Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinance
On January 15, 2014, the Cook County Board passed the Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinance. The ordinance calls for a number of initiatives that will benefit the overall environmental health and safety of Cook County residents. The ordinance gives the county new authority to prosecute illegal dumping activities; stipulates minimum operating requirements, fees, and reporting for solid waste and recycling facilities; and creates reporting requirements for waste and recycling haulers which will help the county in recycling, reuse, and waste diversion planning.
Solid Waste, Recycling, and Reduction Planning
Suburban Cook County encompasses 127 municipalities, as well as unincorporated areas, with a combined population of approximately 2.5 million. Residents, businesses and public facilities in suburban Cook County generate approximately three million tons of waste annually, which is the equivalent of 8200 tons per day or 6.7 pounds per capita per day.
Increasingly, fewer and larger private sector companies are providing waste collection, recycling and disposal services and facilities. The role of county and local governments, in relation to waste management, has shifted from the provision of services and facilities to matters relating to policy formulation, public education and information. Recycling and source reduction programs have been broadly accepted by the public and have significantly reduced the quantity of waste needing disposal. Current recycling rates in suburban Cook County exceed 25%. Improved performance is possible but each additional increment will be more difficult and more costly to achieve.