

Camille Fiess works to be a conscious consumer, composter and recycler as a Chicago resident.

Monica Eng is a WBEZ reporter. Write to her at meng@wbez.org. Jerome McDonnell covers the environment and climate for WBEZ. Follow him @jeromemcdonnell.