Richard Daley, the Mayor of Chicago, has officially ended the city’s blue-bag recycling program in favor of a single-stream (blue cart) approach similar to that favored by many other U.S. cities.
Despite the city’s best efforts and large expenditures, a 2003 city study showed that participation in the program was only about 13.3 per cent. The bag program was originally meant to divert 25 per cent of the city’s residential waste from landfills, but studies showed that the actual rate was only about 8 per cent. Under the old program, residents were expected to place recyclables in special blue bags that were collected along with regular trash. The main problem was that most residents didn’t bother to go out and buy the bags. They also didn’t appear to understand the program and failed to properly segregate recyclable materials.
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