City Hall has selected two private garbage companies to compete with city workers for the job of providing curbside recycling in Chicago, and Mayor
said today he expected the plan to allow for an expansion of the long-troubled program.
This week contracts will be signed with two different vendors to take over a portion of the recycling pickup services in the city, Emanuel announced. The city will be divided into six service areas, four of which will be served by private companies and the other two by the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation.
In six months the city will review which is the most cost-effective option.
In Chicago, 240,000 households get recycling at a cost of $13.8 million, Emanuel said.
said they could provide the same service for $6.6 million.
"When it comes to recycling in the city of Chicago, Chicago has been a tale of two cities. Half has had it and half has not," Emanuel said at a Streets and Sanitation Department facility as he stood in front of a big blue recycling truck.
Emanuel said during the trial program recycling service will expand to 20,000 households in
, Bucktown and Logan Square.
Streets and Sanitation employees who work in the areas that will be taken over by private companies will be shifted to other duties in the department.
The idea of hiring a private contractor to take over recycling was set in motion many months ago by the Daley administration, which determined the outsourcing of recycling could cut costs in half. Laborers Union Local 1001 took the issue to arbitration, but the Daley administration was given the go-ahead to proceed with the effort.
Daley had long clung to a failed blue-bag recycling program before finally agreeing to a version of the blue-bin programs common in the suburbs. But budget problems prevented him from rolling out recycling city-wide.